by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has continued to release products that make dressing up your vehicles or dioramas with items from a manufacturer easy rather than being forced down the scratch building route. This item is titled 'British Rucksacks, Bags and Folded Canvas WW2'.
This 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 contents in the set; on the rear are suggestions for the use of the product on a Sherman or Grant tank.
There are six grey sprues that make up this set and these consist of three duplicated offerings. An examination of the moulding does not reveal any issues that I can see as regards the physical parts; however the canvas roles have very large sprue gates that will require careful clean up in order to look good.
The canvas roles beyond having overly large sprue gates have nice crease detail, but the straps are good in some places and all but invisible in the others. There are also two bags on this sprue that I believe represent gas mask bags that have a reasonable level of detail. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this set is made up of items from different products and ages, and if so this product does a good job of showing the improvements that MiniArt has made between when this was released compared to other elements.
The next sprue I looked at offers 5 rucksacks in 3 different styles. The style here looks good with a high level of accuracy and has the possibility of adding some interesting and eye catching items on a model. I will again say that the sprue gates are again on the large side that will again require careful clean up to avoid damaging the parts due to their large size. Also on this sprue there are 4 more canvas rolls that I again feel will add visual interest when added to a model or diorama.
The last sprue offered here provides three different sacks in 2 halves. the sprue gates here are so much smaller I again feel that these sprues are from products released by MiniArt over a period of time, not a bad thing just an observation. 2 of the sacks offered here are not easily identified as anything in particular, perhaps flour in one case. The third offering is a sack of potatoes and has a very pleasing look to it; It does need to be considered I feel that this would be hessian rather than canvas.
I do not know what the price of this item is, but it does make for a nice mixed bag of offerings for cluttering up a vehicle or diorama. The details on the whole are good with the exception of the size of the sprue gates on two of the sprues. I am actually thinking that the bags suitably modified will make for a nice vignette showing a soldier resting in the field.