Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

European Cart, Buildings & Accessories Series

Published: August 14th, 2011     
European Cart, Buildings & Accessories Series
Reviewed by: Keith Pruitt - IPMS# 44770
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

Description:

Kit includes parts to build a four-wheeled, wagon-style, horse-drawn farm cart. The box art is nicely done, but is the only painting guide for the kit. The back panel of the box includes a sprue map and exploded-view assembly instructions. No decals are included.

Inspection:

The kit includes two sets of identical sprues, with a total of 52 parts molded in light gray soft plastic, including bottom, sides, front and back panels of wagon body, suspension pieces including front and rear axles, hitching beams and turning mechanisms for front axle, as well as four spoked wheels, seat bottom and backrest, and various hardware. There is no visible flash on any of the parts, but mold separation lines are present on all of the parts. The wood sections are nicely represented, with fine grain molded into the surfaces.

Assembly:

Zorro

Published: August 2nd, 2011     
Zorro
Reviewed by: Robin Bradley - IPMS# 35554, Paul Bradley - IPMS# 35554
Scale: 1/12

Swish, swish, SWISH! The mark of Zorro! Fear naught, freedom-loving peasants, the masked swordsman is here to protect you from injustice and tyranny! Well, in 1/12 scale anyway....

The character of Zorro dates back to a novel written in 1919; films and radio programs followed, but it was in 1957 that Zorro really entered American popular culture with the premiere of Disney's TV series featuring Guy Williams in the title role. The show played out like the popular cinematic serials of the period and last for 78 episodes over three seasons. In 1963, Aurora, seeking to capitalize on the popularity of the show with kids, released a kit of the masked one on his trusty steed, Tornado. This kit hasn't been released for many years and had become quite a collectors' item, fetching a rey's ransom on the internet auction sites.

Now, Atlantis Models has re-created this model and many others from the Aurora range, and released them in packaging highly suggestive of the originals, so that those who prefer to build their kits rather than keep them in the loft "as an investment" can enjoy them for what they actually are - a model kit.

Goods Shed

Published: July 22nd, 2011     
Goods Shed
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

MiniArt has created a lengthy list of structures, vehicles, and "artifacts" that can be used to enhance dioramas or serve as the main components of a diorama. The Goods Shed features an interesting "front" with windows and a large cargo door, with an attached loading platform and stairs. The structure lends itself to placement near a railroad track but can also just as easily be placed near a street or road.

This particular kit also comes with some extra goodies in the box, not shown on the box top or kit plans. Several lengths of "pipe" are provided in case one wishes to depict fuel or water delivery. Window shutters are included, as are parts for street lamps, iron fencing, and detail parts for the structure such as door hinges, a brick chimney, and other odds and ends.

Assembly:

Industrial Building Sections - Module Design

Published: July 5th, 2011     
Industrial Building Sections - Module Design
Reviewed by: John Ratzenberger - IPMS# 40196
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

I don't do dioramas -- it's the lack of the creative and artistic genes. But having seen other reviews of these MiniArt diorama kits, I had to see one for myself.

The very first thing I did is go to the MiniArt website and go through both the Assembly Guide and the Painting Guide. The Assembly Guide is excellent even if you are familiar with vac-form kits as there are some differences from, say, an aircraft vac-form, mostly due to the corners and molding practices. And the Painting Guide pretty much shows even the least artistic of us how to get good effects with paints, primarily oils. You can do the quick tour by just reading the captions and looking at the still pictures, or you can also watch videos accompanying most all steps.

WWII Drivers

Published: June 14th, 2011     
WWII Drivers
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw - IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

A figure always adds a nice "human" touch to a finished model, and usually modelers' choices are limited to combat troops for AFVs and infantry. If you wanted a driving figure for your truck or lorry, you had to cope with the usually sub-par "sit and stare ahead" type figure in the kit. Not any longer! MiniArt has released a set of great driver figures in a variety of poses, including a traditional sitting/driving figure. Most of these are already in poses of interaction, so are perfect for dioramas or stand alone additions to a finished model.

Comprising of six full figures assembled from 48 parts, you get the following: