Adding to their ever growing catalogue of figure sets, MiniArt
has recently released two sets designated for armored cars, this one being the German Armored Car Crew to counter their British set recently reviewed by Alan McNeilly. Even though this set is titled as being specific to armored cars, the uniforms were also worn by Panzer crews, only differentiated by the type and/or color of the patches and badges worn.
The five figures in this set are from two recent releases from MiniArt. The first three figures are included in the Dingo Mk.I reviewed here
. The last two figures were included in the Dingo Mk. II reviewed here
. With the Dingo being a rare vehicle in the German forces, itís nice that the figures are now available separately, as not all may even want the Dingo.
The kit consists of five figures, 49 parts molded in soft grey plastic on two separate sprues. There are a total of 42 parts for the figures, with the remaining used for a Kar98, and two MG-34s with ammo canisters and bi-pods. The box top shows five colored renderings done by Andrey Karaschuk of all five crewmen, which gives an excellent paint reference. These are also shown on the back of the box, which is your building and painting guide. The kit includes a small scan of the sprues which will indicate the part numbers. The paint chart has reference for six of the major paint manufactures, including Vallejo. The figures were sculpted by Andrey Bleskin.
The main parts are well detailed with proper cloth folds and seams where they should be. Detail on the face and hands are excellent, being some of the best on the market for plastic figures. There are collar badges molded on, but no detail is present. The same goes for the shoulder straps, theyíre molded on, but again no detail is shown. Buttons and pockets are nice and crisp, located where they should be. They all have the Tank Battle Badge, but the detail is poor. Same goes for the belt buckle, itís there, but the detail is very poor. Two of the figures have the Knights Cross, figure 2 and 5.
The box art shows cuff titles on the three DAK figures, but they are not present on the kit figures themselves. Each part has a minor seam, which can easily be removed, with exception to the one on the boots, which goes right through the laces and will most likely prove to be difficult to clean up. I'll cover each figure as shown on the box art from left to right for additional details of each.
This figure is obviously from the Africa campaign, easily identifiable by the tropical sun helmet. He also wears DAK tropical tunic and field trousers. He consists of nine parts which include the body, helmet, a sidearm, and a full 'bald' head to accommodate the helmet. His right arm comes as a half arm, and a separate hand. The main parts are well detailed. Some detail is missing on the helmet in the form of the ridges that run from the brim to the top. It also lacks a chin strap, but that can easily be added.
This one is also wearing the tropical tunic. He wears the M36 field trousers, M34 field side cap, and laced riding boots. This figure is the only one that includes binoculars.
Here is one of the more common uniforms. He wears the tropical tunic M38 field side cap, and has the standard field trousers.
Figures 4 & 5:
Both of these figures wear the same M44 field jacket and trousers. These can be painted with the pea pattern camo, or can easily be made into the common black panzer uniform. Both have the black M43 field cap. Figure 4 is intended as a driver, and figure 5 as a commander.
MiniArt has certainly put out a nice set of figures, covering the war from early to late, all in one box. And for the price, you certainly cannot go wrong. Out of the box they'll make an excellent addition to an armored model. Or with the addition of some photo etch parts, theyíll rival even some of the best resin figures.
I assembled one of the figures and found that the parts fit nice, with only a small gap at two joints, which was easily filled with putty. There is some minor flashing, but was easily removed with some liquid cement and a brush. Iím rather picky about the figures I use, and with these, I can highly recommend them.