The folks over at MiniArt are on a mission to reproduce at least one building from every village, town, and city from Europe during the war. Well, at least it seems that way at times. Our good friends have marked another off their bucket list with the release of the Italian village diorama, kit # 36008.
This particular kit is one of the expanding line of from the diorama series which provides not just the building and the accompanying hardware but also includes a base for the building(s) to mount on to, about as close to an actual diorama in box that you can get to in 1/35 scale. All you need to do after assembly and finishing is add the vehicles and troops of your choosing and, viola! Instant diorama, how cool is that?
The kit comes with four large vacuformed pieces, three that are used in the construction of the buildings and walls while the fourth is the diorama base itself.
The three building sheets will all need to be cut out using the scribe and snap method. The diorama base needs no constructions whatsoever, it only needs cleanup of the edges if you so choose.
All the buildings are molded using the now standard MiniArt technology for vacuformed pieces, namely the pieces all have small nodes on the surface of the detail that will need to be sanded off. My experience with MiniArt kits in the past have taught me that this is an easy process and can usually be accomplished with just a few passes of a coarse sanding stick. I have included a couple of close-up shots in the photos to the right that show these ‘nodes’ in a bit more detail.
The brick and stone detail on the buildings is a real highlight of the kit; they are very well done and look like they could have been around since the height of the Roman Empire. The brick work of the walls and the house are different, a nice detail that is often overlooked. What you end up with is the front façade of a small home with an attached building that looks like it might lead to a wine cellar! Also, included are a couple of wall pieces that connect to the house giving a bit of the feel of a villa or something along those lines.
The kit also contains two large sprues that provide all the hardware and some that you will need to reproduce the box art. The sprues contain doors, window casements, shutters, hinges, lamps, lampposts, gutters, rails, and iron filigree, in short, lots of goodies to customize your building and fill your spares bin. These parts are molded a bit on the thick side and do have some heavy flash in places as well as a few well aimed knockout pin marks.
The instruction sheet should be studied carefully before you begin construction; true confession time, I have, on more than one occasion, cut off part of a wall that I actually needed or left more than I should, and all because I studied the instructions carefully only after construction. But I know that none of you have ever done anything like that, right? For the best advice on construction you cannot do better than MiniArt’s own tutorials and videos on their website
. To access these helpful tools just click on the "Assembly Guide" on the left side of the screen.
Another fine vacuformed kit in MiniArt’s growing stable of buildings and dioramas. If you have a bit of experience or ten minutes to check out the tutorial you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. With the goodly amount of hardware you have plenty of options to give your diorama a few unique touches. I couldn’t be happier with what they are doing and look forward to putting this one together and parking an overloaded M2 halftrack in front.