German Tank Crew Afrika Korps

Published on
April 11, 2013
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: MiniArt - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: MRC - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

This set consists of five figures all conducting some basic tank maintenance. The figures come on two sprues with 35 parts. The box art and instructions on the back of the box show the figures as completed. The first figure is a commander watching the others work, the second is either entering or exiting the right side turret hatch, the third is running the barrel cleaner up the barrel, the fourth appears to be cleaning the turret machine gun, and the last is helping guide the barrel cleaner into the barrel. The poses are well done and depict a reasonable amount of action.

The biggest concern I have about this set is that they have no shirts on. This means there are seams where the arms attach to the body that will have to be filled in. This went reasonably well, but the heads were attached as a flat joint, not the usual pointed or rounded neck. This caused seams and these were much harder to fill and smooth out. These seams may well be more pronounced after painting. The next problem I ran into was there is no Panzer III tank in my built collection that will allow the fourth figure actually to be in the position of working on the MG as depicted in the box art. You will need to take precautions when building the second figure who is entering or exiting the turret. His hands need to be properly placed to be on the hatch. I suggest that you wait to glue the hatch until you have the figure finished enough to get the hatch into the proper position so that the figure is being supported by the hatch. The last observation I have is that almost every figure in this set has six-pack abs and nipples that are too large for a man. The nipples can be corrected but the abs stick out and it makes it appear that the German tank troops spent more time at the gym instead of in the field.

The set had very minimal flash and no ejection pin marks. What mold lines that were there were easily removed with a sharp blade. There are no decals, and the painting instructions are just for the shoes, shorts, and head gear. The paint colors are coded for Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr. Color, and Life Color.

If you are one of the figure builders/painters who subscribe to the concept of “if it is a plastic head, replace it with a resin one,” then you might want to do so with this set. The facial expressions are well done, but seem almost identical. However, due to the unique method of attaching the heads, I do not believe that you will be able to do so.

I constructed the figures using a Tenax-type of glue. This softened the plastic enough that as pressure is applied to the joint, some dissolved plastic will ooze out and, after hardening, any excess can be cut or sanded away. I used very little filler. The fit was acceptable and little adjustment was required to get the proper poses.

Conclusion – This set is a mini-diorama waiting for you to create an Afrika Korps tank maintenance work scene. It is well done and, as with most of MiniArt’s figures sets, different and eye catching. Don’t let my figure painting deter you from this set; it is much better than what I painted.

Thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the review space.


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