Every now and then you have a wonderful vehicle that stands a bit lonely on its own. There are ways to solve this, and most of the times people start looking for a small base to put it on. Of course you can make this yourself but not everybody has the skills to do that or is willing to take that time, and there are a lot of companies on the market nowadays who offer really neat solutions that offer you results in only a fraction of the time needed to create it yourself.
One of those companies is MiniArt
who have proven over the past few years that they are indeed a worthy player. Operating in several areas from figures to vehicles to buildings for diorama’s, all the way to complete diorama’s with buildings.
Their building and diorama range is very impressive and covers buildings from basically every corner of Europe and the middle east, offering the perfect solution for those who look for a quick fix.The buildings and dioramas are vacuform.
Kit# 36051, Diorama with Park Wall, depicts a rural unhardened road with a generic park wall which can be situated pretty much anywhere in Europe. The box is 29cm wide, 19cm high and 5cm deep and looks like the standard MiniArt box. On the top of the box is a nice picture of a finished example of the diorama.
In the box you will find 3 sheets of vacuformed styrene and 2 sprues of injection molded styrene, all in the signature dark grey styrene MiniArt uses. Also included is a small instruction sheet.
The largest of the three vacuformed sheets is the base with the road and the foundations of the park wall and measures 17,8 cm deep and 23,4 cm wide. A size that allows you to stow a vehicle up to the size of a Panzer III or IV. I actually tested it with a Tiger and a KVII as well. They fit, albeit a very tight fit and the Tiger’s barrel sticks over the edge of the base.
The other two sheets are smaller and contain all the parts for the Park Wall, 10 pieces in total. They are the 3 walls and the pillar at the corner.
The 2 Styrene sprues are mainly added for the wrought iron fence that is between the walls which amount to 6 parts, 2 are for the fence and 4 for the posts. But the sprues also offer you parts for a park bench (the type with the wrought iron sides), 2 small bollards, 2 sewer hatches and 2 drainage grills,of those things only the bench could really be placed here. The rest is pure bonus to spice up other diorama’s.
Customary to MiniArt the details are top notch. The base is sharply vacuformed with a lot of really nice details. The road has a nice sandy surface with tire treads in it and some bigger rocks. Then comes the granite stone sidewalk with gravel between them, very sharp. The foundation of the park wall is perfectly in order and a nice sandy underground for your park corner.
The park wall itself has a really neat texture and the plaster is damaged in several places showing the bricks underneath.
As with all the Vacuform kits you have small “nubs” all over the parts that make sure the detail gets picked up on the big flat area’s before that gets closed off by the styrene and the edge of the master during the vacuforming process. These should be sanded off. Keep in mind that this could leave some holes on the more extruded parts that in turn need to be filled with a bit of putty.
The injection molded items are sharply molded with good details. Not many problems should be encountered there.
Vacuform does not equal EEEEEEK!
Now, whenever you mention vacuform you almost hear people sucking in air and holding their breath. It can be daunting for sure. I can remember when I got my first vacuform kit the first thoughts that crossed my mind were: “What the hell am I supposed to do with these?” But after a few trial and errors they are actually very enjoyable to do.
To help you MiniArt has a really good step by step showing you what to do. You can find it here:
MiniArt Assembly Tutorial
For this review I have assembled this kit to give you an idea of the end result. Total time taken to get it to primer-ready was about 1.5 to 2 hours, which is considerably less time then you need to create a base like this yourself.
In honesty I can say that this is a really nice release from MiniArt. It gives you, the modeler, the opportunity to create a really neat base for your vehicle in the shortest amount of time. Details are sharp. All the parts fit together neatly and they fit perfectly on the base. It is a timeless diorama base in the sense that it can pretty much be used anywhere and almost in any timeframe as well. Added to that comes the fact that you can place pretty big vehicles on top of it. Everything up to the size of a Panzer III/IV will fit on it without any problems.
The additional details like the fence work very well and if you add a small vehicle and a few figures on to the base you can add the park bench as well. Leaving you with a few nice items for the scrap box to be used in another project.
A Build Log
has been started in the forums.