MiniArt - U.S. Tank Crew
Ukraine-based MiniArt is well known for their extensive and ever expanding lines of modeling products, including the Military Miniatures Series, which includes a mind bogglingly wide array of military vehicles, structures, bases, diorama accessories, weapons sets, wheels sets, track sets, and a huge variety of figure sets.
What’s in the Box?
The set is packaged with all sprues contained in a cello bag. No damage was noted to any of the parts, no parts were detached from the sprues. As seen above, three of the sprues ( A, B and C ) were ganged together.
The parts are molded of a slightly soft, gray styrene, with some flash noted here and there.
Details on the parts are nicely rendered. Folds and draping of the uniforms is crisp and well done. Sometimes styrene figures suffer just a bit in the heads and hands, in the case of this set, that’s a non-issue as the figures are all wearing gloves and several have their faces obscured by dust masks or bandannas.
Above - Sprue “E”
Above - Sprue “D”
As with other MiniArt figure sets that I’ve examined, the very basic instructions and painting directions are provided on the back of the kit box. There’s really no need for elaborate instructions for this fairly simple set.
There are no clear parts, photoetched parts, wire, or any parts of any media other than styrene in this kit.
Building the Figures
Construction of this set was quite simple and straightforward. The usual legs, torso, arms and then head / headgear assembly sequence was followed. There’s very little additional equipment loaded onto these gents; one guy has a holstered M9 Beretta sidearm, and they all have a small chest mounted comm box plus a boom microphone to be added.
Parts generally fit well, without much in the way of gaps needing to be filled. The exception to this was in the case of a couple of the heads that didn’t mate up to the landing spot on the torso well at all.
The intercom boxes which attach to the crew uniform chests will need some very fine wire or thread of some sort to be attached as leads up to the headphones, as well as the end to be plugged into jacks in the vehicle. The styrene boom microphones that attach to the headphones are a bit crude, and you may want to replace them with some scratch built replacements.
Above - three of the figures have their features obscured by bandannas. This one doesn’t, and is pretty nicely rendered.
Above - the seams do need a bit of work
Fit of the parts overall was pretty good, with just a couple of problem areas, as mentioned above. The above image shows the head mounted to its torso, looks decent, right?
Above- not so great from the rear...quite a large gap, there was no way to fit that head onto the torso with out carving quite a bit from the torso, or resorting to some significant gap filling. In the end, I did a bit of both to mount this gents head.
Overall, construction of this set of figures is a straightforward, painless process. There are a few gaps to be filled here and there, but nothing too extreme ( other than the previously mentioned couple of head to torso problems ).
Family photo, the figures primed with Tamiya gray primer from a rattle can.
Above, the crew from left to right;
The casual commander, doing the lean.
A gent who’s either destined to be placed in a turret hatch or is describing the size of the one that got away
The Fonz...giving a happy thumbs up!
A crewman who’s seated with one ham on something, but from straight on, he could be dancing a jig..
And lastly, the smoker who’s looking for smokes tucked away someplace on his uni. Okay, maybe he’s fiddling with his intercom unit..
Above - back views of the crew
Figure A - front view
Figure A - rear view
Figure B - front view
Figure B - rear view
Above - this shows how Figure B is molded to allow a seated position along the lead edge of a flat surface.
Figure C - front view
Figure C - rear view
Figure D - front view
Figure D - rear view
Figure E - front view
Figure E - rear view
Above - one of the crew painted ( to the best of my mediocre ability ). A competent figure painter will be able to bring this crew to life.
I’ll say this up front, I like MiniArt products as a general rule. The company produces a wide variety of interesting, useful products at a realistic price, and their products are usually of a very good standard.
I have mixed feelings on this set due to some of the fit issues I encountered, as well as the amount of clean up needed due to the flash on many of the parts. A patient modeler will get solid results in building this set of figures, but expect a bit more parts clean-up time than usual. To be fair, I must mention that I’ve read several conflicting reports concerning this set of figures on line, with some folks reporting similar issues to what I’ve found, while others state that the set that they examined had no issues at all. That said, the set I examined had minor issues, as mentioned. These issues can be overcome with application of basic modeling skills and a bit of your time.
The poses of this set is interesting, with a couple of the crew clearly intended to be in the hatch of your Abrams, while the others are clearly casual poses. A modern era US armor builder will find this figure set of use.
Thanks to MiniArt for the review sample
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
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