Tag - МиниАрт

m3 lee early production interior kit miniart dn models masks for scale models review

M3 Lee Early Production Interior Kit – MiniArt

Intro

M3 line of tanks were not as popular as US made M4 Shermans, nor any of the other WWII tanks used by the opposite sides of the conflict. The reasons for that are many, but the two of the most important ones are - first the fact that the tank was obsolete design when it first saw the light of day and second – that it was showing some drawbacks from its operational get go. With those two in mind, it is self-explanatory why M3 was somewhat forgotten, especially in the period when technical advance in military areas was made with light speed and giant leaps.

MiniArt are famous for making models that are either limited edition or pre-production vehicles, with some exceptions in the recent years with their T-54/55 line of tanks. However, making a model of a mass produced tank can be explained to some extent. M3 was somewhat obscured vehicle in general, plus the fact that it was used by the Soviets as part of the Lend-Lease, latter one giving some opportunities for exploring surviving vehicles. That is considering that MiniArt are Ukrainian company, thus close to Russia and probably with reasonably high options of getting up close and personal with some examples of the M3.

Either for that, or driven by another motivation, MiniArt decided to give the world probably the best 21st century tooling of M3 Lee/Grant tanks, with or without interior and with all the bells and whistles that one might expect to get from a modern kit. Especially at the price that they are being offered. And even though in this review we will take a look at M3 Lee with Interior specifically, the review will be oriented towards the whole line of tanks, since they all incorporate and share most of the features of this specific kit.

Boxing

Color-wise, boxing of the tanks made by MiniArt featuring Interior differ slightly from those that are without one. The differences are nothing major and are mostly with the background for some models. In general the quality is the same.

The boxart is always beautiful, close to a picture - not a painting, and with vivid colors that make it look just like taken from a modern Hollywood movie. As if the tank will jump off of the box and will poke you in the face. The material that it is made off is rather thin, but considering the number of parts inside, the box is not lightweight, just the contrary.

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Usually on one of the sides with MiniArt you get the painting options and the standard for the scale models description. On the top of it, with clear sign it says “Interior Kit” if it is one such inside, with specific logo which cannot be mistaken. If this sign is missing, well, you are in for at least couple of weeks less work.

Inside, everything is packed into a one big plastic transparent envelope. It holds all the sprues tightly together, with some smaller envelopes that in some cases separate the tracks or or clear parts or similar items from the rest. It might seem inferior compared to most modern kits that have separate envelope for a sprue, but this is simply impossible with MiniArt. We have too many here.

m3 lee early production interior kit miniart dn models masks for scale models review

Instructions

Instruction sheet are one of the strong sides of the kit. They are very neatly arranged in a A4-like leaflet that features color and black and white description. Color pages are the outer ones. They are left for the color profiles and the covers and sometimes that catches the sprue description too. Usually with those kits we get plenty of color option but we will tell more about that later on.

m3 lee early production interior kit miniart dn models masks for scale models review

Inside of the instructions, once the building process starts, everything turns to minimalistic way, leaving only black and white description and almost no text. Comparing that to Zoukei-Mura instructions, we get the exact opposite here. However, the kits that MiniArt make are very complex in terms of building, and here that comes as a relief in a way. Steps are organized in a clear and easy to follow fashion, without too many sub-assemblies gathered together.

The interior kit sets feature a lot more to be assembled from the inside of course. That will take some time and makes the instruction sheet significantly bigger. However, even being a complex and crowded from the inside, the interior sets are doable from relatively experienced modelers. Instruction-wise they are suitable for novices, but building will challenged them and this option is not a suggested one.

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Plastic

With all the reviews of MiniArt the most important information to be mentioned is the quality of the plastic. Back in the day, MiniArt were famous for some issues with their old plastic materials. Cracks and breakage happened more often than not and with all the intricate parts incorporated with their kits that presented a problem. For few years already, MiniArt turned into different plastic provider with high quality material and enough flexibility to satisfy the complexity of the mouldings. MiniArt kits are not only demanding to the modelers, they are demanding production-wise. That is the case if you want to be the producer of one of the most sophisticated and realistic miniatures on the market.

m3 lee early production interior kit miniart dn models masks for scale models review

The plastic is light grey and the sprues are usually big. There are of course all kinds of them, but the number of parts demands big sprues crowded with elements. It is a good idea to mark each sprue with color tag while building, because roaming through a pile of them might be annoying. The one thing that might be an issue is that they are not arranged logically, but there are only handful of companies that arrange their parts in that manner and they are usually smaller scale producers.

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Moulding is very crisp, however flash can be found here and there. With that said, cables, lines and such can be found everywhere, with almost no-room for scratch super-detailing for the fans. The other thing unbeatable with MiniArt is the texture of the tanks, which is probably the best in 35th scale.

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Tracks

As with many of the other kits produced by MiniArt, M3 Lee feature separate track links. This is indispensable add-on to any tank kit and reduces the general investment with a lot. Friul metal tracks, as well as ModelKasten tracks are coming at unbearable prices, sometimes exceeding the price of the kit itself. Especially if the kit is from older DML series for example. This option is eliminated here and with many other MiniArt releases, which makes the kits hard to resist to.

