by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has made a niche for themselves in the diorama markets by releasing products that can be used in the entirety or elements of in many styles of diorama. Recently MiniArt has released two different sets in a similar style, one of these is titled ‘Field Workshop’ and provides mechanic tools and elements used in the field to keep everything from a car to a tank running.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in the usual packaging of a cardboard tray with a separate card lid; the artwork on the lid is functional in that it shows to contents in context of their purpose. Inside there is a fold out instruction sheet and a single plastic bag containing all of the plastic for the model elements. There is a small decal sheet and a photo etch fret included with this release and the photo etched fret is protected by a card envelope in the packaging.
An examination of the mouldings cause me no concerns as regards what MiniArt has provided. So what does this offering from MiniArt provide us with? There are two fold flat tables with good grain detail provided. There are two high back chairs and two stools again with good grain detail. There is also a step ladder that would appear to be workable but I would stick with glue after deciding how you want it.
There are two 40 gallon fuel drums in this set with very good detail in all respects. MiniArt has supplied a hand pump for this put it is again the pump type and nozzle for grease application not oil and I am a little perplexed as to why they have taken this route. There are two wooden boxes of different sizes which I would have liked to see an obvious purpose for. I do like that an oxy acetylene set up is provided in the set with spare bottles and a carriage for the bottles in use with the bottles secured in place with photo etch chain. I really like that MiniArt has included the dials and like for the oxy acetylene but where is the torch?
There are some items in this set that that are better placed than they are in the alternate offering from MiniArt these are a hand wood saw and a two man wood saw that are an excellent mix of photo etch and plastic and are just right for a field setting. There is also an anvil in this offering which is another great offering for a field workshop as it need to be remembered that there were a lot of horses being used by the German army. There is a carpenter’s wood plain and a flame paint stripping gun in this set which being a field set are nice touches; while I cannot see the field mechanic needing to strip wood I can see the paint stripper being used to heat nuts that will not come loose.
There are two cantilever tool boxes supplied with the addition of photo etched parts that really add a nice touch to the items. One of the boxes is open and the other closed with MiniArt providing a nice selection of hand tools in a mix of photo etch and plastic. There are photo etched spanners in three styles and a nice mix of hammers and pliers, these will add a nice feature if placed selectively around a vehicles oily areas. The last items I am going to mention are the foot pump, hand pump and jack which are another great addition to the set for rounding it off.
I like this set the best of the two MiniArt offerings I have looked at in that the set seems to make the most sense of the two as regards contents. I know that MiniArt is very clever with their mouldings that make them useful in multiple sets and that is the case here, but in this set all of the contents make great additions that can realistically be used in the same setting without making me raise an eyebrow. The mix of photo etch parts and plastic has been well thought through as it provides the modeller with realism in the scale parts that will attract and draw the eye.