Close Combat. U.S. Tank Crew
MiniArt has provided us with a number of unique tank crew sets. Recently, they have produced tank crew sets for Soviet, British, United States, Italian, French, Japanese armies. The close combat set provides us with five US tanker figures in dramatic combat action poses.
What’s in the box?
This kit includes 62 parts in light grey on two sprues along with a small sheet which has the pictures of the sprue layout.
For the most part the parts are cleanly modeled with no deformities or short shots. There is a fair amount of flash on the pistol holsters, M3 grease guns and their frame stocks. There are the typical mold seams on the bodies, arms and legs of each figure, which are easy to clean up. Although there is no instructions provided for assembling these figures the pictures on the back of the box provide a parts and painting guide for each figure. The figures fit together fairly well, but required some filler around the arm and torso to leg joints.
Each figure includes a torso, and a pair of arms and legs. The five heads are sculpted very well with five very interesting action poses. Four of the figures are wearing HBT coveralls and two are wearing tanker’s jackets. The officer figure is wearing wool pants with a tanker’s jacket. Four of the figures are wearing tanker’s helmets and one is wearing a steel pot. Three of the figures are armed with M3 grease guns and one is holding a .45 cal pistol. The final figure is posed working a .50 cal M2 machine gun (not included in the kit). The pose of this figure is inspired by a photo in Steve Zaloga’s Armored Attack 1944 (page 198).
The figures (each corresponds to a letter on the assembly/painting guide)
I had two issues in assembling this figure set. The first is the fit of the tankers helmets to the heads. Each helmet is molded in four pieces, the top, two ear pieces and rear piece. The ear and rear pieces are very thick and needed to be thinned quite a bit in order to get a good fit. The second issue is with the M3 grease guns and their frame stocks. These weapons are very delicate and somewhat difficult to remove from the sprue attachment points. The molding on the frame stocks is poor and they were very difficult to remove from their sprue attachment points. I broke each frameg stock in the process. I made new stocks with brass wire and glued them to each M3. By doing this I was also able to adjust the stock lengths to better fit each figure.
This is an interesting figure set with some really great action poses. In general, the figures are well molded which makes assembly fairly easy. The sculpting of the faces is very good and complements the poses of each figure. The tanker’s helmets require some work to get a good fit. There are also a few problems with the M3 grease guns, but these are fairly easy to address.
Many thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for providing this review sample.
Reviewed by Mike Petty, AMPS Central Virginia