They need some assembly and some cleaning but it is nothing major. Some time should be spared for building those tracks, but the fact that they come in plastic and not metal, gives different paths in terms of weathering and wearing and some prefer it that way. The flexibility of the tracks depends very much on the modeler’s abilities and cleanness of the assembly process, but with little effort most of the MiniArt tracks can be made into whatever option one might think of. It is all a matter of skill as with every step in scale modeling.

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Photo-etch, Clears and Decals

Those three usually come in a separate transparent plastic envelope and that is why they will be reviewed all together. Starting the the clears, which are nothing important when it comes down to a tank, one must give it to MiniArt. Their clear parts are always very sturdy and can sustain plenty of glue abuse. The parts itself are clear and crisp, with great transparency and good fit.

The photo-etch sheets from MiniArt are the thinnest one available from any company out there. The quality is perfect and justifies the idea of having photo etch to a maximum. The downside of that is that they are fragile and are demanding towards the modeler. Some elements can be easily bent beyond repair and sanding is not advisable. However, having PE elements in the kits came with the idea of having thin parts that can be produced only from metal, so MiniArt mastered that in every aspect. Probably you won’t find any competitive PE material. Packing was cleverly made into a cardboard envelope, to protect the sheets and with that it gives a nice touch to the whole kit set.

m3 lee early production interior kit miniart dn models masks for scale models review

Decals come from a sub-producer, also from Ukraine. As we all know, there are few decal makers that are famous around the World, most famous one being Cartograf followed by the rest and some of them are from Ukraine. The quality in terms of thickness is superb. The clear film is barely visible and even though a bit fragile, the decals are one of the nicest touches with MiniArt kits. From kit to kit sheets differ in size, but with tanks almost anything can be substituted with masks for scale models so this won’t be an issue. Especially with M3 Lend Lease version of the tank.

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The M3 Series

M3 Lee is part of the newest line of tanks that MiniArt offers. Alongside with M3 Grant the company has plans for several releases, both with and without interior. That should cover larger segment of the market, since Interior Kits in general are not suitable for beginners. Talented ones maybe, but the regular Joe will have some issues. That isn’t the case with the kits that does not have interior though. They are not an easy build, but they are doable. Maybe not for a first kit, but after a couple you might jump into M3 line easily.

The series includes everything that one might want to get from a kit. There are releases from Takom on that same subject, but if you really want the whole package, MiniArt is the proper choice. Takom are more suitable for beginners and are easy to assemble. With that comes different thickness of the plastic and many other things, that sometimes annoy experienced modelers. If you compare the two, they are both good options, but MiniArt is crispier and more satisfactory for the professional builders.

Conclusion

There is no substitute for quality. In that regards this kit is at the proper place and at the proper time. It responds to all the demands of the modern modeling world and it comes at a very acceptable price. The price itself is one of the highlights of the kit, especially considering what you get with each set and the fact that you will have some spares in terms of markings.

It is perfectly suitable for experienced modelers, but the faint-hearted should look towards Takom. In case you are in for upgrading your skills, this is the challenge you should take. MiniArt proved that fact with their D7 dozer series, T-54/55s and nowadays they are entering the aircraft realm as well. M3 is just another jewel in the crown of the Ukrainian model maker and one that they should be proud of. It is not a mass produced vehicle, so it still keeps the original idea of the company and in the same time it should be a hit.

Highly recommended in any of the variations available on the market.

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Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Grant Mk.I – MiniArt #35217 In-Box Review

Intro

Grant Mk.I was a tank that was not very popular during the Second World War. Reasons for that are many, but from the Allied point of view probably the most significant one was the fact that Sherman appeared and send the Lee/Grant into obscurity. From general perspective, the tank was obsolete design from the get go and in addition to that there were plenty of German and Soviet tanks that gather a lot more interest, even to this very day.

Nevertheless, the Lee/Grant was used in more than one legendary battles and as a participant in those it deserves attention modeling-wise. MiniArt delivers a 35th scale kit line as of recently, which incorporates modern tooling, full interior and abundance of options, which are sub-divided into several packages. Here, we’re going to look at the Grant variant, which in my opinion is the most interesting one, especially due to its Africa campaign participation.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Boxing

Grant Mk.I from MiniArt /#35217/ is an InteriorKit, which is both exciting and scary. For that a little bit later. The box is thick and colorful, with a nice boxart, depicting a camouflaged Grant Mk.1, with its hatches open. Stowage is visible and both those fact are hints of what one should expect to get with this release from the Ukrainian company.

On the side of the box there is a profile depiction of the painting options included in the box. They are plenty and since there weren’t enough space to show them all, they were scaled down significantly. There are few with single-tone camouflage schemes as well as few with interesting dual- and three-tone camo patterns.

Inside, everything is packed within one big transparent envelope, which holds the sprues, the tracks /another envelope/, the photo-etch in a separate paper packing and clears and decals /again – another transparent envelope/.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Instructions

Grant Mk.I instruction sheet is the typical MiniArt booklet, with color depictions on the outside and black and white build-guide on the internal pages. The color part takes your attention to what is in the kit as features: positionable hatches, R975 engine, workable WE210 tracks, British stowage, etc. Alongside with those there are the sprue description and the color painting options for nothing less than eight different tanks.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

The instructions are clearly depicted and very easy to follow, but don’t let that fool you: this isn’t an easy kit to build and it is far from the capabilities of the regular novice modeler. Even though it looks pretty simple, there are myriad of parts to be installed inside and out and many of them are intricate and very delicate.

