MiniArt has released a nice set that would look great in your WWII dioramas in their Buildings and Accessories Series. MiniArt provides twelve trees representing the crates composed of eleven parts per tree. The crates appear to be molded in light brown soft styrene as the parts are somewhat flexible and are easily cut. The twelve trees for the two different styles of wine bottles contain sixteen wine bottles out of a transparent green and transparent brown styrene. The transparent plastic seems to be a bit harder than the styrene for the crates. The waterslide decals provided offer markings for French and German wine companies for both the crates and the bottles. Packaging is quite nice with the finished product depicted on the top of the box and the contents / instructions / paint guide on the back of the box. The total parts count is 324 parts. I would recommend that you wash all the parts while they are still on the sprues to remove any remaining mold release.
There are two parts to the construction. First is the assembly of the wooden crates. I used sprue cutters to separate the parts and then cleaned up the sprue attachment points with a #11 scalpel blade. Keep in mind the plastic is rather soft, so don’t cut too hard. Assembly was completed with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement with no issues. I painted the assembly with Vallejo Model Color Iraqi Sand and then dry brushed Vallejo Model Color Off white till satisfied. I used Future to prepare the surface for the decal and then used the German crate labeling. I used Solvaset to set the decal and had no issues. Once dry, I brushed Vallejo Matte Medium over the entire crate. Crate preparation outside of painting and decaling was about five minutes.
The second part involves the wine bottles. There is a very slight mold line on each bottle that can be removed with a few swipes of a sanding stick. I painted the wine bottle foil tops on the sprue with Vallejo Model Color Aluminum or Old Gold with a brush. The wine bottle decals are a bit stiff going on the body of the bottles, but eventually settled down with an application of Solvaset. Once decaled and then dipped in Future the wine bottles look great.
The wine crates went together quite well as described in the instructions. I am quite pleased with the overall look of the wine crates and wine bottles and feel that they are well worth the cost and effort. If you want to add something extra to your diorama, you will want this set. I plan on using it in a Tamiya 1/35 Jeep that I am working on. Highly Recommended
My thanks to MiniArt and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great kit.