by: Darren Baker [ ]
I have been saying from some time that MiniArt must be working on a 1/35th scale train and one of the latest releases further increases that belief. The set of four figures in 1/35th scale titled ‘German Railroad Staff 1930’s – 40’s’ is just screaming “where is my ride?”. So let’s take a closer look at what has been supplied in this offering.
MiniArt is well known as a provider of figures and diorama elements with this offering fitting in perfectly with their range of products. This offering is provided in one of the end opening cartons usually used for their figures, I do wish MiniArt and others would switch to boxes rather than end opening containers as they tend to be more robust and also provide somewhere to keep the items built until needed. Inside there is a single bag containing five sprues in grey styrene. The instructions and painting suggestions are on the rear of the carton.
MiniArt in this release has provided a stoker, and engineer, a guard and possibly a driver. The figures have natural stances and a natural look to the clothes worn. The guard wears a smartly cut uniform as you would expect of the period. The cut of the uniform is indicative of prior to and early during the war when smartness was more important; as the war progressed material became a resource with limited supply and I was told one of the reasons kids in shorts became a common sight. The peaked cap does have insignia present, but I could not clearly identify it as presented on the box art. A disappointment for me is that the horn used by the guard/conductor is broken where the handle is concerned.
The other three figures are wearing loose fitting work jackets and trousers. One of the figures is stooped shuffling coal, the other is oiling and unspecified item and the final is carrying a torch and a bag. All of the clothing looks appropriate for the roles being carried out and definition is of an acceptable level. I was also quite pleased to see that in addition to the items shown in use with these figures there are additional parts such as a signal arm and a train lantern which are so collectable today.
The faces and hands of these figures is of a good quality; the guard/conductor does have a moustache present which is pleasing. Three of the four faces do have an older appearance so far as my old eyes can see, but as we all know it is more often our abilities that dictate the result achieved. The hands are very nice in some cases and acceptable in others, but a little work by the modeller will bring them all up to a nice standard.
This offering from MiniArt is a great release in my mind as I am sure it means a locomotive cannot be far away. The figures are a diverse group which is good to see as it allows them to be used in a large diorama setting performing their roles, or in smaller groups working together in a role.