Built Review
Soviet Artillery Crew
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

There are a number of new companies making real waves in the injection-moulded figure market with all of them following different but very interesting directions. In the case of MiniArt Limited they are producing a range of figures of which gun-crews, drivers and AFV Crews, are their principal products. With this new set, they have become a little more confident by producing a highly animated kit of five artillery crew figures.

The basics
35031 - Soviet Artillery Crew is a styrene set of five (late-war) figures. Consisting of some 60 parts on two sprues. The set is moulded in a good-quality. light-grey plastic. Briefly, the set contains three kneeling and two upright figures - the three kneeling figures consist of the section commander and the other two loaders/gunners. The other figures are bringing forward ammunition.The set comes in an end-opening box with the reverse giving brief construction notes and a painting guide. The color scheme is keyed into Model Master, Tamiya, Humbrol and Revell paints.

In Detail
Once again, as is customary with this kind of review, i'll be looking at specific areas of the figures. This will finish with comments over the construction. It's worth noting at this point, that I constructed the set pretty quickly and NO filler was used. They were 'tacked' together rather than being built with real care, so, my apologies in advance!

The Heads: The heads aren't bad at all. There is a bit of variation between them and they are generally quite good. All are wearing the standard Soviet helmet,

Hands: Some are better moulded than others - again, the open hands are better than the clenched ones (something I have NEVER been able to figure out!) there are some of the hands which would benefit from being replaced. Adequate rather than brilliant..

Legs/feet::: In a word, excellent although there is some cleaning up necessary in seam-lines. Definition is nice and crisp with good creasing on the legs and boots.

Torsos: These are single-piece mouldings. Detail is good although, once again, there is some need for cleaning-up.

Equipment: Very well done with good detail. As one would expect, there isn't a great deal, but what there is is very well-done.

Weaponry: Included in the set are two PPSHs and two rifles. Excellently done. In the case of the rifles, they do require the (careful) removal of some flash, but still look very good.

The Poses:: Very convincing indeed although care (more than I used, for example!) needs to be used when attaching the arms along with the leg-halves.

Construction Notes: No problems were encountered during assembly. Some care is required in matching up the leg halves. With the plastic used, both Revell Contacta and Tamiya Extra-thin were used without problems. Getting exactly the correct position for the arms involves a fair degree of attention also.

A highly versatile set although not without a few (minor) problems. This is, once again, s good indication of just how far companies such as MiniArt are improving technically. The attempt to create a set with 'movement' should also be highly-praised. This is the fourth set from an Eastern-European manufacturer which I have reviewed recently, where they have given a LOT of consideration to animation. It also has to been seen as a set where to provide a complete crew, it would be better to buy a couple of these sets to give more variation. As I mentioned earlier, combining several of these sets would create some interesting variations. In conclusion though, MiniArt with their imaginative approach with sets such as this, are really setting themselves up as very serious 'players' in a VERY competitive and constantly evolving market.
Highs: Firstly the animation - truly imaginative. Secondly the subject area which bodes well for more releases of Soviet artillery pieces in 1/35th scale.
Lows: Fit of parts, some very annoying mould-seams and some soft detail - particularly with heads and hands.
Verdict: An incredibly useful set although there are elements that MiniArt will have to improve.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35031
  PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2007

Our Thanks to MiniArt!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


Hi Jim. Thanks for ther review. I like this format, as it includes all the general items that anybody considering buying will want to know about. But even more, taking the time to build the set quickly, the way the parts are is even more appreciated ... words can never describe what can be seen in a glance. To be honest, I dont see seems and small fit problems, as an issue, as all these problems are present in figures from any other manufacturer. The poses and details are enough to get me interested. One question .... on the box backside ...there appears to be some decals or an image of how the arm patches should look. Which is it .. is it decals or just images of what to paint? Please say decals :-)
MAR 10, 2007 - 10:01 PM
Frank, simply an illustration - no decals are included - Sorry!
MAR 11, 2007 - 03:24 PM
Thank you for a good review. Good to hear that this figure set is of good quality. A set like this has definently been missing for some years. The only real injection plastic solution as Russian gun crew being the old Italeri figures. Thanks for you time and effort with the review.
MAR 11, 2007 - 06:13 PM
Jim- Thank you for the review. It looks to me like the box art is a good painting guide. Cheers- Rob- MiG-17
MAR 12, 2007 - 12:55 PM
Thanks Jim. They look like a decent set of figures. Im looking forward to the US Jeep crew that is forecast on their website. Hopefully they wont be wearing gaiters! Des
MAR 12, 2007 - 06:03 PM
Veeeeery late response, sorry. Just wanted to add that this set is more appropriate for smaller caliber guns. Kneeling gunner and figure hauling crate on his back don't fit well with anything larger than 76mm. In former case the gun laying mechanism comes too high as it requires standing or crouching figure at best and in latter case crate is too heavy to be hauled that way. Decent set, just be aware of this limitation.
MAR 17, 2018 - 10:41 PM

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