Each step features few, but clearly marked pieces to be assembled and when it comes down to larger and already built sub-assemblies, they are in shaded black and white depiction. That spares the confusion and eases up the process. However, don’t forget that there are a lot of interior painting to be done and some weathering too, which is the tricky part here. Again – not an easy build, despite the friendly instruction sheet.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Plastic

The plastic material of this Grant Mk.I is beautiful in general. MiniArt are from Ukraine, but they get their plastic from Western Europe and that is only because they are striving for quality above all. The engineering of the kit itself begs for that.

It is clearly visible, that with so many sub-assemblies, small parts and many molded details, there is no way around that. Being a producer of contemporary kits nowadays is very demanding both the on the production quality and the materials used. With that said, I must add that it is like that on the modeler’s abilities as well.

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Grant Mk.I tank featured a radial engine, which is wonderful in my opinion. It is something different and on top of that radial engines always gives some additional room for super-detailing and interesting weathering. The elements of the engine are very nicely molded and with crisp detail all over. That of course goes for the whole model, but engine is the clearest example of the overall quality.

There are nice rivets, lines and texture all over selected elements, done with superb execution. Especially the texture, it has no competition what so ever in any other model maker. It is true that many companies provides similar features, but here it is spot on. The turret is a great example and it is clearly visible on the pictures.

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The stowage is another highlight of the kit. It is very close to resin material, although not that good. However, it comes with the kit OOTB, which saves money and is always warmly welcomed by modelers. In this particular kit, this is one of the greatest additions and shows how good and intuitive MiniArt are when it comes down to please their customers.  

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Tracks

Are the other thing right next to the stowage that can be praised highly. The lack of decent tracks for Lee/Grant as well as Sherman tanks was and is an issue for many and for quite some time. This kit comes with plastic tracks which are workable and even though tedious to assemble – should be appreciated.

Grant Mk.I tracks are simple, yet they need some assembly and are engineered with sub-parts, which will both prolong the building process and the weathering options. For some, long building process is not enjoying, but in general, armor modelers are fans of such experience. Maybe that comes from the fact that many repetitive parts comes with tanks that usually does not when it comes down to airplane modeling for example. Or maybe weathering similar parts differently is the key. Whatever the case, the builders will be very pleased here.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

PE, Decals, Clears

Photo-etch sheet is packed in MiniArt branded hard-paper envelope, which is both for protection and marketing. It looks great and with works perfectly. The PE sheet is long and very thin. In general, MiniArt’s PE parts are very delicate and you should be careful if you like to sand those pre-glueing.

The decal sheet is almost twice the size of the photo-etch sheet, which is not typical when it comes down to armor modeling. However, it is self-explanatory here, having eight different variants included. The producers is not MiniArt, but a sub-company which is again from Ukraine. And as we all know, some of the best decals come from Italy and Ukraine usually.

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

The clear parts were never of great interest to me when it comes down to armor modeling, but they are with the proven MiniArt quality and are relatively small sprue in this case. Nothing overly-interesting, and probably many will not use them at all. However, good job on that sprue too.

Variants

Total of eight variants are included in this set. This is unusually high number of different tanks, especially when we’re talking about a tank that wasn’t very famous. There are camo schemes that are single-tone and are very weathering-friendly. Alongside with those there are two- and three-tone camouflages. Repair and training unit tanks are included alongside warrior vehicles, but nicest impression makes the fact that Australian variant can be found as well. Pictures below should give you plenty of info that words won’t be able to, so enjoy:

Grant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale ModelsGrant Mk.I MiniArt #35217 Review DN Models Masks for Scale Models

Conclusion

All the written above does not mention the downs of this kit. There are there, you can be sure of it. For example, there is some flash on some unpleasant places that will require your attention and some work. Alongside with that, despite the vertical appearance of the tank, the interior space will cause a lot of grief for those who love to work with space. The tank is crowded and in order to exploit all that MiniArt embedded in this tooling, some suffering from the modeler is required.

That is part of the 21st century modeling though. In conclusion, the kit is superb and the best thing about it is that it is a small part of a long line, just like the T-54/55 that MiniArt delivered. It will be the best Lee/Grant tooling for years to come and it will be definitely the one with the most features OOTB of all the offerings in 35th scale.

It is not recommended for novice modelers, except maybe if you don’t go into the interior part of the assembly. With that said, for everybody else – it is highly recommended and with the price/quality combo here, it is a must for Lee and Grant fans.

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LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

LAP-7 Rocket launcher – Soviet’s interpretation of a Combat Ford

Historical note:

LAP-7 is built over a license-built Ford AA truck platform. Almost a million of those were built and used in various roles in the USSR. There is simply no surprises when it comes down to that truck, because you can find it in practically every role imaginable. LAP-7 was combat oriented vehicle. Resembling the famous Katiuysha, it bears some legendary signs typical for WWII era seen from the Soviet perspective.

Ford AA needs no introduction on the other hand. Neither this kit by itself. It is a continuation of a long line produced by MiniArt and for some time now. A line, with which modelers are very happy and that they embrace happily with each new release. The weirder - the better.

