Friday, August 5

Construction Review: "German tank Crew at Rest" MiniArt’s new "Nazi Swine" W/ a pig with poor future prospects

Miniart wants us to “pig-out” on their new plastic kits, Snout’s the time to have a look at their new set before it trotters off into the sunset as we build the new 35th scale figure set "German tank Crew at Rest"
Construction Review:
From Miniart Models
Kit No #35198
BOX: 260x162x35 m
This kit contains 43 parts - models of five figures w/ a pig.

Well, it seems that Miniart has fallen upon something. The fact that the German soldiers seemed to have at least ONE pig in every tank crew in WWII? I mean we have done some research and here is the picture that this new 35th scale set is based on this scene here, three German soldiers herding pig village in occupied Poland.
And the pictures keep on repeating, not just in the armoured Korps but also in the other branches of military as well…
We were as shocked as you might be to find out that the British captured some of these “Nazi Swine” and put them to use in their own army. Living high on the hog and greased up so they couldn’t be caught again…
Miniart’s new set includes five German tankmen “at rest” looking for a bacon sandwich or two - But seriously now…

This is a new 35th scale figure set from Miniart Models of the Ukraine. Recently we have seen some interesting and much-needed gaps in the market filled by this company in not only vehicles & AFV’s but also in figures. This set sees an early WWII panzer crew wrangling a new porcine friend – hopefully, more in the way of a mascot than a potential dinner. The front of the box is as usual, very well illustrated (high hopes for the figures) in the usual manner from Miniart.
The rear of the box is in portrait format. This shows us the parts and the paint instructions for this kit. Each man (and beast) is isolated and you can see the colours below in several colour maker’s shades. Vallejo, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr. Color, Life Color as well as the actual colours in layman’s terms.
As is usual these boxes are pretty big for a few small joined figures on a sprue, but they are kept safe with plastic wrapping around them.This kit comes in the usual end-opening box from Miniart. 
The sprues are in a medium grey colour and the injection moulding is not too bad. Not as good as some of the previous sculpts as we have seen. Especially of their Russian Marines which we loved. The quality of the sculpts is adequate, but I think they can do just a little better in sharpness of detail. It would add a lot to the end effect once they are all together.
There is no real flash on the sprues, but there are some moulding seams to contend with. Especially around the jaws of a few of these figures who need to have some jaw surgery to get them to look like people. I was a little disappointed in the lack of sharp detail. However, this is a good start, and your figures can only get better than the ones I have very quickly put together. A bit of careful carving is what is needed by the modeller to turn these from a good kit to a great one that rivals some of the resin aftermarket maker’s works.
Let’s look at each of them in turn now:

Figure A: Wearing a coat on his shoulders, this man could well be the officer of the bunch. I have noticed quickly he has a tank assault badge on his tunic on the artwork (but not in the sculpt!) whereas the others in this group do now – so I would think he is the most experienced soldier. This figure comes in nine parts of injection moulded plastic – three of these being his greatcoat which is wrapped over his shoulders “godfather” style.
The front showing his face –
The other side of the sprue 
This figure looks pretty good and is simple to make. In the short time, I had allocated to make him I paid more attention to getting the face cleaned up and the body aligned so that the coat could go on properly. It’s very thick, and maybe you would spend a little more time than I would be making sure the collars sat a little more naturally on the body.

Figure B: Is the man sitting down resting up on one leg. He is made from six parts of plastic, and he goes together pretty easily.
Again with this figure, there was a bit of reduction work going on around the lower ears and jaw especially. Some delicate carving is needed to get that area right.
The figure goes together very well and he is not gappy at all, his body language is good as he leant to the side to look that pig straight in the eye (no not his commanding officer.) I could have spent a little longer smoothing him down with some sandpaper after I made him.

Figure C: is the “smoking man” – seen here in six parts of grey plastic again all on his own sprue (as all of these are in this set) so he is easy to put together.
This figure needed a lot less work to make him look good. Simple joints and not too much extra material around the jaw this time.
Although he was pretty simple to put together and the detail is also of a simple nature this figure is my favourite in this set. He is meant to be holding the pig’s leash – you will have to grab your own bit of string for that…

Figure D: Is the joker of the bunch – well at least he has the biggest smile! He is seen leaning back on his heels as he takes in the scene. Hands in his pockets of his high pants.
 Coming in seven parts of plastic – again he was one of the easier figures to construct because he had a well-sculpted face with no extra material to have to delicately carve.
These guys kinda remind me of the Panzer crew’s mascot in their training books – jovial and in a happy time.

Figure E: Is wearing a large greatcoat and is leaning over to pat the pig. Eight parts make him up. The greatcoat is easily made by simply joining the flaps of the coat at the waist to make it all more lifelike and open to the elements. Smart.
 I like the way that this figure’s wrinkles in his coat appear, the thick buttons pinching the material at the waist, and the coat pulling to the side at the bottom as he leans forward. It’s a nicely sculpted, if not the most detailed figure, but nicely done all the same.


here he is with his new girlfreind...

The Pig: Our favourite ham! Porky pig might not know what is in store for him – we how these guys are animal liberationists and they are simply keeping him as a mascot. I think though these guys have “makin’ bacon” on their mind…
This pig is the best I have made in injection moulded plastic (...and i have put some pigs of models together) – his nose, ears and tail are separate, and his neck was the only real seam left after he is put together. However, this is fixed with some sanding and again it would probably be hidden by the leash around his neck. 
He’s great this grunter!
OK so here are the crew all together. This pig is centre and front in this scenario – and they all fit into the scene in their body language pretty well. We could do with maybe the choice of some earlier panzer beret style hats in this set maybe…
All of these figures could be put with other sets if you like, you will have to do some work on the figure’s neck and ear seams, but with a little more careful work than I managed you could make them into a good scene – maybe next to your new early MiniArt Panzer III?

O.K. that’ll do Pig! Till we get the kit to review - I'll be having some bacon sandwiches for lunch…

Adam Norenberg

Check out Miniart’s other models for more on this kit and their other releases - thanks to them as always for sending this kit to be built and reviewed…
Photos of the completed and painted figures and porker