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 just so. 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. Two new releases from MiniArt are titled ‘Hand Truck Set and Wooden Pallets Set’ and offers yep you guessed it a quantity of hand pump trucks for moving laden pallets about plus a few other nice touches and the other set has pallets. I am going to cover both sets together as there is not a lot I can say about pallets on their own.
These offerings from MiniArt are provided in the typical end opening card boxes 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 model offerings; my reasoning for this is that I feel that method offers better protection and the modeller can keep work in progress and finished parts safely in the box for when required. Inside each of the cartons you find a single bag containing the sprues and a decal sheet. A look over both sets reveals nothing to concern the modeller as regards moulding issues due to good clean mouldings. One concern I do have is that it will be easy to break some parts depending on how you tackle the removal of the parts.
I will start with the pallet offering as MiniArt has provided four of these pallets in the pump truck set and twelve in the dedicated set. The pallets are made up of four parts and so clean up of the parts will not be an issue and assembly is also straight forward. Each piece of wood that makes up a pallet has good wood grain detail which is of course out of scale or you would not see it. The pallets are finished off in both cases with decals replicating the stencil detail often seen on pallets. The decals offer an excellent level of detail with microscopic written detail present. I have one issue with the set and that is that all of the pallets are the same; my issue is that pallets while assembled in the same way there is more than one pallet size, from memory GKN pallets were large and Euro pallets thin, I am sure there are others as well and I would have liked to see more than one pallet size offered especially in the dedicated set.
The pump truck dedicated set offers two of these fantastically detailed pallet trucks. I have worked in warehousing in the past and these pallet trucks have every element I have seen replicated in miniature beautifully. It is the effort put into this detail by MiniArt that will make avoiding breakages all too easy if you are not very careful during removal. I would have liked to see the option to show the pallet truck with the wheels either raised or lowered. Decals are supplied for use on the pallets trucks, but no manufacturer’s names are provided.
The last elemental bonus in the pallet truck set is two plastic barrels for use as a load on the pallets. These are provided in two halves which should not create any issues and a separate lid is provided that looks the part. There is another piece provided that looks like a handle but I think it is a pull tab of some description, it seems an odd addition but not something I am familiar with. There are some decals provided on the sheet for use on the barrels depending on your choice.
These two offerings from MiniArt have a great deal of high points to them and once criticism in my opinion, I would have liked the pallets to have size options included but it does not make me knock the offering much. In all other respects I think these are great sets that will be of use to anyone with a setting in mind for the 1970’s to the present day. In the case of the pallets alone they could be used over a wide number of settings and shown broken up as firewood if so desired.