This is the latest release, #35277 and it seems that people are even happier with it. Especially if you count the reactions in the social networks. But there is no surprise in that fact. Because the tooling is really good and it comes as a great set. So let's take a closer look at it here.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Boxing, Boxart and Instructions:

As with other GAZ-AA releases, the box isn't very big here either. It is part of WWII Military Miniature series and comes with grey sides and beautiful boxart. There is a LAP-7 firing, from what it seems to be a winter scene and a forest road. Exactly what the vehicle was made for. The first rocket seems to be missing, already fired probably, while the second is in the midst of its launch.

Very attractive and nicely done artwork.

Same goes for the instructions. Clearly depicted, without overcrowding with information, clarifications and what not. Despite the nature of the kit - being super-detailed and full with many small parts - the instruction sheet is perfectly understandable, even from novice modeler. However, the rest is not suitable for that part of the community. Some experience is needed for successful completion here. LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Sprues:

Sprues are made from Grey plastic and are mostly the same ones that you get with the flat bed release from MiniArt. The kit features fantastic suspension, engine, gearbox and whatever you can think of, everything made from thin and flexible material. MiniArt are using nice plastic, supplied by Western European company nowadays, so small and intricate parts are not an issue, like it was before. I am mentioning that simply because this truck is full with small parts, especially on its suspension. Such detailing comes at a cost. There is no way around that.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

The sprue with the wheels is something that many love with GAZ-AA series from MiniArt. The wheels are separated into discs and if you glue them carefully, there is no need for aftermarket wheels, nor they will be anything that will come as a significant improvement either. The design of the wheels is very clever and I wonder for some time now, how come no other company haven't took that road yet.

The new sprues introduced in the kit are holding the rockets and the frame of the launcher, which sits on the top of the flat bed. The frame parts will require some proper alignment and patience while in the works. Not only that, but the texture allows for interesting weathering and one can truly apply himself working on the final look of the vehicle. All that thanks to the precise moulding and delicate work made from the Ukrainian model maker.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

There is a sprue with clear parts, which are very forgiving in my experience. Having built MiniArt's ambulance truck which is based on that very same vehicle, I must say that I dropped the ball with the clear parts more than once. However, never managed to damage the parts beyond repair. They can sustain harsh glues and not-so-subtle weathering too.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Photo-Etch:

The PE sheet is not as big as the one you get with MiniArt's tanks, but it is with the same thickness. It is here mostly to add to the kit overall quality and contents OOTB, but frankly, with the precision that MiniArt demonstrate, even made solely from plastic, this kit would've showed similar detailing. For the photo-etch lovers though, MiniArt added a piece of metal. And as you can see from the pictures, it looks nice, even though it is not overly crowded and abundant in details. I trust that MiniArt added this not because they felt the need to, but because OOTB the kit have more complete and satisfactory look compared to a kit that will lack PE parts at all. Better have little than nothing. And that completes the contemporary look of the set too.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Decals:

The decals are pretty much the same as the PE parts. In all my honesty, I believe that more people will choose to avoid the decals than to use them with this kit. Not due to the decal quality or anything, but because of the fact that this vehicle will look better with odd camouflage, winter scheme or a lot of weathering, than to show specific markings and information that most likely was lost at some point during its service career. With nearly one million built of the Model AA, it is highly unlikely that they were all accounted for and marked properly.

LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Color Schemes:

There are two options included. Both are from 1942, one is from the Autumn period, other is from the Winter. Both are Red Army of course. Autumn vehicle is in camouflage colors, while winter one features partially winter camo, where one of the camouflage colors used during the summer is substituted with White. It is needless to say that the winter camo provides with a lot more options here.

However, whichever of the two you choose to build, have in mind that those trucks were so widely used /maybe not as LAP-7 specifically though/, that whatever camo scheme you choose to make, even captured vehiles - you will still be on the right direction. This is actually one of the highlights of this kit: you can go wild with camo schemes, weathering, battle damages or abandoned pieces. The only limit is your imagination. LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35LAP-7 Soviet Rocket Launcher MiniArt 35277 Review DN Models masks for scale models 1/35

Conclusion:

So in conclusion, this is another great release from MiniArt. One can make quite a nice collection with various tracks used in interesting roles and from the same manufacturer. Most definitely, this LAP-7 with its combat oriented purpose, will be one of the favorite options for WWII modelers.

The kit is absolutely sufficient out of the box and does not beg for any aftermarket, like most of the current releases from many of the competitive companies. Surprisingly, MiniArt managed to hit the soft spot again and present us with both interesting and obscure kit, which will be more than enough straight out of the box. And this is brilliant, simply because many modelers like to have all of those trucks with their versions, but they do not like to invest a lot in conversion sets or resin parts that are too expensive. So, MiniArt delivers. Again.

Highly Recommended for GAZ-AA lovers and Soviet WWII vehicles fans.

