by: Andras [ ]
I watched all nine hours the ďmaking ofĒ features of the Lord of The Ring movies a couple of years back (over a period of time and having it run in the background I hastily add). Iíve learned an awful lot about what directing a movie means (interesting, but irrelevant to our present topic), but more importantly, Iíve learned how to build a set. I was amazed by the amount of effort and detail they used in their sets -both life-sized and miniature. The interesting part of this was that most of these details went unnoticed by the audience, yet played vital parts in making the scenes authentic. All the personalized armor and equipment, all the careful carvings helped to make the world look real, and not just a prop for a movie. They put in small shops, designed trade signs for streets that featured only for a brief period of time, for example. You watched Gandalf galloping through the street for two second, and you probably did not even notice these details - but your mind did pick up on these. These details were the key how they achieved the incredible realism in the movies.
Well, thereís a point to this introduction I promise. Coming back to the subject of this review, I found that it was very important to ďpopulateĒ scenes to make them look real, but thatís not always easy. While you can get dozens of different types of hand-grenades from aftermarket companies, itís really difficult to get everyday items like plates or coffeemakers. MiniArt seems to be filling this gap in the market with several low-budget sets lately. In this particular set we get a bunch of crockery and glasses of all shapes and forms.
The set comes in an envelope-type box which opens up on both end. The cover art features the items provided in an attractive and simple way; the back shows the sprue layout, the assembly guide for the teapots and coffeepots, and finally a guide to the decals and what color the different items should be.
The glasses and crockery are provided in several small sprues tied together with a rubber band, and sealed in a plastic bag. There are several different types of items we get: small coffee cups, plates, trays, different glass bottles of varying size and shape, vases, wine glasses, water glasses, jugs and tankards.
The transparent parts come in different colors (clear, green and brown). The one thing that stands out the minute you examine these parts is that there are no seamlines where the moulding forms met. (Not sure how they managed to mould these parts.) The plastic is the same as the plastic from the cognac bottle set Iíve reviewed: clear but fragile. There are some bubbles in these parts, though, so moulding is definitely not perfect.
The non-transparent items are moulded in white plastic. The plastic is nice to the touch, soft enough, and there is very little flash. The thin parts (handles) are very delicate; it will be difficult to remove them from the sprues, so care will need to be taken.
Where can these items be used? Why, almost anywhere! Ruined cityscapes have all sorts of detritus lying around from happier times, not just bricks and broken metal beams. Soldiers usually rest, too, and not just charge forward looking heroically; and in these rest-breaks they tend to have non-military items lying around them. They can be used in and around small farm houses that are featured in many dioramas or in an entirely peaceful, somewhat urban setting (for example people sitting in a cafe house watching tanks rolling through their town in France). Since these items have been very widely used, and from a very wide time-frame, the set can be used from the turn of the 20th century to present time, from an European setting to the Far East and beyond.
These items were sent to Andras Donaszi for review by MiniArt