by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has released a new four figure set described as being for the flame and heavy tanks of breakthrough, I am not aware of a specific uniform for the tankers manning the heavy and flame tanks of the Soviet Union during World War 2 so I am open to input on that aspect. No mention is made of the season that this uniform is supposed to represent, but I would say this is a baggy uniform and so I would not want to be buttoned up in a tank in the heat of summer. So letís look a little closer at this offering from MiniArt.
This figure set offering is supplied in the usual end opening card carton favoured by MiniArt, and depending on how it is handled it will do a reasonable job of keeping everything together. The front of the carton has an artistic representation of the figures in the set, on the rear is the same artwork used as a painting and assembly guide. Inside there is a single sealed plastic bag with the sprue for the figures.
Taking a close look at the mouldings reveals a mix of good and bad for a newly released product. On the negative list there is flash in places and this has increased the amount of work that will be needed to also clean up the seam lines present on the mouldings. On the plus side each of the figures is in its own section of the sprue and so the parts required are easily found. MiniArt has kept the number of sprue gates small by using nipples for the extra plastic to flow into and so insuring that short shots are avoided. The sprue gates are also small in size which is a plus but the amount of sprue around them makes life a little more difficult.
Three of the figures are posed for standing in the turret of a tank and one outside of a tank leaning on an unspecified element. The poses look natural enough for the purpose they are designed for and does I believe provide a nice selection of figures for use with World War 2 Soviet Armour. The faces are very nice for injection moulded plastic, but I would have liked to see some expressions present rather than very neutral in appearance. The hands are quite good on the whole even the one figure depicted wearing gloves, but as with most injection moulded figures the hands will benefit from a little work on them to define the definition better.
Three of the figures are wearing the usual tan coveralls with leather jackets over the top. The coverall are really nicely done with one of the figures having the legs of what looks like a winter pixie suit as worn by British and Commonwealth tank crews of the period. Two of these three are wearing short leather jackets and the other a longer version leather jacket. The remaining figure is wearing a long leather jacket and trousers and if I am honest I prefer the look of leather jacket and coveralls, but with that said it is a well done figure. Crease detail has been very well replicated and this detail will help the figure painters to get a visually pleasing finish. As with another set of MiniArt figures I looked at recently it is the helmets that are the stars of the show. The helmets have been made of three elements that has enabled MiniArt to provide a great level of detail and very thin mouldings for the side flaps and It is this that gives them an edge. The goggles where relevant are also separate and so up to the modeller if they add them or not.
This is a very nice set of figures for the fans of World War 2 Soviet armour from MiniArt. I do wish these figures had been presented in poses for outside of the vehicles as the leg detail of some look particularly good. The faces and hands are good for 1/35th scale injection moulded plastic figures that while I cannot say how accurate the box description is they are a great set of lat war Soviet tankers that can be used well after the war as well.