by: Mark R. Smith [ ]
Originally published on:
As the smoke and dust rises, the enemy forces have been pushed back by the fearless courage of the 11 Guards Tank Corps and the Soviet Infantry, together trying to uphold the peace in their homeland. Perched atop an idle armored beast, Dmitry Koskov is about to enjoy a well earned smoke as he rests with his comrades…that is, the ones that have survived.
This figure set from MiniArt Models, Ukraine, really caught my attention at first viewing. Mainly for two reasons; first, the Soviet subject matter, and second, the very reasonable price of the kit itself. I really liked the look of these four figures as depicted on the cover art, and for just a few bucks you can add these soldiers to your dio or vignette.
MiniArt Model Company has been in the industry since 2001, established and located in the Ukraine, and producing model kits in many different scales and series.
The box, and what’s inside…This kit is presented to the modeler in a medium weight cardboard box, open end style, decorated on the front with colorful battle scene box art, and on the back, the assembly diagrams and paint scheme listing. Supporting text in multiple languages completes the box art. The assembly diagrams which also display the nine color paint scheme are very clear, colorful, and easy to follow.
Inside the box you’ll find one sprue of parts, 42 pieces in all, sealed in a plastic bag for protection from loss. The kit parts are molded in a medium gray colored plastic. The detail is good and well defined. Minimal flash was present on the sprue.
Four full figures, all Soviet Infantrymen of various rank noted by shoulder board insignia, can be built with this kit. All four are in a seated, relaxed position. A nice addition to the kit is optional seating material representing flattened bedrolls on which to place the figures. br>
All four men are wearing standard Soviet Infantry dress (dominant in the Soviet Infantry well into the 1960’s), which include the khaki tunic with the high stand collar, complete with shoulder straps for rank insignia, and khaki trousers tucked into standard Soviet black leather infantry boots. All four soldiers are wearing the standard field cap displaying the communist star in the center.
Additional equipment supplied for the figures is as follows; four standard issue canteens, two PPSH-41 standard sub-machine guns, two PPSH-41 submachine guns with drum magazine, and magazine pouches for the respective weapons.
Assembly…I built two of the four figures to get a fair idea of how the assembly would go, and what the fit would be like. The first thing I noticed while removing parts from the sprue is that some of the molding lugs that attach the kit parts to the sprue were large. With some parts this does not present much of a problem, but with one particular piece, such as a figures head, the sprue lug was as large as the piece itself , completely engulfing half of the piece. The piece was able to be saved with careful trimming and sanding. Most of the other parts were fine, but a few were a bit of a challenge to remove before assembly.
The plastic formulation is a bit stiff allowing for clean separation of parts from the sprue(I tried both a fine nippers and an x-acto knife to separate the parts, and both worked well), and trimmed up nicely. There are some minor molding seams on a few parts as well, but cleaned up with a shave of the knife or a couple of passes with the sanding stick.
The fit of the parts was decent overall, although on the two figures that I assembled, I really had to adjust the parts as the glue set up, to obtain a good fit. I do believe that these four figures will finish out to look quite good, very unique and convincing. The uniform detail is good, with varied rank insignia and decorations. The facial expressions of each figure is unique, with one man even smiling broadly as he rolls his own cigarette!
The Bottom LineThis kit from MiniArt Model Company is well worth the money, which is quite modest, and if you shop around, can be extremely affordable. Good subject matter, unique and interesting poses, decent quality and molding details…a few minor problems as noted previously, but no big deal. Overall a nice figure set, recommended from this modelers point of view.
A special thank you to Svetlana Dubchek, Commercial Director of MiniArt Model Company, Ukraine, for the gracious donation of this review kit and others to follow.