by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Introduction MiniArt continues to expand their range of British and Commonwealth soldiers, this time with a very useable set of seated and standing figures. The British Jeep Crew Set No 35051 is another five figure set. It contains the 3 figures from their British Staff Car with Crew set No 35050 plus 2 figures that I believe will go with their recently announced Dingo Mk Ia. The set was designed with these vehicles in mind and in fact the appropriate crew comes with each kit. The option to buy the crew as a stand alone set is I believe a very user friendly option from MiniArt and makes good financial sense to me.
The Set The set contains 49 parts, moulded in light grey plastic and the box art is signed FL Kapawyk 2009. The figures are contained on 2 sprues that come sealed in a clear plastic bag. The box measures 10Ē by 6 1/2Ē approx which is quite large and seems the standard size use by MiniArt for their figures. Also in the box is a small paper insert depicting the spure parts.
Depicted on the front of the box is a nice colour image of the 5 painted figures and on the reverse is a very clear colour building and painting guide. Painting suggestions cover 6 of the more well know paint manufacturers paints and that is a nice touch.
The box art depicts all 5 figures for use in the MTO theatre of operations, N Africa and Sicily mainly, but they should also be useable in Italy in the summer.
Jeep Crew Figures First a look at the Jeep Crew figure set. This consists of 3 seated soldiers, one the driver for the Bantem 40 BCR and the other two passengers are depicted as mature British officers.
The driver figure
This seated figure consists of 10 parts, separate legs, arms, upper torso, head, cap, pistol holster, goggles and small ammo pouch. He is deigned to sit in the jeep with his right arm rested on the upper thigh and his left arm extended holding the steering wheel.
The figure is dressed in KD Shirt and shorts, with hose, putties and ammo boots. The shirt which is open at the collar and has rolled up sleeves on the arms is worn under a set of skeleton webbing consisting of 37 pattern belt and shoulder straps. The detail on the shirt and straps looks good, the belt is moulded to the lower torso and legs and I canít say much about it until the parts are cleaned up and glued together. The lower torso and legs are well done, again with good detail on the hose, putties and ammo boots. The uniform has good folds and creases.
The arms and hands have quite good detail, the shirt sleeves being rolled up.
The head shows the face of a mature man and is designed to be looking over the right shoulder. A separate Field Service Cap is provided for the driver as are a pair of goggles.
To equip the soldier you get a 37 pattern pistol holster and a small ammo pouch. The box art depicts him with a canteen slung over the right shoulder but that is not provided in the set.
The overall body proportions look good and he should build into a very acceptable driver. It was good to see MiniArt took the time to get the head gear right.
The front passenger
The front passenger is an officer. Consisting of again 10 parts, he comes in the same structure as the driver, with the exception that this time the head gear is an officer's cap. Designed to be sitting in the passenger's seat, twisted around talking to the passenger in the rear of the vehicle.
This time the figure is dressed in bush jacket and KD shorts. The bush jacket is open at the neck, around which is a small scarf. The bush jacket is a very nice touch and appears a good representation of the actual kit. Also present and moulded down the front of the jacket is a lanyard leading to the pistol holder. This time the 37 pattern belt is present on the upper body, the lanyard obscures any front brasses but the belt buckles are present on the rear. The lower legs are shown wearing long socks and officers boots. There are nice natural folds in the uniform.
The right arm is designed to be supporting forward with the right hand resting on the right knee. The left arm is designed to be resting over the rear of the jeep seat. The figure has a watch on the left wrist. The arms and hands have good detail and the bush jacket sleeves are rolled up.
The head has the face of a mature officer with a moustache. Again the detail is quite good and a nice officers cap is provided to top it off.
Goggles, 37 pattern pistol holster and small ammo pouch are provided for this figure.
Body proportions look good and the pose is a natural one.
The rear passenger
The rear passenger is also an officer consisting of 10 parts including a beret and a map board. He is designed to be seated in the rear of the jeep with the map board across his knees.
