MiniArt is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies to review products from. Now MiniArt has released a new line of 1/72 scale kits. This is the first major release from this new line. For HO scale railroaders and 1/72 wargamers, this new system of modular brick wall structures will be a nice addition.
The kit comes molded in several colors, all of which are moot if you are going to paint the model, but it could be assembled without paint and look decent. There was a major problem with inaccurate printed instructions being shipped with the first releases of this kit. At first I thought I didn’t have enough sprues in the kit, but MRC quickly provided me with revised instructions and a replacement kit, since I had already glued walls beyond reasonable repair.
The kit has many, many ejector pin marks which need to be removed; however, compared to similar wall panels in this scale (such as DPM panels), this is easily done. There are no 45-degree corners requiring a belt sander in order to build the kit like with DPM panels. The parts slot together in a very precise manner. You need to be careful at this stage of assembly, however, because the courses of brick need to line up a certain way. Any variation will be noticeable in the final product. To the inexperienced modeler, this could cause some unsightly gaps. So, I would only recommend this kit to experienced modelers.
The roof is built from thin plastic textured with slate shingles. These roof plates are quite flimsy, and I would recommend reinforcing the roof with plasticard. The gaps between roof plates were unsightly, so I added thin strips of plasticard to hide them. I thought that the roof was too fragile for putty and sanding. Also, I built this kit with the intention of painting it, so instead of following the instructions I broke it down into subassemblies, painting all of the doors, windows, lentils, and dentils on the sprue for ease of painting and assembly. If you intend to paintg this kit, I highly recommend building each wall section separately, and especially one floor at a time.
To paint it, I used my Badger SOTAR 2020 airbrush exclusively, using various brands of acrylics. The mortar lines between the bricks were done with White India Ink from Dr. P.H. Martin.
A very special thanks to MRC for providing the replacement kit and instructions quickly, and thanks to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.