In-Box Review
German Tank Crew at Work

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

This writing is another in a series of reviews examining MiniArt Ltd.’s “WWII Military Miniatures” line of 1/35 scale injection molded plastic model kits. This series from the Ukrainian based model manufacturing company, offers the modeler a choice of some very unique and interesting plastic model kits, covering a variety of subject matter, scale and type. This product line of figure sets currently offers various German and Soviet WWII military subjects, in some really cool settings and situations.

This new set, kit #35010, “German Tank Crew at Work”, contains five German tankers in various poses, all combined to make a truly interesting set of figures.

The kit…
The box cover displays colorful artwork depicting a scene of the enclosed figures during tank maintenance operations. On the rear of the box are kit assembly diagrams, numbered for ease of parts identification. Also shown in a numbered fashion is the suggested paint scheme for the figures. Inside you will find one sprue of kit parts (separated in half at the factory) in a sealed plastic bag to protect the parts from loss in case of separation from the sprue. Also in the bag is a sheet with a numbered parts identification drawing for reference in assembly. The kit consists of 40 parts in all, enough to build 5 separate German tanker figures, including hand tools for added realism.

The detail of the parts is great with very crisp molding, clean lines and well defined expressions on the heads. Some light flash is present on a few of the pieces, but was easily removed with just my thumbnail. Also, note that a few parts do have some slight molding lines that will need to be cleaned up, but overall a good looking set of parts thus far.

The figures included in the set are each molded and posed in unique positions, with three of the men working together in the process of operating a barrel cleaning rod, all three in a “hands on” position of the rod itself. Another crewman is standing by looking on, reaching his fingers into the right breast pocket of his work-shirt (maybe fishing around for his smokes?) and holding a hand tool with his other hand. Note: The box art shows this figure to be holding a t-handle spud wrench, but the part provided in the kit is a hand sledge…two very different tools and a slight disappointment. The spud wrench would have been much more unique, but there may be some aftermarket tool sets that could make for this correction. The fifth and final figure, who obviously by his uniform and lack of action, is the commanding officer, is molded standing with one hand on his hip, hat in one hand while the other hand holds his canteen to his mouth in a drinking position.

Uniformly speaking…
Four of the five figures wear the summer uniform, or the reed green cotton herringbone twill denim trousers, M1940 style. Two of which have the standard issue four-button leather suspenders, while the other two sport the standard black leather belt with dull white metal rectangular plate buckle. Three of these four are wearing the standard issue Feldgrau long sleeve shirt (with sleeves rolled up for work), and the last has the reed green version of uniform, also with sleeves rolled to the elbow. Two tankers wear the standard M1943 peaked field cap, and the other two work bare headed. All figures are wearing the standard black leather lace up boots.

The commanding officer figure is clad in the classic standard Panzer regiment black uniform that was introduced in November 1934, that consists of the M1942 black wool double breasted field jacket, with no collar piping. Matching black wool trousers, feldgrau shirt, M1943 peaked field cap, and brown leather belt w/sidearm and holster complete his uniform. His tunic is decorated with the black rectangular collar patch piped in pink branch color waffenfarbe, with applied aluminum skull, shoulder boards, tank battle badge, Iron Cross 1st class and the Second class ribbon in the buttonhole of his jacket. This figure has two pose options; the first as shown on the box art, drinking from his canteen with hat in hand on his hip or, replacing the arm holding the canteen with the included replacement arm which is molded in a head scratching position. Quite a unique figure in either pose!

Hand tools included in the set are a two section barrel cleaning rod, a hand sledgehammer, and a double open end wrench.

The test build…
The figure that I chose for the test build in this case is the crewman standing alone, who is reaching into his shirt pocket with one hand and holding a tool in the other hand. This figure consists of eight separate parts; two leg/lower body sections, one torso section, left and right arm/hand pieces, head/neck piece, separate field cap, and hand sledge hammer (for the figures’ left hand).

All eight pieces separated from the sprue cleanly and easily. Detail looks excellent, although there are a few slight mold lines to be addressed before assembly. No problem, though. I always begin with the lower half of the figure, and the two leg sections mated together perfectly without any adjustment trim needed. Next, the torso section, which again matched easily with the now formed lower half body section. This figure is molded with a slight torso twist pose, so be careful to refer to the box art. Normally I would stop assembly here and start to paint my figure, but for review purposes I continued assembly.

Next, the right arm, (the one that is digging in the shirt pocket) was attached with no problem or trim necessary for good fit. Since the left hand is molded in a closed fist intended to be holding a hand tool, this fist is going to need to be drilled out to facilitate the proper look of holding the sledge hammer. For this procedure I used a 5/64” jobber drill bit mounted in a pin vise, which worked beautiful, and then glued the newly drilled piece onto the figure. Again, no trim needed for a good fit.

So far this figure is building up quite nicely! We will move onto the head/neck piece, which is molded into one piece, and this part fit into the provided niche’ in the figure’s torso very well. Finally, the M1943 field cap (peaked, that is!) is added to the head to top the entire figure off.

Truthfully, the fit of this figure was very good, almost exceptional, as I have struggled many times with many different figures from various manufacturers throughout my hobby career. This one built up into a great looking figure in a very short time, with no problems at all!

Wrapping it up…
In closing, overall this is a really great figure set. Unique poses, good expressions, great detail, clean and crisp lines…all for a good price. And if all five of the figures build up as easily and nicely as my test build then this kit is a definite two thumbs up! If you’re thinking about building a diorama or vignette around this type of subject, then by all means you should consider including this figure set in the scene. Definitely recommended from this modeler’s point of view!

Many thanks to Svetlana Dubchak, Commercial Director of MiniArt Limited, for providing this and all review samples to date.

Keep Modeling!

Great detail and subject matter, unique action style poses, and a good price makes this new 1/35 scale figure set from MiniArt Ltd. an all around fantastic addition to your next German WWII “maintenance” style diorama or vignette.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35010
  Suggested Retail: $6.95 U.S.
  Related Link: Official Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 30, 2006

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. All rights reserved.


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