ARM: Review - Miniart 1/35 scale Norman Street

Kit Review: Miniart 1/35 scale Kit No. 36045; Norman Street; 132 parts (110=
in grey styrene, 22 vacuformed plastic); retail price US$72.00
Advantages: provides generic northern European buildings and brick street b=
ase for a diorama or display; provision of French wall posters a nice touch
Disadvantages: base will require stiffening; some skill with vacuform assem=
bly essential
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all diorama and vignette builders looking to northern E=
Several years ago Chris Mrosko described a base he was working on as a =93=
wedgie=94. Since then this term has come to define a diorama or display bas=
e which takes a section of the real world (e.g. buildings, bridges, terrain=
, vehicles, etc.) and cuts them at sharp angles to present a specific area =
of focus. Miniart has taken this to heart and is now producing some excelle=
nt generic bases for dioramas and vignettes.=20
This particular kit consists of a section of nominal French street =96 arc=
hitecturally it could be anywhere in northern France, Belgium or Holland =
=96 and provides two three-story buildings and a section of brick street fo=
r use as a base. The base is large enough to hold a vehicle up to and inclu=
ding the size of a Panther but will look better with something like a Panze=
r IV or Sherman on it.=20
Each of the buildings (as a =93wedgie=94) comes with sections of flooring =
behind the windows on each floor, and the floors have both top and bottom s=
ections. The buildings are essentially undamaged so the floors and the ceil=
ings below them are intact. The same goes for the roofs, and as a result th=
ere are no exposed beams or shattered tiles on their outsides. They do pres=
ent the =93lived-in=94 look with cracked or missing sections of plaster on =
their outer sides exposing the brickwork underneath.
A large selection of windows, =93Dutch doors=94, two styles of front doors=
, shutters and other accessories are provided for detailing the structures,=
and a sidewalk is molded into the base in front of the houses.=20
No painting or finishing instructions are included other than some general=
hints on where the large posters (included on the back of the directions) =
should be placed, offering a choice between a store and a caf=E9. A single =
German =93einbahnstrasse=94 (one way street) sign is included for the post-=
June 1940 era. Also, no glazing is provided so the modeler will need to fin=
d either fine glass (microscope slide plates) or clear styrene to represent=
this feature.=20
There are some general hints on assembling this type of kit. First off, as=
the main parts are vacuformed, they are studded with small pips that come =
from ensuring sufficient vacuum pressure was used to get all of the details=
to show. All of these must be removed using a chisel-bladed hobby knife, a=
nd some may leave small holes behind which need filling. Also, because they=
are vacuformed, all of the edges are not at a 90 degree angle and may requ=
ire some forethought prior to assembly. This may mean removing them and rep=
lacing them with heavy styrene strip or reinforcing them with strip on thei=
r insides so when sanded down they still provide sufficient strength for re=
taining assembly.=20
I suggest cutting a section of 1/4" plywood and using either contact cemen=
t or epoxy to attach it to the underside of the base for stability and suff=
icient counterweight to prevent the assembled model from flipping over. Alt=
ernatively, the entire base can be cemented to a section of wood, metal or =
plastic and then finished.=20
Some modelers report the vacuformed plastic does not work well with common=
styrene cement so you may need to use something stronger such as Weld-On o=
r Ambroid multipurpose liquid cement (the kind which will join plexiglass, =
ABS or styrene to each other).=20
Overall this is an excellent idea and while seemingly expensive is probabl=
y cheaper, lighter and easier to finish than comparable plaster (hydrocal) =
or resin offerings, and in the case of resin is less likely to suffer from =
Note: for those who wish to do French buildings, Emmanuel Nouailier has be=
en providing an excellent series to =93Military Modelling=94 this year on h=
ow he finishes HO scale buildings to get that =93gritty=94 effect; while he=
concentrates on small scale, the techniques he covers are very useful for =
this type of building as well.=20
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.=20
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
Loading thread data ...

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.