Miniart Telegraph Pole Set
Over the past few years, the name Miniart has become synonymous with highy detailed vacuformed buildings for diorama and vingnette builders as well as separate accessory sets to compliment them. This new offering from Miniart is designed to compliment any of their many European structures and can also be used in a variety of other diorama settings.
Telegraph poles of various shapes and sizes and a few hanging street lights are included in this set and are sure to find a good home in some diorama or vignette.
The above pic is the back of the box where Miniart printed instructions for this set. Simple and concise, though no painting instructions or guide is provided. However, being is that these are telegraph poles, this is a pretty easy one to figure out. Think wood colorsand you should be good to go. The insulators, which is what the telegraph lines are attached to, can be painted white, then weathered to give that 'worn' look.
Miniart has provided enough pole pieces in this set to build a variety of telegraph pole configurations. As usual with Miniart, the instructions are clear enough for anyone to follow along; just select your telegraph pole configuration, select the correct pieces and follow the instructions.
Sprues containing the telegraph poles. This set includes 4 identical sprues for constructing all of the illustrated configurations shown in the instruction pics above.
Unfortunately there was a bit more flash than what I'm used to seeing on current kits, but cleaning up stuff like this is part of the modeling "cross" we must bear and in the same category as attaching microscopic PE foilage loops to the side of a Sherman turret. Cleaning up the mold seams is rather straight forward, however, the modeler needs to be careful as the molded in details on the telegraph poles is very good and you don't want to scrape that off in the cleanup process.
One of numerous support bars for the insulators (cone shaped item). This is a rather unfortunate, but necessary location for a pour plug as the curved bars supporting the insulator are extremely fragile and there's a good chance the modeler will break this bar off. I've broken several while constructing these poles, though repair is rather easy. The hard part is getting them to look straight after they are re-attached.
The above sprues are for the street lights and insulators mounted on a steel "F" shaped frame usually found mounted to the side of a building. The Miniart set includes 4 of the sprues shown above, so you will have plenty of street lights for that next diorama.
The street lights in this kit are very nice and delicate for 1/35 scale, however, due to the finesse of these parts, several broke when trying to remove them from the sprue. The good thing was it was a clean break, so nothing was noticable after repairing them.
Here the both halves are mated together as per Miniart's instructions. Pretty big gap there, which for Minart is somewhat of a surprise as I've built some of their kits (BA-64 and SU-76) and no gap problems like this.
Side view of the 'offending' gap; but not to worry. A little old- fashioned modeling skills and the gaps are not noticeable. This is a good reason to get into the habit of 'dry fitting' kit parts together before gluing together.
Here the telegraph poles are joined, though the gap was significant enough that I had to add some liquid putty several times to fill the gap. If you look hard enough, you can see a faint vertical line where the pole halves come together.
There were some fit issues, meaning large gaps (about 1.2 mm) where both pole halves meet, but with a little liquid putty or a wedge of sheet styrene, you are back in business. Basic modeling skills come in handy when attempting to 'hide' where the poles come together.
Above is one pole that was painted with oils, then given a coat of MIG Productions Black Wash and AK Interactive Dark Brown Wash, finished with AK Interactive Dust pigment. The pole was also give a light drybrush with a light brown from Model Masters Enamels range. The dark wash and drybrushing really bring out the telegraph pole's detail.
This pole was painted with Model Master Russian Earth Brown Enamel paint and drybrushed with the same light brown from Model Master Enamel range. It did not receive a dark wash or pigment in this pic.
Here's one of the completed telegraph pole configurations that can be made with the Miniart Telegraph Pole set. Once the insulators are painted white, a little dark wash, especially where the indented line is, really brings out a good look.
A more complete pic of the telegraph pole showing detail throughout. You will see one of the insulators on the right uppermost bar is a little crooked, to say the least. Evidence of how fragile they can be and my lack of good eyesight to get it lined up better.
Here is another and probably the more popular telegraph pole configuration. It received a light wash of MIG Productions Black Wash a light dusting of AK Interactive Light Dust.
Again, very nice, noticeable and subtle detail throughout this set. Light weathering with any one of a variety of washes and a small amount of drybrushing will bring out all this detail just waiting to be seen.
Here they are in all their glory and now just waiting for a home.
Here we've got the completed street light that can be attached to any suitable structure. Rather than a flat black, I painted the iron frame with a very dark green-grey from Vallejo Model Color range. The green light housing was also from the Vallejo Model Color range.
And here's an idea of what it can look like in a diorama or vignette setting. A little wash and dry brushing and you've got a nice detail to dress up that destroyed building.
This is my years old street corner ruin by R&J Enterprises, which is a very good resin kit. The little grey to the right of the light frame attached to the wall is some 'Silly Putty' used to hold this in place for the pic.
Clearly this set is great value for the money. There is plenty of detail throughout, particularly on the poles themselves. Nicely replicated knots in the wood and the lines in the poles are not overly done.
The flash on a variety of the parts throughout and the placement of some of the pour plugs (on the insulators) was a bit disappointing, but those issues can come with any kit. The lights are a bit fragile as well, so the modeler should take their time when removing them from the sprue. The fit of the pole halves could have been better, but the detail on the poles was so nice that I thought is was a fair trade off.
For the diorama and vignette builders among us, this set has those extra things to really finish off a building or street scene.
This set is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but be prepared for a little cleanup!
My thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review sample.
AMPS - Central Maryland Chapter