Another addition to Miniart’s ongoing Diorama Series, the Farmhouse w/Diorama Base is actually a combination of two Miniart products: “European Farm House” (36017) and “Village Diorama Base” (36015). Miniart has designed these two pieces to have the bases match so these kits can be built and go together as one.
As an added incentive, Miniart, in conjunction with Dragon are including a “Bonus” Dragon figure kit.
The kit is packed into a typical sturdy Miniart box with a glossy finish on the front and sides . The box art shows the completed model painted and with foliage. There are several photos on the side showing the piece from different angles. Inside the box there are 163 parts, 33 vacu-form building pieces and 130 injection molded pieces.
The dimensions of the base are 514mm x 207mm (20.23” x 8.15”).
The vacu-formed pieces are all formed in gray styrene. The injection molded sprues (2 large, 1 small) are molded in light grey plastic with the pop-out marks either hidden or on the side of the piece which probably won’t be seen. There is a reasonable amount of flash on the molded pieces although clean-up shouldn’t take too long.
As with all Miniart products you get some generic pieces that can be used or saved in the spares box. This kit is no different, lamp posts, ornate sign hangers, shutters etc. are included and either not used in the quantity included or not used at all.
The Village Diorama Base
(36015) has been reviewed by Steve Riley on the site and that review can be seen Here
The additional piece, European Farm House
(36017) fits right on as a continuation of the arched gate. Basically it depicts several small farm type out buildings all coming off from a common stone wall.
This combination creates an interesting diorama base. It is somewhat odd in that it creates a situation for the builder wherein he has an ‘inside’ portion and an ‘outside’ portion on the diorama to ‘fill’. Presumably an AFV can sit on the outside of the farm gate, however you will be somewhat limited as a large tank or vehicle will look awkward as the space isn’t large enough. The large space is inside the arched gate but the presence of a large AFV here begs the question “how did it get there”. The layout of the piece does lend itself to a maintenance type scene where the farmyard is being used to work on a variety of smaller vehicles. Pz 1’s II’s III’s Kubals, Schwims, etc.
The figure kit included as a “Bonus” is the older Panzergrenadiers, Panzer Lehr Division (Normandy 1944) This is not a particularly bad set of figures for their age. It depicts four figures standing with the officer holding a map and pointing. The figures include three sprues of weapons, one presumably came with the original 6002 figure kit and includes weapons that were in place in and around Normandy 1944. A second sprue, marked 6095 includes machine pistols, automatic assault rifles and panzerfausts. The third sprue, marked 6005, from the Cassino Paratroopers has rifles and weapons used by the fallschirmjager.
Innovative design that could be used as two small dioramas or one large. I feel the design/lay out of the piece is a bit awkward as there is a stone wall effectively splitting the diorama in two. Perhaps others will see this as a positive attraction as I’m sure with a little creative thinking applied, someone will be able to make a great diorama using this Miniart kit as a starting point.