by: Darren Baker [ ]
There are a good number of civilian vehicles being released for modellers covering the second World War period. MiniArt alone has released some nice trucks and cars in 1/35th scale, and this release by MiniArt titled Car Maintenance 1930-40 is a nice little set to be released for use with those products in a WW2 period diorama.
This offering from Mini Art in 1/35th scale, is provided in an end opening card carton with artwork on the front showing the figures inside. On the rear it covers the assembly and suggested painting of the figures. Inside there is a single plastic bag, containing five grey sprues, and a card sleeve containing a photo etch fret. An examination of the contents reveals no areas of concern that any modeller with the simplest skills could not tackle.
The figures provided in this set consist of three male and one female figure. They are all appropriately dressed to represent civilian figures from any Western country in the 1930 - 40s for which the set is intended. The female figure is depicted in the process of using a foot pump to inflate a tyre. I have one critique of this offering, and that is the skirt has no undercut detail to it, which could have been easily provided in this offering. Another of the figures is laid on their back, and is performing maintenance underneath the vehicle, and is in a pose that looks extremely natural. Another is shown putting the finishing touches to a polish onto a vehicle, but is making the cardinal sin of resting a hand on a part of the body work. The final figure is shown performing some kind of work inside the engine bay. Looking at the figures as a whole, the creases shown in the clothing are natural and well replicated, the face detail is very good, especially where the female is concerned, as she does look like a female as opposed to a male figure with female hair.
Unlike a current person carrying out maintenance on a current vehicle, where you would be wearing scruffy clothes, suits or shirts and trousers was the general wear, and this is well replicated on the figures. In order to enhance the contents of this figure set, MiniArt has provided some tools for use in this set, and these take the form of a foot pump, a stirrup pump, a hand operated jack, and a number of photo etched spanners which I consider a particularly nice inclusion.
This offering from MiniArt, is a particularly nice product when it comes to displaying a civilian vehicle in a diorama or vignette. The figures look appropriately dressed, natural in their stance and with a pleasing finish. The tools included with the set add a nice finishing touch that could have been easily over looked.