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miniart 37019 dn models unboxing review t-54b

MiniArt T-54B Soviet Medium Tank Review

Introduction: MiniArt T-54 line does not need introduction. The models released so far are with unmatched quality and very affordable price. So far, we've seen so-called pre-production vehicles, which were actually produced in quite some numbers. However, releases of popular and more widely used outside USSR mods are just getting started. T-54B is one of those, available on the market from this month and with two options. One of those is T-54B with interior, another - without. In this article we're going to take a quick look at the latter one: MiniArt 37019. Box and the boxart: One thing I spotted with MiniArt is that the kits with interior feature slightly polished in look boxarts. Interior versions have some landscape and look more like a picture. The ones without have pretty much the same looking tank on top, but the area behind it is separated into two, white and red, simplifying the overall appearance. The difference is easily spotted and this is probably helpful for the buyer, but unfortunately, the box lacks attractiveness compared to the other kit. For those with bigger stashes this can be a bit disappointing, but for the devoted builders this won't be any trouble. The box /in both versions/ is crowded. Typical for MiniArt we have the sprues separated into big envelopes, combining them for better arrangement. Cardboard is not roomy enough for everything and once out, sprues require attention to be put back in if you want to close the lid. This is mostly due to the track sprues which are many, but as you will see in a bit, the space was not wasted. Instructions: We have standard MiniArt instruction sheet, abundant in information and not overcrowded with explanations. It is mostly black and white and in the well-know booklet format. Color sheets with the camo schemes are on the front and back, inside being the assembly process. Many photo-etch parts are included in the set, so be sure to follow the instructions thoroughly and not miss anything. Despite the overall pleasant appearance of everything, the kit is not a simple one, nor suitable for the novices in the hobby. It will demand your full attention and devotion. Sprues: Light gray plastic, being standard for MiniArt newest kits. For already two years, Ukrainian company is using better plastic material, which is flexible and very pleasant to be worked on. The detail on the sprues is second to none too. We have absolutely fantastic welding lines, as well as many molded details, which are way ahead of the competition. In case you want to achieve the similar appearance, you will have to work a lot with scratch and still the results might not be as good as the ones we have in 37019 OOTB. We have single piece gun barrel and very thin fenders. All in all, the parts are thinner than on most of the kits on the market today, with good texture, fine detailing and flexible material. Turret details are the best of the tank. The mantled and the turret show specific texturing/also being different one from another/, which once being painted and weathered, will make the tank very distinctive from any other scale model. This will be quite helpful at any modeling show I believe. Tracks: Tracks are superb. There is no manufacturer on the market today, that offers a better option. They have castings with numbers, scaled down with absolute precision and devotion to detail. Compared to competitive kits, these are years ahead and although tricky for assembly, they do deserve the praise. I am mentioning that they are tricky for assembly, since making them workable requires a lot of time and careful work. Many modelers encountered problems with MiniArt tracks in terms of movement once they were installed on the kit. This is due to their relatively delicate appearance and assembly process. It takes time and effort but more than anything - attention is required. Photo-Etch parts: As usual, they are quite thin. I believe that Eduard and MiniArt compete in which one to be named The Best photo-etch producer in the World today. Eduard offer superb quality of their PE, especially dashboards and colored parts, but MiniArt as the thinnest one I've seen. They are more than delicate and sometimes I think that even scaled up, they will look thinner than the real thing. Especially the meshes. We have a set which is pretty much standard here, including the meshes mentioned. This time, MiniArt made a special envelope for the PE parts, which before I've seen wrapped in cardboard taped to protect them. With this kit, everything is elevated on a whole new level, looking way more professional and nice. Markings: We have four markings included in this set. It isn't much, but it is normal, having in mind that 99% of the Soviet tanks were dark green. We have three green ones and one winter camo, which I find to be especially attractive. This one can be seen on the box of the T-54B with interior. Pictures of those tanks in Soviet service are rare finds, but in museums items can be found for reference. Soviet green vehicles are quite similar in appearance, with minor differences, one of them featuring white lines on the wheels, idlers, sprockets and the fenders, and another - with logo next to the number of the tank. All things considered, I believe that these tanks will be most interesting if done in partially ruined and abandoned vehicles, without using those numbers at all, since the look of worn T-series is very familiar around the web. This can be easily done with DN Models masks, chipping out one or two numbers one over another, simulation long service life before abandoning the vehicle at some tank graveyard. Whatever option you might decide to use, you should know, that the set is not lacking variants, just the contrary. In reality, the possibilities with T-54B are endless and it is all up to your imagination. Conclusion The kit features: 674 plastic parts 19 clear parts 108 photo-etch elements Totalling: 801 parts with 4 marking options. This is pretty neat for a 35th scale kit without interior and very promising, knowing MiniArt's latest releases and their quality. T-54 is a milestone in armor history, with its variants making it the most-produced tank in the history. I hope that MiniArt will turn their T-54 line into pretty much the same production run, but scaled-down. There are many variations of T-54 and T-55, especially interesting being the Israeli and African variants. Takom has already set the bar pretty high in that matter, but I believe with MiniArt we have a superior kit. With all things considered, this is very tempting kit and whichever of the two options you decide to get - with or without interior - you won't be disappointed. You might be challenged by the build and the small details but in the end, pleasure and satisfaction is all that will come out of building MiniArt's T-54B. Highly recommended! www.dnmodels.com
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MiniArt’s Su-85 Mid Production with Interior