This time the ffficer is in KD shirt and shorts, with hose, putties and officers boots and the small regimental insignia shown on the hose. He to has a lanyard running down the front of the shirt. The 37 pattern belt is on the lower part of the torso and legs and not much can bee seen. The uniform looks accurate and it has again nice natural looking folds and creases.
Separate arms are designed to hold the map board across the officer's knees and these have good detail and again come with the sleeves of the shirt rolled up. On the left wrist is a watch.
The head again shows the face of a mature officer with a moustache and has good detail. To top it off looking at the box art shows a Tam OíShanter, but this is missing itís bobble on top so Iíll go for a general service cap, the main difference between the two being the quality of the finished article.
Extra kit comes in the form of 37 pattern pistol holster and small ammo pouch plus a fairly good representation of the large type map case.
Jeep Figure Summary These are good figures, the body proportions look good they have a mixed but interesting order of dress and are fairly well kitted out. The poses look natural to me and both officers could certainly be used in any number of locations where seated officers are required. There has been a good deal of thought in sculpting these chaps and these are very welcome figures for Allied modellers. The driver could also prove useful depending on the fit with other types of trucks.
the standing figures Next a look at the standing Jeep crew figures. These come in the form of 2 standing soldiers and appear to have been designed with the Dingo Mk Ia in mind. That said both may possibly fit into the jeep but I wonít know that until I try.
first figure, Senior Warrant Officer
The first figure is a leaning Senior NCO/Warrant Officer. Depicted in a standing position upper torso bend slight forward he would appear to be leaning on the edge of a vehicle looking down. This figure comes in 9 parts as already described. The difference this time being he sports a tanker's beret. The undershirt is worn open at the neck and has good creases in it. The KD shorts are another good representation of the kit, more visible is the small front pocket and this time the legs wear hose, anklets and ammo boots.
Dressed in KD shorts, undershirt, hose, anklets and ammo boots, this figure give a good representation of the mixed and varied dress often seen worn by desert troops.
The separate arms are well done and this time on the left wrist appears to be a Warrant Officers rank band.
The head shows the face of a mature looking man, and has good detail. Head gear is provided in the form of a tanker's beret.
Equipment includes a pistol holster and ammo pouch.
second figure, Other Rank
This time we have a soldier standing right arm extended in a leaning fashion. A shovel is provided for that purpose but he could be leaning on anything appropriate. Consisting of 10 parts, made up as above, the options this time being a shovel to lean on and a Mk I helmet.
The figure is dressed as per the Warrant Officer, in KD shorts and undershirt, hose, anklets and ammo boots. Again these elements are well done and the stance a natural one. The undershirt is buttoned to the neck.
The arms are also pretty good with the rolled up sleeves of the undershirt.
The head, a full head, comes with the chin strap of the helmet moulded on and also shows the face of a mature soldier. Topped off with a Mk I helmet, which you can tilt appropriately this is another fairly good face.
Additional equipment in the form of a shovel, pistol holster and ammo pouch are provided.
standing figure summary Really good to see soldiers in this order of dress. Poses look good as are the body proportions. These too should be very useable in a number of settings.
Conclusion An excellent set of figures from MiniArt. Well thought out with no two figures being the same. This set offers Officers, Senior Ranks and Other Ranks in a varied and interesting range of dress.
The body proportions of the figures look good and the same can be said for the poses. Appropriate equipment is provided for each figure. The pistol holsters and small ammo pouches are pretty good.
There will be some seams to clean up and a little flash but that is to be expected.
The overall sculpting of the figures is really good, with nice folds and creases in the uniforms so they should paint up really well. Detail on the faces will never be as sharp as resin but there is character there and these should be perfectly acceptable.
A lot of thought has gone into this set with each figure being developed in a certain style and dress. Variety is everywhere in this set, something you donít always see.
A little imagination and modellers should find this a very adaptable and fun set of figures.