MiniArt continues to dazzle and amaze us with another in their series of building and ruin kits. This time, in 1:72 scale, we have “Building w/Garage”, kit #72031. This a typical mid-century European automotive service garage building with the residence located up on the top floor. The kit represents a complete, undamaged building and not a ruin. It is also all injection molded styrene with none of the vacuum-formed parts found in some of their 1:35 scale releases in the same genre.
The 13.5’” by 10.5” by 2.25” box is the preferred top and bottom (lid) type. There is a nice artist’s rendition of the building on the box top which can serve as a helpful painting guide, although colors can ultimately be left to the imagination of the individual modeler. However, considering the weight and quantity of the box contents, I felt that the box was a bit flimsy (mine is coming apart already!).
Upon opening the box, you’ll find one big, clear poly bag stuffed full of 200 multi-colored parts, attached to 48 separate sprues. Parts are molded in a brick red color (for the brick wall areas), orange (for the roof parts), white (for window frames), brown (for door frames and doors) and black (for stairs, balcony and gutter parts). There are no clear parts supplied for window glass panes, but that should be an easy fix with some clear acetate or plastic sheet. All but three of the supplied parts are used. There is no provision for interior details, but the enterprising modeler could surely scratch build those types of details (maybe a garage interior featuring a vehicle?).
The instruction sheet is printed in full-color on a good heavy gloss finish stock folded in half to an 8.5” x 11” format, which clearly lays out 17 assembly steps. There is a parts map, but no color call-outs. At the bottom of the first page of the instruction sheet, you will find some posters and signs printed in 1:72 scale. To use them, all that would be needed is to cut them out and mount them either directly on to the finished building, or mount them to some plastic sheet first and then place them on the building (my preferred choice).
As I mentioned before, this kit is not a building ruin, but rather a representation of a fully functional, undamaged edifice. Due to the large number of parts, it is also not a kit for beginners or the faint-hearted. Parts are all cleanly molded and ejector pin marks appear to be limited to inside or unseen surfaces.
I did find flash on the smaller parts that make up the staircase (black-color parts) and due to their delicate nature, could prove a fiddly clean up. Speaking of fiddly, assembling that staircase and landing (16 tiny, individual steps and two side railing to hold them) looks to also be a fiddly affair. Detail on the parts is delicate and superb for 1:72 scale and even the rollers and track for the big garage door are nicely represented. The separately molded gutters and downspouts are a welcome inclusion.
The various parts assemble into sub-assemblies or modules, which are then all brought together - a logical method. The parts fit appears to be good and with patience and care, assembly should pose no problems (except for that staircase!).
While parts are molded in colors that are representative of their purpose (like brick red for the brick wall parts) one could, theoretically, not paint the kit. However, this model is just crying out for a good painting and weathering job. Again. colors are up to you, but the box top art is a good starting point. The results you get from this kit all boil down to the time and patience which you put into it, since the kit itself is quite nice.
If your latest diorama idea calls for a building like this one (or any of the others in the MiniArt small-scale line) I can definitely recommend this kit. It isn’t exactly cheap, but I feel that it does give excellent value for the dollar - everything that you need to make a great looking building is in the box. Well, everything except your own time and skill!
Many thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for supplying this review sample and to IPMS-USA for allowing me the pleasure of writing this review.