MiniArt's Interior kits seems like the new hit on the market. They did the Su-122 and the T-44 and promised new line of T-54s. But what we are going to look at today is not a tank, but another self-propelled howitzer: Su-85. Again, Ukrainian company did their "Interior KIT" line here. That features a full interior, but not only that - it represents a completely different approach to the interior as it is. Other companies /mainly aftermarket/ did offer interior sets for different vehicles from time to time. Those are engines, gunner's compartments, ammo racks and ammo sets and so on. Sometimes they are made from plastic, but more often - from resin. Meng Model made a hit on the market with their Bradely Fighting Vehicle, and even though it seemed a bit overdone /or overcrowded/, people liked it and some very nice works emerged from that kit. Not many other companies tried it, however, interior is something nice and presents you with a fair challenge, especially when it comes down to AFV. But back to MiniArt and their Su-85: Su-85 is self-propelled vehicle, based on the chassis of the famous T-34 tank. It is a rather gun destroyer instead of a self-propelled gun actually. It is a development of SU-122, but equipped with D-5T 85mm gun, which made it more powerful unit, with capabilities to destroy Tiger I tank from around 1000m. Su-85 entered service in 1943 and saw some battles  throughout the war, proving the concept but also proving to be slightly under-armed. That led to Su-100, but that's another story. Su-85 went on with service history within Soviet Union /until 50s/ and it's allies, which used it for many years after the end of WWII. It saw other battlefields as well, and it gained a fair amount of respect. In total, around 2000 were built. All in all - SU-85 is a subject worth modeling! So, what MiniArt did is: The kit is in a crowded box. And I mean - crowded! Once you break the plastic bags and the order that's inside of them, it is very hard to put everything back and close the box. That was very typical for Dragon kits, but now you can see it all over the place. Sometimes caused by poor judgement of the box size, sometimes - as in Su-85 case - from the large number of sprues. MiniArt did a great effort separating all the details onto different sprues and even though this is a waste of plastic of some sort, creates an useful way for the modeler to arrange the whole build. The instructions are very clear, organized well and put in a nice and luxurious leaflet. The leaflet itself is very nice, better than Tamiya, comparable with Meng and ages ahead compared to Kinetic or Academy. MiniArt do improve a lot small things with their releases and slowly but steadily crawl to the head places in the industry. The camo schemes are not many, but I must add, that there are two factors that eventually led to that decision. First is the lack of picture material about this particular vehicle. It wasn't the star that T-34 was, so Soviets didn't payed much attention in creating a decent archive about it. Second one is the fact, that most of the vehicles differ solely by the numbering. Rest is up to the modeler. Hence, the decals feature all of the numbers so to create whatever number combo you'd might think of. Of course, DN Masking set for Soviet vehicles might come handy in this case, but also painted by hand letters and numbers would do. The plastic is flexible, there is enough detail /maybe even too much for my taste!/ and many many small sub-assemblies. The casings of the suspension are there, just like in their Su-122, the engine and the driver's compartment, as well as the extremely abundant ammo set placed on many racks inside of the vehicle. The engineering of the assembly is done in such a way that there is a chance for you to leave a side or two open, so to show off with what you've managed to enclose in that small space inside. Tracks are very interesting, because they are separate links, placed on two types of sprues. The detail is so fine, that even the moulding markings of the real thing are represented in scale. Not only that, but they are clear enough and it is a pleasure to watch them up close. All the bottom parts - tracks, wheels, active suspension and so on, is very detailed and it is a state-of-the-art thing. Engine is pretty much the same. MiniArt sell kits only with engines, so you might imagine how many small parts and goodies have we got here in the Su-85 kit. Of course, many of these can be left aside and the vehicle will look perfectly balanced and attractive with only the exterior built. But it is the nicest thing to have more and more options, especially enclosed in one box or as it is popular to say - super kit OOTB. This is definitely one! MiniArt did kept their price low and simultaneously provided perfect tracks, engine, ammo set /a huge one/ and all the rest of the interior. Many other companies tried and failed. Even Tamiya, who kept their prices low, started selling improved tracks or gun barrels as separate kits which led to the huge increase in the price. I find that MiniArts ratio for details-per-dollar is probably the best on the market. Hand to hand to that goes the fact, that their kits are not for newbies, but they can be modified to be - leaving the interior aside. But hey, this isn't only cost effective. There are no let-downs with this kit, except for the complexity which is a bit high. But this isn't a let down per se. So I can only say that this kit is one of the best on the market, although challenging. Highly recommended as all of the Interior Kit series from MiniArt! You can get this kit here: MiniArt 35187 Su-85 Soviet SPG with Interior  
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MiniArt T-44M – a step before T-54 and after T-44

