by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt continues to release products that are of great benefit to the Modeller who likes to add little touches to their builds and dioramas. One of the latest 1/35th scale releases that has a lot of eye candy appeal comes in the form of a Panzerschreck RPzB 54 and Ofenrohr RPzB 43 set. When it comes to the Panzerschreck we get an instantly identifiable item, with the Ofenrohr being a Panzerschreck minus the protective shield as far as I am concerned.
MiniArt is well known as a provider of figures and diorama elements with this offering fitting in perfectly with their range of products. This offering is provided in one of the end opening cartons usually used for their figures, I do wish MiniArt and others would switch to boxes rather than end opening containers as they tend to be more robust and also provide somewhere to keep the items built until needed. Inside there is a single bag containing eighteen sprues in grey styrene and a decent amount of photo etch parts. The instructions and painting suggestions are on the rear of the carton.
These two weapons systems are one and the same basically being the introduction and improved version. The version without a shield is said to be based upon the American Bazooka and the visual likeness is high. These weapons fired 88mm rocket propelled projectiles and the early version required protection for the face of the person firing it; the later version had the shield fitted and became the weapon more of us are familiar with.
This offering provides six of the weapons which can be assembled as either or and so what you have is up to you. Photo etched carry straps are provided and there is a considerable amount of photo etched elements used on the weapons systems replicating the sights, loading guides and some clips. The result is a very detailed and realistic weapons system regardless of what you decide to finish them as.
Along with the weapons you get six backpacks that each hold five rockets. There is assembly required here as the box is open making the rockets readily accessible and includes photo etch webbing straps for mounting on a figures back, but while six are provided photo etch parts are only supplied for three of them.
Also in the set are parts for ammunition boxes that hold two projectiles each. The boxes can be assembled open or closed and with or without the projectiles in place. Inside the parts that hold the projectiles in place are provided, but unusually in my opinion two part need to be glued in place and one identical part is a part of the moulding! Photo etch clips are provided for the boxes which is a nice touch; my only gripe is that the carrying handle could have done with the same level of attention.
48 projectiles are provided in this set and so a good quantity in my opinion. An examination of the detail looks to be a very good match to the real thing and that is not just the rockets but every aspect of the set especially the ammunition box. The set also includes a number of decals for use on the projectiles and ammunition boxes resulting in a very accurate and high quality product.
MiniArt has gone above and beyond with this offering of a Panzerschreck RPzB 54 and Ofenrohr RPzB 43 set in 1/35th scale set, by this I mean they have provided details above and beyond what I expected from a product such as this. The only complaint I can make about the product is that there are not enough webbing straps for the backpacks. So you may think of this as a fill in set for your main work piece, but I would say this set is worthy of more consideration than that due to an especially good level of detail on a product of this type.