by: Mark R. Smith [ ]
Originally published on:
With its formation in 2001, MiniArt Limited has made a promise to the modeler to provide model kits that are unique and different with good detail and accuracy, at a decent price. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to examine, in full, many of this Ukrainian based model manufacturer products, and thus far I have found this to be true to the company’s words.
This inbox review is of kit #35005, “Building Accessories”, in 1/35 scale plastic injection mold. We will examine the kit and contents, and also include a test build of the accessories to check for fit and construction problem(s).
The kit, box, and contents…
This kit is presented to the modeler in a sturdy, medium weight cardboard box, separate lidded style, with a colorful depiction of the boxes contents displayed on the cover art in a typical architectural setting.
Inside the box you will find a sealed plastic bag containing four sprues of plastic model kit parts; 104 pieces in all, molded in white plastic. Enough to build a nice selection of architectural pieces. Included in this selection are the following:
1 each of two different style street lamps, in cast iron, 2 wall mounted wrought iron entrance lamps,
an ornate wrought iron balcony enclosure, 1 exterior wooden front door with arched upper window, 2 arched top first floo 6 pane double hinged windows, 2 double hinged second story windows, 6 paned also, a really nice set of French doors, 6 paned glass, and 2 small casement style windows for a basement application.
Molding detail on these parts is very good, complete with simulated wood grain finish on the doors and window frames. Also in the box is a bi-fold instruction sheet, with clear and easy to understand numbered “blow up style” drawings. An added bonus from MiniArt is the inclusion of a full color set of Soviet propaganda posters, 1/35 scale, printed on high gloss paper, for use in your WWII diorama’s. (see Photo)
The Test Build
I decided to build a few of these pieces to see how they would fare in construction and fit. I chose one of the street lamps, hanging style, and one double hinged first floor window with separate arched top. The kit pieces all separated very easily and cleanly from the sprues, with very minimal cleanup necessary. The instructions made assembly a breeze, and all parts fit together well, with no trimming for fit adjustment necessary. The assembled subjects look very realistic and quite accurate and true to form for the period style, with good details. They all should finish out to be a very good addition to any European building dio of the era and time frame.
Just for kicks I tried out a Testors product that my son had in his stash to use in conjunction with the windows, which is “Clear Parts Cement and Window maker, which appears to be a thinner type of Elmer’s Glue-All adhesive that dries completely clear. This may prove to be an alternative to using clear acetate sheeting for simulated glass pane. The arch style window that I used this product on didn’t come out too bad, but one of the panes has a few air bubbles in the corner that I didn’t see until the untill it dried. My wife said that the “glass” looks like the old style window glass when dry, the heavy thick window pane with a slight ripple to the texture.
The method used to make the windows was as follows; first, you have to have a clean, flat non-stick surface to lay your frame flat on. I used a paper plate with a sheet of clear plastic wrap on top…worked fine, cheap and easy. Then you run a bead of the goo (it comes in a pin-point style applicator bottle-see picture) around the inside of the window frames/panes, and then with a small brush you pull the liquid to the center as thinly as you can. Let dry completely, and voila! You’ve just made some “glass”! Carefully peel the piece from the plastic wrap and you’re good to go…the nice thing about this stuff is, if you’re not happy with the results, just take your x-acto and run it around the window interior, discard the “glass” and try it again!
All in all, this accessory kit from MiniArt Ltd, Ukraine, is a nice little selection OF European style WWII era building fixtures to use on your next scratch build Dio building. Good, clear details, accurate architectural period style, and easy assembly all add up to a positive thumbs up…recommended from this modelers’ point of view.
Many thanks to Svetlana Dubchak, Commercial Director, Miniart Ltd. Ukraine, for providing this and all MiniArt review samples to date.