MiniArt released T-44 just couple of months ago, and now they are putting out the T-44M. Not only that, but they have on the horizon T-54. Somehow, they followed the history steps in releasing those tanks, and we might be blessed to see them go all the way up to the Armata in the following years. Who knows... T-44M is a midpoint between T-44 and T-54. T-44M has elements from both of the others and sits in the history as a platform for innovation and implementation of the new features about to be used in the next generation tanks. T-54 is definitely a next generation medium Soviet tank, that's why T-44 remained somehow obscured in the history books, overshadowed by the propaganda concerning T-34 and the seemingly endless T-54/55 career and development. The main difference between T-44 and T-44M are the fenders, the fuel drums, the wheels /suspension in general/ and some invisible features like the gearbox for example. There are many more, but those are the ones concerning us in this thread here. MiniArt released T-44 with a number of different and beautiful camo schemes, including "What If"-s and presented us with a beautiful kit, featuring engine, interior, active suspension and more. What is important to be known is, that the -44M is visually different, and MiniArt were aware of the demand that will follow, after the release of T-44. So they did the M version as well. There are new sprues, most noticeable being the fuel drums, including fuels lines. Fuel lines were missing and important element of the T-series released from the other companies on the market so far. MiniArt corrected this, and also gave us all the bells and whistles of the -44M version. New fenders, new wheels and so on. The kit features less camo scheme options. This time there is no What-ifs, and only few 4B0 green vechicles, + one in winter camo scheme. This is more realistic representation of the T-44M. It was used mostly in training regiments and was away from public, so not much photo documentation is left from its service. That's what the camo schemes depict - training regiments, mostly towards the end of the service of the T-44M - around the 70s. Everything in done in a collaboration with AMMO/MIG, which guarantees proper color choice and hopefully historical accuracy. The thing that is not so nice about it, is that AMMO/MIG paints are not among the most popular within modelers, because they sometimes react not as expected and that causes some useless complications. On the other hand, they are good enough once you start using them regularly, so it is a problem which can be dealt with. Again, as in T-44 - the number of parts in the box is huge, and it is mostly because of the shells and tracks. Many parts are divided into sub -assemblies, helping showing off a partially damaged vehicle, and especially abandoned one. With all the interior and engine features, this is an easy task that MiniArt presented us with. A great gift from the Ukrainian company! The box is wonderfully done, luxurious, as well as the instruction sheet. Photo etch parts are abundant and the price is right, especially for a kit which is good enough OOTB even for the most pretentious out there. MiniArt did another great job. And even though they didn't put Interior Kit on the box, this is one of the new line kits starting to appear on the market, where armor is shown with the opportunity to build everything inside and outside as well. It is a hard job to make it, but once you do, the satisfaction is enormous! I truly hope that MiniArt will continue leading with such kits, and inspire companies as Rye Field Models and many other new comers with full-interior vehicles, letting you chose what to put in and what to leave out. The kit of the T-44M is very highly recommended, for its price, features and qualities. Looking forward for their T-54... You can get this kit here: T-44M MiniArt Full video review of T-44M can be found on my YouTube channel
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Su-122 Initial Production w/ full Interior from MiniArt

Su-122 is a Soviet self-propelled howitzer and assault gun, based on T-34 platform. 122 comes from the caliber of the gun, which is M-30S howitzer. That vehicle was requested by the Soviet government and Army command, based on the bitter taste that Sturmgeschutz III left with the Russians. They quickly understood, that such vehicle is a key factor in armored warfare, and started asking the designers to provide one. The official production started in late 1942, and continued until summer of 1944, by which time more than 1100 has been built. There were no official variants of the vehicle, but there were some differences in between the production periods, making three sub-versions of Su-122 – Early, Mid and Late production runs. So far, we had a 35th scale option for that SPH from Tamiya. However, the tooling of that kit is old, and obsolete according to the current stream of new and sophisticated kits. Although Tamiya have satisfactory results with their set, especially when It comes down to fit and accuracy, the market demanded a substitute for the Su-122. MiniArt announced their plans of doing one, and spared the public the complexity of the kit that they plan to issue. If you have modeled T-34, you would know, that this is a relatively small tank, and Su-122 is pretty much similar. Although lower in height. So it was a huge surprise when MiniArt announced that their first Su-122 kit will be initial production version with full interior. And by full, they meant “full”. The kit is surprisingly detailed, surprisingly crowded and probably will be a challenge for most of the mid-level modelers, not to mention the newbies to the hobby. It has everything: driving and gunner compartments, engine, armament, transmission and separate track links. Everything is done in a manner not seen before in a scale model kit in 35th, and probably only Meng Model’s kits come close to that. Some of the parts are small, but you shouldn’t have to worry, since MiniArt are using new plastic material for already about an year. It prevents unpleasant cracking of the small and tiny details, and it is flexible enough. Full interior kits are a challenge to be completed, and trust me on this one, this Su-122 will not be any different. It will require time and patience, but you will be very rewarded once you finish it. The tricky part is how you will be able to paint all the details, and this is what I personally find to be the biggest challenge of this kit. Speaking of this – somebody once said: if it’s easy, it isn’t worth it. So, yeah, MiniArt made it worth a lot! Instruction sheet is made from nice and luxurious material, especially the parts where the description of the camouflage schemes are. Everything is in color /where it need to be of course/ and the booklet is pretty thick. Inside there are 6 variants, one captured German and the rest – Soviet vehicles. They are made in collaboration with MIG/Ammo, which guarantees proper colors and knowing MIG, adequate accuracy. In total, the kit features 828 parts, of which 729 are plastic, 4 are clear, 95 are photo-etched. Overall assembly steps does not look intimidating, especially on the outside. MiniArt kept it design relatively simple, cleverly adding options for side panels or hatches to be left aside for showing off the insides of the SPH. This shouldn’t fool you, because the box is huge and crowded, but that is because of the way engineers thought it should be. In conclusion, I first have to add that the kit is first of a series, which will include Mid- and Late- versions of Su-122 and will sent Tamiya into oblivion, at least for the foreseeable future. Also, I have to ad that this kit is not for the faint hearted. You have to know your way around plastic, you have to have time and not rush anything, and some idea of engineering decisions while installing already painted parts /if that is the way you work/. After that being said, I must conclude, that this kit is a state-of-plastic-art piece. It has everything you need in a box, the price is right, the fit /knowing MiniArt/ should be more than decent. Soviet/Russian armor fans, gotta have this for sure, and in my personal opinion, every armor modeler who is interested in “what is the future” of scale modeling subject should have this one. This is poetry in scale, music within plastic. I highly recommend this, you should have it! You can get this kit here: MiniArt 35175 Su-122 Initial Prod. Scroll down for a full video review of that kit.
Thanx to MiniArt for presenting me with such a beautiful kit for review!
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GAZ-AAA by MiniArt Step By Step build

