by: Darren Baker [ ]
With all of the post war armour produced of late there has been little in the way of choice when it came to adding figures to your build. MiniArt has decided to tackle this deficiency with the release of a tank crew of four figures that are not assigned to a specific country. So let’s take a look inside to see what is on offer here.
This offering from MiniArt is provided in the usual end opening carton favoured for their figure releases. I would like to see MiniArt move towards tray and lid design as I feel that is a more robust packaging method. Inside there is a single plastic bag containing the sprue with the figures.
The stances are an unusual mix in my opinion, first the normal. We have the only figure wearing peaked cap and who I believe is the commander figure in this collection in a relaxed standing position and could be placed next to or stood on a vehicle. This figure is wearing a hooded pull on top like the old 1980’s water proof jackets. There are either light weight trousers or coveralls and these are tucked in high leg combat boots.
The other three are wearing light weight shirts with breast pockets and light weight trousers tucked into mid calf combat boots. Each of these three figures is wearing Soviet style ribbed cloth tank helmets with built in ear pieces. All three of these figures are in stances that put the figures on or off the vehicle. You get a figure sat on the edge of a hatch with hands gripping the lid. Another is sat again and possibly in an open hatch holding an unseen either a fixed weapon or hatch cover. The third figure covered here is the odd one who is crouched with arms out stretched; I cannot think what this is supposed to represent.
The clothing has some very nice crease detail present that the figure painters can make the most of. The detail present on the clothing is well done and while it does not specify any particular armed force it has a wide number of applications. The Soviet style tankers helmet is appropriate for a number of Arabic forces also. I am pleased to see MiniArt supply part of the wiring for the helmets as separate parts down to the plug. The helmets themselves have been provided with a centre portion and separate sides which should make adding them easier.
Looking at the faces there is a pleasing level of detail provided, but I expected to see some facial hair which is more common in Arabic countries. The hand detail is also acceptable which with careful painting will show well. My only disappointment with this offering is the surprisingly heavy seams verging on flash in some places, an aspect that is concerning to see on a new product and hopefully is a one off.
It is good to see Arabic Forces depicted in injection moulded plastic due to a mix of releases covering Arabic military forces and the conflicts going on in the world today and over the last 30 years; I understand that this set has been set in the 60’s and 70’s but similar clothing is still seen today with the biggest change seen being the introduction of body armour. I like what this set offers even with the questionable stance one is depicted in and the flash that is present in some areas.