|MINIART - Shed With Wooden Fence|
Another scenic base from MiniArt - and they keep getting better!
Shed with Wooden Fence
Serial Number: 35556
Price: £21.59 (ModelHobbies)
MiniArt from the Ukraine, began making plastic kits in 2003, and has rapidly made a name for themselves, not only producing vehicle kits, but also for their figure sets, both historical and military in nature. Not so long ago they began producing a range of high quality modular dioramic bases, unusually in vac-form. After initial hesitation from some modellers, they've now gained a respectable following.
This is one very full box of plastic. I should also mention that since news of this particular diorama base was first released, the design of the kit has changed somewhat and new parts have been added. The title of the kit is also somewhat misleading, as we're actually given a lot more than the 'Shed with wooden fence' title would suggest!
Inside the box then, there are nine thick sheets of vac-formed plastic and six sprues of injection moulded plastic. I'll say it again; in case this is the first MiniArt review you've read...the vac-form sheets are not like the vac-formed sheets of old. They're quite thick and more properly resemble injection moulded plastic and can be used as such....it's just that their method of production is different along with the fact that to use them you have to cut them out of the sheet they're moulded as part of.
All the basic structural elements are produced as vac-form and are to be found on one of the nine sheets. All the various items of furniture are supplied on the injection moulded sprues, including the doors, window frames, ladder, table, benches, light and bracket, telegraph pole, and of course, the fence. This kit is somewhat unusual for MiniArt however, in that it does not include a base as such, as most MiniArt scenic kits do. There's so much in the kit though, that I don't really see that putting people off. The basic building contained within the kit was previously released as 35509 'German Shed', and we're actually supplied with the same instructions, but with a sticker placed over that title, showing the new one, plus a separate extra, double-sided sheet showing the assembly of the extra items in this release.
Construction begins interestingly enough with the lampost, which isn't part of this kit, but which is included. Except that it's not on the box art. Stay with me on this. It's just something that happens when you maximise your moulds. Anyway....the main thing is that there is one in the box if you want one, and its assembly is shown on the instructions. There's even a template on the instructions to allow you to cut some acetate for the lampost glass. The instructions then show the making of the window frames, which you will definitely need, and the door to the lean-to on the side of the main building. Following which the large main barn-like door is constructed. If you look closely at the pictures below, you'll appreciate just how subtle and well modelled the texture of these parts is. I've never constructed one of these MiniArt bases, but I'm getting closer to having to build one with every new release I look at. The detail and moulding of detail such as that woodgrain, is just too good not to wonder at what you could achieve with some paint. There are separate hinges supplied for the large door along with hinges for the small inset door too. The instructions then advise you to build one of the two ladders supposedly used in the kit from parts supplied on one of the vac-form sheets. This is done by joining two halves, once they're released from the sheet. As there are four separate ladders provided on the injection moulded sprues, you'd be better off just using a couple of them. They're better detailed and don't need two halves joining, again it's a case of the instructions not being amended to allow for the new, extra inclusions in the kit.
All the various walls of the building are double skinned to offer the correct thickness, along with providing detail on the inner surfaces of the building, and that also includes the roof. In fact, it's another case of actually getting a lot more than you would expect from the box art. It's actually an important point, since the I suspect it's the very word vac-form used when describing these kits, that conjures up images of sticking a few bits of flimsy plastic together to make a facsimile of a building....and it couldn't be more different. These are thick plastic parts that form the walls. Added to which they are double-skinned, various details such as doors and window frames are injection moulded, and other details such as internal walls, roof rafters, coving etc., are all provided too. In addition to all that we're given lamposts, hanging wall lights, telegraph poles, benches, a table, ladders...and spares for extra, such as window shutters, drainpipes, wrought iron railings.
I am desperately trying to think of other things I can put off so that I can start one of these kits. There's just so much potential here in this one kit that I literally can't wait to have a go at putting one together. Very highly recommended.
My thanks to MiniArt for the review sample!