MiniArt are highly detailed kits and everybody knows about it. The thing is, not many out there have been completed due to the intricacy of the builds. They feature many small parts, some unexpected engineering and challenges for even experienced modelers. MiniArt's GAZ-AAA line is abundant and feature many trucks, out of which I picked to assemble the one with the shelter, so to show how everything goes step by step and make it easier for those who have the kits but aren't sure what they are involved in. I also wasn't sure, but from my past experience with MiniArt I already knew that their fit is great and the new plastic material that they are using is a promise for an easy build. Well, not an easy one exactly, but you can see for yourself. GAZ-AAA is a relatively small vehicle, and I was surprised when I saw MiniArt's kit finished. Nevertheless, it features almost everything you can get from a truck in 35th scale, with many sub-assemblies, engine, highly detailed chassis and photo-etch parts. Building the kit will definitely take time, and it is not for one without time or patience. It is not exactly suitable for newbie modeler either. On the other hand, once built, it looks extremely nice and it is a rewarding challenge. The new plastic material is very easy to work with, it bends easily and that prevents unwanted cracks or brake-ups. The photo-etch is typical MiniArt: thin, delicate and nice to work with. I had some troubles with the tire fit, but that was mainly because I was out of time. Other thing that I found challenging were the arms, which are located beneath the floor of the truck and we have many of those. They represent the controlling mechanisms of GAZ-AAA and MiniArt tried their best to provide them all! Otherwise the kit is great with superb detail. As I said - it is a bit small once built, but on the other hand that save some space. Again - not a one for a newbie modeler, but I trust that if you follow the link below and see the video build, you will find it much easier to cope with the process!

Click Here to Watch the video build

Click here to buy this kit

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T-54 B from MiniArt. The meaning of “superdetailed”

T-54 and T-55 are one of the most recognizable and popular main battle tanks in human's history. T-54 tank was a continuation of T-44 development, and first appeared shortly after WWII. Since than, more than 100 000 units of T-54 /along with T-55/ were produced and are still in active duty all around the world. They are constantly modernized, showing the opportunities that the design provides. Although inferior to many of the newer designs, T-54 /and -55/ is proven to be very successful, especially in guerrilla warfare, urban theaters and rebel actions of any kind. It owns the most popular and famous tank profile, and even old - it is still very beautiful. The modeling world was missing a decent kit of T-54 for number of years, and even though Trumpeter promised new line of T-54 and -55s, they still haven't provided. T-55s from Takom are great, but we were still missing the T-54. MiniArt stepped up. They developed an insane scale model in 35th scale, featuring almost everything that you can find in the real T-54, but this time in plastic. T-54 is not a big tank - in other words it is crowded inside. Guess how's that happening in MiniArt's 35th scale copy. We have engine, driver's compartment, gunner's compartment, two types of wheels, armament...everything! To be honest, even a T-54 lover, I have my doubts about how I am going to cope with all this details. They are so small and tiny...just check the video below. Whatever we try to say about MiniArt's new T-54 it will not be enough. They exceeded any possible expectation in modeling terms. I haven't seen such a kit so far. Not even Rye Field Model Tiger with interior is not that crowded. And again - T-54 is a small tank! Cannot wait to get my hands over it! Check the video that MiniArt shared down below, and you judge for yourself!
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BZ-38 from MiniArt – the aircraft refueller truck

Miniart gave us a very nice and long line of GAZ-AAA based vehicles, and one of the newest additions to the line is the BZ-38 refueller truck. BZ comes from БЗ - "БензоЗаправщик", оr - Gasoline Refuller.  This vehicle was used widely during WWII and after. It was seen more than often on the airfields refueling aircraft and due to the specific nature of some of them, it was equipped with option for tracks. You all have heard about the famous russian mud, right? MiniArt followed their tradition and gave us very detailed engine and enormous amount of photo-etch in that kit. They go mostly for the tracks of the BZ-38. The detail is superb, and from what I saw opening the kit, the tank can be done with a cutaway to show the inside of it, which will make it attractive at the modeling shows. BZ-38 has several variants, and this is only the first /35145/ that Miniart issued. They promised one more /for now/ to follow. It is kit number 35158 and it is 1939 version of that vehicle. The thing that bothers me most, is the fact that  there are only few aircraft models in 35th scale. The closes scale to that is 32nd, one of the most popular among airplane modelers nowadays, and for 35th you have extremely limited options. Most of the flying stuff in 35th are helicopters and that does not fit the era of the BZ-38. Even if it was used for refueling them it was for a limited time and not everywhere, but where BZ-38 and BZ-39s were a leftover fuel trucks. If you are a fan of the GAZ-AAA line, this is a must have addition to it, and it is quite different from what we've seen so far. Camouflage depicted on the box as well. If you want to learn more what's in the box of MiniArt's 35145 BZ-38 Refueller, check the video down below. I tried to show pretty much everything that I find interesting about it, and that might arouse any interest among fellow modelers! I hope you'll enjoy my video:
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