MiniArt has released a bunch of figure sets this month for armoured fighting vehicles and we have the first of a few to review and show you more in depth what they are made of. Read on to see this set of a 1/35 US Tank Crew and whether you would want them in your Sherman diorama or not.
MiniArt 35126 1/35th “U.S. Tank Crew”
Kit Number: 35126
Material: Injection moulded
Contents: 2 light grey sprues / 5 figures
Available from: MiniArt’s Distributors near you
Coming in a box with a white front and all of the five crew illustrated nicely on the front, this set of a United States tank crew comes on two small sprues of light grey plastic. These sprues are divided neatly up into sections with each crew member to a section of the sprue to make the construction easier.
While there are no sprue numbers there is an excellent guide on the rear of the box art with a detailed part construction diagram and this includes as well a painting guide to help you colour your tankers. MiniArt supplies a black and white sheet with the sprue numbers on it for your convenience.
The colours are listed on the bottom rear of the box with Vallejo,testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr. Color, and Life Color (phew) shades as well – so you would have to pretty much have some odd sources of paint for them not to have you covered! This is the most extensive colour call out I have seen in recent times – thanks MiniArt!
The plastic itself is pretty well moulded. You have the seams that more than often come with injection moulded figure kits; it is pretty thin though so it is easy to remove. It is however on nearly every part. You will have to trim them all but this wouldn’t take too much work. There are no faults, short shots or other injection imperfections in these figures.
The most important parts of these figures for mine are the faces. Even though they have a seam either side of them the faces are all different to each other and look well sculpted. There is some real skill in the creation of each of these and the expressions and features like lips and brows all look different – with some skilful painting these can turn out great.
We will go through each figure individually - starting with the figure “A” through “E” on the back box art.
Figure A is the soldier leaning forward with his arms crossed. He wears an overall Tanker coverall with a warm weather “winter Combat Jacket” as it was officially called from it’s original use after 1942. The jacket has a strip of a corporal on the sleeve rendered in plastic.
The soldier has boots and US Army M38 Leggings on as well as a colt pistol holder with the “U.S” clearly readable on it. On his head the tanker wears a Tank Helmet M-1938 with goggles for each soldier.
An interesting thing about these helmets a that they were actually issued with the tank rather than to each soldier, and they were made by four companies; Rawlings Manufacturing Corporation, Sears Saddlery Company, Wilson Athletic Goods Manufacturing Company, and A.G. Spaulding & Brothers. Though essentially built to the same specifications, there were slight variations across the four manufacturers in terms of small details.
Tanker B is seen on the back here with his left leg raised and leaning forward down on his right arm while his left arm is raised to his face. In his hand is a radio microphone which is issued in the plastic as well.
The figure wears the same as the first soldier. The tanker’s coverall, plus a Winter Combat Jacket with some boots and leggings with an M1938 tankers helmet are all seen here again. There are four pairs of the “US Resistol “goggles issued in this kit – so someone in the tank has to miss out, and this soldier is on the boxart is without his – although the choice is yours.
This soldier has a place for a sergeant’s stripes on his arm as well as – like all of these tankers – the patch for the 5th armoured on his other shoulder - that is great – but we don't have either a decal or transfer for these emblems, it would have been a great addition and a shame it isn’t with the kit.
Tanker C is sitting down with his hands behind his torso supporting his body, leaning slightly backwards.
The tanker is wearing simply his tanker’s coverall, boots and a helmet with goggles. He hasn’t a pistol on in the box-art but there are four pistols included in the kit. Two of the colt style and two of the open holstered .38 pistols which are worn on the chest for quick access and close combat are included – so one tanker again misses out, but again it is your choice and none need wear them at all if you don't want.
The soldier wears some nicely weighted US tanker coveralls with a webbing belt, boots and tall leggings with a helmet and the goggles on the front of course.
Tanker E is sitting down with his right elbow resting higher while he supports himself with his left hand.
His coveralls are bloused open in the front and look quite effective while the P.38 pistol holster gives the figure more depth on the torso as well.
He is wearing some simple boots with no leggings and a tanker’s helmet and goggles.
A great little set of tankers that have neutral poses and good looking faces. We only need some stencils of unit patches or alternatively some better painting skills to make them!!
Well done on a solid set MiniArt.
Thanks to MiniArt for sending this set to review.
These pics below from the MiniArt site of these figures constructed.