Railroad Power Poles and Lamps
MiniArt Models is a Ukrainian company with a unique distinction. Several years ago, during some unpleasantness with those pesky Russians (annexing Crimea and occupying portions of eastern Ukraine), they shut down their manufacturing facility and moved the entire thing to the western portion of Ukraine.
Nevertheless, MiniArt Models continues to release some unusual and pretty nifty kits. Among them are full kits of some not so run-of-the-mill vehicles and a wide range of structures: cafes, eastern European ruins, cottages, and other cityscape buildings. To help spiff up those structures, MiniArt has a line of building and accessories details, among them a set of Railroad Power Poles and Lamps.
With seventy parts on eleven sprues this kit contains two complete Railroad Power Poles. Aside from the light gray plastic for the actual structure, the kit also provides clear parts (bulbs and light lenses) for the associated street lights. MiniArt includes is a short piece of string/thread for the cable system that represents the tension system used on the prototype pole. In my example, this cable was sufficient for only one pole. Substituting with either EZ Line, thread from your sewing notions, or some other suitable replacement will solve this problem.
Although assembly is straightforward, I would not recommend this kit for the beginner. There are some delicate parts and more than enough sprue attachment points to warrant that proviso. I would advise you to do as much part cleanup (removing minimal flash) while the parts are attached to the sprue. This will help avoid the errant bending of some of the parts that I encountered. Although that bending might be attributable to my fat fingers.
The Railroad Power Poles come in two sections. The upper portion of the primary structure fits into the lower portion. Attached to the tower is a cantilevered pulley system for the power line. Included with this pulley system is the tension system for keeping things well taut! The tension system includes a cable that runs over a couple of pulleys from the power cable insulator to a counter weight. The weights themselves are molded as separate parts and fit into a carrier. Be careful with the carrier (part Da8). It is very delicate once removed from the sprue. I wound up bending mine several times. All the parts show nice molded detail, fastening rivets and all.
MiniArt provides several options when it comes to configuring the street lamps. Depending on your preference, you can include both light fixtures, just one, or exclude them altogether. Those light fixtures consist of four separate parts: the fixture itself, a clear part for the bulb, a clear light lens, and a support rod that attaches to the pole. A seasoned modeler might be able to electrify the lights but that is beyond my skill set.
The six construction steps are laid out nicely with some exploded views of the delicate areas of assembly. Do be sure to hang on to the box because the assembly instructions are printed on the back. The painting guide is pretty basic with only three suggested colors (black, white, and green). The color for the structure is black with green for the light shade. The suggested color for the interior of the lampshade is white, although I painted mine aluminum. I painted the light bulb with some clear orange to add an additional splash of color.
From a cursory search on the internet just about any color would work for the pole structure although most photos of these power poles do show them to be either black or some metallic color (aluminum, steel, etc.). These are, after all, railroad power poles and as such would be found next to a railroad which can be a grimy, dingy setting. But it does provide a perfect opportunity to exercise some artistic license. I painted the counter weights red for an extra bit of color. The suggested color for the electrical insulator is black. I decided to paint my example white, operating on the assumption that most electrical insulators are porcelain. You will need to provide your own power line. I have shown mine as if damaged by a storm or from an attack of some kind.
The Railroad Power Poles and Lamps from MiniArt Models will provide a nice enhancement for any 1/35th scale rail scene, particularly that European Tram scene you've been meaning to finish. These accessory details could also be used for a stand-alone vignette (a post-apocalyptic scene springs to mind) or in conjunction with just about any of MiniArt Models other structure kits.
My thanks to MiniArt Models for the review copy.