by: Darren Baker [ ]
When it comes to modellers who like to display their work in a vignette or diorama I suspect most have MiniArt sets in the stash ready for adding those touches that finish a model display. The reason I say this is that I feel and believe that no injection moulded plastic manufacturer has done more for the modeller than MiniArt when it comes diorama elements. A new release from MiniArt is titled ‘Welders’ and offers two figures plus the tools of the trade.
This offering from MiniArt is provided in the typical end opening card box and I wish that as some others have started to do that MiniArt would switch to the tray with separate lid as used in their larger models; my reasoning for this is that I feel it offers better protection and the modeller can keep work in progress and finished figures safely in the box for when required. Inside of the carton you find a single bag containing the sprues which are in good condition.
The two figures in this offering represent civilian welders performing their task. One of the figures is kneeling and the other is bent over. The coveralls presented do not instantly say civilian but the presentation does say civilian to me. A down side with this being a new offering is that one of the figures has a lot of flash present that will need to be cleaned up. Crease detail is very good on the clothing and so looks the part in my opinion but will make cleaning seam lines a more difficult task. One of the figures has both hands on the torch and so has been equipped with welding goggles that are not a part of the figure, the other figure is using a welding mask held in the left hand and as both of these elements are duplicated you could if decided have both figures wearing goggles and a welding rod in the hand of the one previously holding the mask.
With these figures being welders they are of course wearing heavy gloves that could all too easily have made the hands shapeless lumps, but definition here is very good in my opinion. The faces are also of a very good standard where features are concerned and so do not need replacing as far as I am concerned, but they will of course require some careful clean up to make the most of them. The torches are moulded with the figures as that allows for the most realistic look to the grip they have on the torches.
Provided with the figures is a single trolley for moving around the large and heavy gas bottles. The design of this element is simplistic but offers a very good level of detail. The gas bottles are in two halves with separate valves and base stands. The bottles are of slightly different lengths and different colours are indicated, so I believe that unlike today no stencilling was present on the bottles. The tubing from the bottles is not provided in the kit and so I would suggest some fine wire or if you prefer the plastic tubing that Tamiya prefers, but I feel this is out of scale. The last element of this set is a tube titled by MiniArt as an electrode box, I do not know if that is what welders call it, but I am familiar with welding rods and its all the same in the end. I have placed these figures in the World War 2 time zone due to the bottle cradle only.
This offering from MiniArt appears to be well thought out and offers two new civilians to the market actively engaged in work. The detail throughout is of a good standard and should meet the requirements or expectations of all. I am a little surprised to find flash in a new offering from MiniArt but it is not the end of the world where modelling is concerned. I am sure that some would have liked the gas tubing included in the set, but that would have made for very fine and easily broken parts which also would have restricted how you set the figures up and so I am happy with what is provided.