Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

Railroad Water Crane

Published: March 12th, 2017     
Railroad Water Crane
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

The water crane is the type used at German railyards during World War II and will be an excellent addition to railroad dioramas. This is another great kit from MiniArt with fine detail and excellent fit of the parts.

The kit comes in a 4.75 x 15.25 x 1.75 end opening box. It includes three gray plastic sprues and two clear plastic sprues with 50 parts. There is also a length of thread included for the water crane pulley rope. The model will measure 175 mm (6 7/8”) tall. My package did not include sprue Af which is the light bulbs for the two lanterns. I sent an email off to MiniArt and got a quick reply that a replacement was on its way. Great customer service by MiniArt!

Paint colors are called in AMMO MIG, Vallejo, Testor, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr. Color, and Lifecolor numbers, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a match.

Assembly begins with the first 5 steps that build the main pipe elements for the water crane. The pipe sections are halves that fit together nicely but will still need some sanding and clean up for a smooth surface.

Tales from the Apocalypse - The Cook

Published: March 3rd, 2017     
Tales from the Apocalypse - The Cook
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/16
Company: Gecco

The Cook is the lead-off figure in Gecco’s second series and follows the three figures in series one in their Tales From the Apocalypse that I believe are sculpted by Shojiro Kasai. This second series creates Scene 2: Day 1, 1:27 pm at the Diner, and goes with two other figures: a waitress named Cindy who is the sister of the heroine in the first series, and a nameless biker. This figure, the Cook, was attempting to rescue his daughter from a horde of zombies only to find out Cindy had already been infected. In his shock and horror, Cindy ripped into his neck infecting her father. At full zombified rage, the Cook, now wields his heavy frying pan against all comers.

The figure packaging is extremely well done. The outer over is portrayed as a heavily used VHS rental movie along with movie rental stickers and notes that you would have found on a VHS rental. The edges of the box are even depicted as heavily worn. The look is quite effective. I took it to show off at my local IPMS meeting and it fooled nearly everyone: “Why would you bring some worn out VHS movie to a model discussion”? The folded instructions help tell the story in a newspaper-like format.

Railway Semaphore

Published: February 20th, 2017     
Railway Semaphore
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

MiniArt’s Railway Semaphore is a nicely detailed kit with great fit of the parts, and will be a great addition to railroad dioramas. This kit is a model of a railway semaphore of the type used by Germany in WWII, and is part of MiniArt’s Building and Accessories Series.

The German Imperial Railway, (Deutsche Reichsbahn), used a signaling system, the H/V system semaphores, which signaled trains whether to proceed or not. The semaphores arms were painted white and red with a circle on their track side. One arm projected horizontally meant stop, and projected upwards at 45 degrees meant proceed. The semaphore in this kit is a two-aspect type with two moveable signal arms. The lights were gas operated.

Included in the review slideshow is a photo of an abandoned semaphore signal on the former Franzburger Suedbahn close to Velgast railway station (Meckl-West. Pommerania, Germany). Photo from Wikipedia by Global Fish.

Household Crockery & Glass Set

Published: February 19th, 2017     
Household Crockery & Glass Set
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt Limited

MiniArt has been moving full steam ahead on providing diorama modelers with the kind of details that simply weren’t available some years ago without resorting to expensive resin short runs. This set of household crockery and glass is an excellent example.

What you get in the box is a tiny clump of REALLY small sprues, which sort of niggled me at first until I actually started working on it. These tiny sprues offer a LOT of final product.

Prepping these items was much easier than their small size would lead you to believe. First off, there’s very little painting required. Even the opaque items are cast in a while plastic that looks remarkably like ceramic.

The first step for me was to clean up the almost nonexistent mold marks by gently scraping them while they were still attached to the sprues. For the clear parts as well as the tinted clear items, I then sprayed them with some Testors Water Clear to hide the scrapes. Almost all parts are designed with only one sprue attachment point on their bottoms so that final removal is relatively simple.

Office Furniture & Accessories

Published: February 19th, 2017     
Office Furniture & Accessories
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

MiniArt seems to have its collective ear to the ground in terms of what they’re bringing to the modeling world, and this kit is no exception. Having dealt with dioramas with interiors, I know the frustration of rooms with little to no furniture. This lovely set is most welcome for that alone.

So what do you get for your money? The box comes with a number of opaque and clear sprues, all with some of the most delicate castings you’re ever likely to see (the phone cradle alone is most impressive), all of which make up into: