MiniArt’s German Tank Crew Normandy 1944 contains five figures wearing their German uniforms under bad weather leathers. The commander figure is posed as if he’s standing in a vehicle hatch, scanning the terrain. The other four are depicted during moments of relaxation and revelry. An accordion player appears to tap his toe in time with the music. An NCO stands with his jacket open and an amused look on his face. Perhaps he’s listening to the music or a joke. His jacket has a nice undercut behind him. A crewman wearing a scarf is posed sitting somewhere on the tank (turret, hull) or a stack of boxes, perhaps listening to the music or posing for a photograph. A smiling crewman is posed to lean on the main gun, the hull, or stacked supplies/equipment.
Examining the pieces on the two enclosed sprues, everything appears in order. Mold seams are light and easy to remove, either with a sharp hobby blade gently scraped perpendicularly along them, or by light sanding. There was very little flash. There aren’t any sprue numbers for the parts. Instead, MiniArt provides a black and white insert (see photo) and the box’s assembly guide is found on the back. All parts are distinguishable enough and located on the sprues next to the parts they relate to so you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring the assembly out.
The faces are very similar in features; I’d go so far as to suggest they’re siblings! Perhaps an aftermarket manufacturer of heads will help, or keeping your painting of the faces as simple as possible (simple wash for depth, simple highlights or dry brushing).
The fabrics and materials are well done. You definitely can tell the difference between the cloth uniforms and leather outerwear. The hands are well sculpted on each figure.
Undercuts at the ends of sleeves and trousers are not present. You’ll have to drill out and shape the styrene so the fabric looks realistic. Unfortunately, you will have to do some careful sanding and use putty to fill in gaps between parts: arms to torso, heads to torsos, and leg to leg.
Although the box art shows a pair of binoculars hanging from the commander’s neck, the kit does not have a pair of binoculars. You will need to get them from another figure kit or make your own.
With the exception of the bellows (a two piece assembly), the accordion is hollow. It will be easy to see behind the figure in your vignette or diorama; use styrene card to fill in the hollows. I had some trouble trying to get both hands to touch the instrument. I settled by having the left hand touch the bass buttons and his right hand appearing to be in motion, hovering over the keyboard. If I had more time, I’d opt to re-sculpt one of the figure’s shoulders so I can have both hands actually on the accordion.
The figures were primed with Citadel white primer and painted with Vallejo Model Colors.
Thank you to IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this kit, to MRC for supplying the kit, and to MiniArt for producing the kit.