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In-Box Review
135
US Tank Crew NW Europe
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

If there is one continued request in every news release covering figures it is “What about the Allies”, well it would seem that MiniArt was listening to those pleas. In this review I will be taking a look at MiniArt’s latest figure release, the US Tank Crew NW Europe, a five man World War Two American tank crew in the European theatre of operations.

Contents

This figure set is supplied inside the standard MiniArt end opening box with the figures printed on the front in colour and in the stances the included figures assemble into. Inside the box you will find two light grey sprues packaged inside a sealed piece of cellophane with a small piece of paper showing the parts of the figures and their part number.

Review

The packaging is acceptable for getting the product to you in good condition, however it is worth mentioning that the box does have a lot of empty space inside allowing the sprues to move around which may break some parts free. The artwork on the front of the box is drawn by Andrey Karaschuk, on the rear of the box you have the same artwork pointing out part numbers and painting guide. The box lists six brands of paint which are Vallejo, Testor, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, and Mr. Color, The set also lists the colours by name in English and what I believe is Ukrainian.

Each of the figures consists of six basic parts;
• Two arms.
• Two legs.
• A torso.
• A head.

Moulding detail is of a good quality with nice crease detail. The flash or mould seams, depending on your stand point, does bother me slightly as it is very obvious and pronounced in some places, and with this being a new product I would not expect to see as much as there is. An area that could be praised or attacked depending on your point of view is the moulded on armoured corps badges and rank badges, for me I would have preferred the inclusion of decals rather than moulded detail but it can always be removed with some scraping with a blade. All five of the crew members have what appear to be M1944 shoe pacs.

Each of the crewman has been provided with a small arm, most likely a Colt 45. Two of the crew figures have shoulder holsters and the other three are provided with the standard holster, one of the figures is not shown with it attached though. Two of the figures are provided with standard steel helmets, and two with the correct and accurate tank helmet which are multiple part assemblies. The last figure appears to be wearing a cloth hat which is also depicted under the helmets of some of the other figures, I am unable to identify exactly what it is though. Four of the figures are wearing the one piece tan coveralls with the officer in jacket and pants.

Uniform detail appears accurate judging by my limited reference material on this subject. The hand detail with all crew members wearing gloves is of an acceptable standard, but the faces seem a little soft detail wise compared to MiniArt’s latest offerings. The multiple part helmets should provide some nice undercut detail on the figures wearing them as long as they are a good fit.

Conclusion

Overall this is fair product but is a little lacking in the shine I have come to expect of MiniArt. The subject matter is however much appreciated and MiniArt must be thanked for taking this subject matter on. The faces are also a little disappointing, but replacing them with resin heads will lose you the ability of using what does look to be very good tank helmets.
SUMMARY
Highs: There is some very nice detail in terms of tank helmets and general uniform.
Lows: The soft facial detail and flash is a let down in what is otherwise a good product.
Verdict: If you want to crew all of those Allied tanks you have built this set is well worth your consideration, but they will require some work to make the best of them.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35070
  Suggested Retail: £8.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 09, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.89%

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Hi Darren I have this set and agree it's not as good as Miniart's other figure sets. The cloth helmet you couldn't identify is the Winter Combat Helmet
OCT 09, 2011 - 12:56 PM
Thank you for that Pat, I suspected it was a winter head covering but I could not find supporting reference, so at the risk of looking an idiot I left it out. I really wanted to be positive about this product but at the same time I was obligated to be accurate in my review, and this product I would say is a step back of about 2 years or so by MiniArt. It is still however a product that could be used for an area of the hobby that is lacking.
OCT 09, 2011 - 02:16 PM
The thing I really dislike about this set is that on the four figures wearing the winter tanker jacket the jacket stops exactly at the waist. This makes thing easier for the mould maker but in real life the jacket was often worn lower
OCT 09, 2011 - 04:25 PM
That really IS a lot of flash for a 2011 release... On the other hand, removing the mold line with or without flash really doesn't make that much of a difference. What worries me more are the fine lines left from the molding process. They make small depressions which have to be smothed out before painting. Nevertheless, it's always good to have new US tank crews, there certainly has been a need for those. Cheers! Stefan
OCT 10, 2011 - 04:39 AM
Thanks for this review. I have always cried out for tank crews to man my armor and I supposed mine and many others who want this has been heard. I would have wanted to see a small sheet of decals with armoured division pathes and ranks though.
OCT 14, 2011 - 05:20 PM
One snafu that has yet to be mentioned is that the corporal stripes, while accurately depicted in the box art, are positioned upside down per US regulations. They will need to be shaved off and replaced with the points up.
OCT 28, 2013 - 05:33 PM
Nice to see an allied addition to counter the bizillion German releases. Detail may be a bit soft but nothing a bit of undercutting won't cure! J
OCT 29, 2013 - 08:50 AM
Jerry, I couldn't agree more. It's kinda sad that a even a fairly bad set like this sold out from my LHS twice before I had a chance to pick one up. So great is the void of available allied figures that you'd think the Germans fought the war all by themselves against themselves. Ridiculous, I know there is a demand for allied stuff out there. I've seen it first hand at the local hobby stores. The last couple of places that stock plastic around here can't keep allied subjects like Shermans and crews on the shelves. In the meantime, shelves are overflowing with German subjects that just languish there. All sorts of nonsense that didn't even exist and I can't imagine why any one would build it unless they are possessed by delusions of neo nazi revision to history.
OCT 29, 2013 - 10:33 AM
Jerry, I couldn't agree more. It's kinda sad that a even a fairly bad set like this sold out from my LHS twice before I had a chance to pick one up. So great is the void of available allied figures that you'd think the Germans fought the war all by themselves against themselves. Ridiculous, I know there is a demand for allied stuff out there. I've seen it first hand at the local hobby stores. The last couple of places that stock plastic around here can't keep allied subjects like Shermans and crews on the shelves. In the meantime, shelves are overflowing with German subjects that just languish there. All sorts of nonsense that didn't even exist and I can't imagine why any one would build it unless they are possessed by delusions of neo nazi revision to history.[/quote] Well,the kit makers make the German stuff because it still sells the best,maybe not in your LHS but around the world. Look at most builds here in these forums to catch my drift. That being said,I just finished a USA GI vigntte in the figures forum and plan to do one of the Miniart figs of some GIs in the near future. Miniart have been releasing some very useful stuff! J
OCT 29, 2013 - 12:23 PM
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