Thursday, June 20

This ol’ house sure does need paint! The Ardennes Street diorama kit from MiniArt in review

Today’s review and build is from the Diorama series from MiniArt is this – the latest street scene in 1/35th scale – we have the Kit: 36024 “Ardennes Street” for you….

MiniArt Models
Injection moulded grey plastic / vac-form
54 parts

The Ardennes in Belgium saw a lot of action during the Second World War - both in 1939 and the Christmas of 1944/5 the Germans attacked the allies through this sector and caused a lot of problems.
In a kit containing 54 parts, this new scene in the Diorama series from MiniArt sees you turning a slight corner on a cobbled street in the Ardennes region of Belgium in WWII – although the Germans went through there twice in WWII you could probably want to make it the “battle of the Bulge” vignette that is so popular with modellers. This kit of an almost right angled cobbled road section with a tall blown away shell of a house and a drain under it all looks to give you the base to replicate you showing the Germans coming (or going) through this region.

There’s a mixture of two materials in this kit – two sprues of regular injection moulded grey plastic to form the “furniture” of the house as well as six sheets of plastic Vac-formed pressed material which forms the walls and base of the diorama.

The vac-formed parts of the building are two large walls with smaller side supports which are snapped off the backing, get secured together and make a whole wall. The surface texture of the Vac-form is perfectly adequate and it is easy to detail and paint/ There are however several lumps on the surface which should be removed with a knife or sandpaper to get them off. You may even need to fill the holes after this – ohh I wish these would be eradicated!
There is a real knack to slightly scoring these and then snapping them off and this is usually enough to get a clean break. You will need a large sharp knife and some 80 grit sandpaper or something similarly as strong. By the time you snap the walls from their sheets there are invariably some rough edges which should be flat before you glue them together. If you place the internal wall joints on the sandpaper and give it some circular elbow grease it should flatten out and give you a better, flatter surface to secure together.

The curve of the road and the cobblestones is great.

The walls are well detailed with lentils, cornice pieces and all of the other things you may see on a building like this

The road marker is a two part affair as is the little brick wall culver for the ditch. Both of these need a little filler once together
I very much like the plaster cracks in the walls which would be totally to be expected on a house half blown away like this one
The large injection moulded sheet is taken from earlier MiniArt sets – it contains a door, several window frames and shutters. There are some nicely vented louvers as well.

There are a few injection pins on the back of the door but most would have it on the unseen side of the diorama. I would remove them myself.
The other injection moulded sheet contains a street lamp and some guttering with a downpipe. You should really bend these a bit to damage them to make the fit in with the blown away corner house.
So we put it all together - Here it is fully assembled…

There does seem to be a little more finesse in the finishing touches of this kit – parts like the thin broken off roof tiles and bent guttering show the potential of this kit – I can see a little “trick” in the diorama with an allied soldier hiding in the drain maybe?
Yes there are some gaps and you will need some Milliput or plaster to cover them up – it will be an easy task with some mould-able putty. There are as well those little dots on the walls that shouldn’t be there – but….

All in all I think  this is another good kit from MiniArt which will detail up very nicely with some good figures or vehicles – ( and a lot more rubble)  maybe the L1500 trucks or staff cars which look so good? MiniArt is on the “up” aren’t they? Or maybe just turning a corner…

Thanks to MiniArt for this kit to build and review

Just before i end this is how it all looks with a good paintin'