In-Box Review
Normandy House
Diorama With Normandy House
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by: Shaun Keenan [ KEENAN ]

I have been building dioramas for a long time and went from making my own buildings out of balsa wood and cigar boxes to buying Verlinden cast plaster buildings to scratch building my own, again. MiniArt offers diorama kits that a relatively new modeler can use to create a decent display base for their kit. Experienced modelers will find plenty of opportunity for super detailing.

the package
The kit comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with good reference box art on the box top. The kit contains fives sheets of vacuformed plastic building sections in light gray plastic, two sprues of injection molded plastic parts containing about sixty parts and an instruction sheet. The injection molded sprues come packed in plastic bags. The vacuformed building sections are loose in the box. There are no clear parts for the windows or the street lamp included. The one page instruction sheet is tucked in.

the kit
The kit contains five sheets of vacuformed plastic that will have to be cut from their carrier sheets prior to construction. The wall sections are designed to be assembled back to back so there is detail on both sides. The base section is approximately 10.25 inches by 8.5 inches. The detail on the base section has various tire and tread track marks molded on, a nice touch. The detail on the the sheets is crisp and sharp. One thing that may be a concern is removing the parts from their carrier sheets. Most of the parts have excellent detail all the way up to the leading edges. Removing these parts from the carrier sheet without marring the detail may be an issue for people inexperienced with vacuformed kits.

The injection molded parts have a minimum amount of flash although there is some present on the drain pipe sections in my review sample. There are some ejector pin marks that will need to be dealt with, especially on the doors. For the most part, the injection molded sprues have excellent molded detail and the quality is comparable with most of the armor kits on the market. I was especially impressed with the fine molding of the street lamp parts. The kit does contain a really neat lamp post with a light but no clear plastic is provided for the lamp.

Instruction sheet
The instruction sheet is one double sided printed sheet. It contains a parts map for both sprues that come int he kit but the parts map show them as one big sprue and they come packed as two, not a big issue. I found the instruction sheet supplied to be vague as far the construction is concerned. I have read enough about building vacuformed aircraft kits that I think I can put this kit together but better instructions in the kit would be a plus.

There are no painting instructions on the instruction sheet, or color suggestions for anything.

That said, MiniArt has one of the most comprehensive web sites I have ever seen. Their website has excellent assembly and finishing instructions.



Overall this looks like a great little diorama kit. The finishing instructions provided on Mini Art's website are a must, though. The instructions that come packed with the kit leave a lot to be desired. The tree, turf, etc pictured on the box are not included with the kit.

Highs: Excellent kit for beginning diorama builders. Very minimal flash on injected molded parts, crisp detail on vacuformed sections..
Lows: Poor instructions, things pictured on the box are not in the kit. No clear plastic for the lamp or windows.
Verdict: Overall a decent kit for modelers who want a display base for their kits.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  PUBLISHED: May 08, 2009

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About Shaun Keenan (keenan)

48 years old. Have been modeling since I was about 12. Will build almost anything in 1/35th scale. I really enjoy building dioramas. Current interest include any armor and dioramas WWII to present.

Copyright 2021 text by Shaun Keenan [ KEENAN ]. All rights reserved.


great review, thanks for posting , altough i would reccoment the kit to a more intermediate modeller
MAY 08, 2009 - 11:21 PM
Thanks Shaun for making this review, it really makes clear what to expect from these kits. Removing the parts from the sheet seems to be a cumbersome work, but I from what I can judge from your review worth the job. Jelger
MAY 09, 2009 - 12:16 AM
Good review Shaun. I've been buying and building Miniart buildings for a while with the idea of making a giant Dio a la Dan Capuano. If you follow the web site guidelines they turm out great and the detail on the recent kits is excellent.
MAY 09, 2009 - 12:37 AM
Thanks all. The assembly instructions on the website are a must. Trust me. Started working on the kit yesterday. Shaun
MAY 09, 2009 - 10:04 AM

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