The contents of the kit follow the familiar MiniArt pattern, of vacuum formed wall and floor parts and two white sprues of plastic windows, doors, street lights etc. The vac-formed wall sections are moulded well, without any flaws or sections which are too thin. There are a large number of small ‘pips’ on corners and along edges, which are part of the mould line up, but these are easily dealt with with a knife and a touch of filler. Some of the exposed brickwork is not as sharp as it could be, but not so bad as to distract from the overall building after painting and weathering.
The white sprues are familiar, as they are the same for all the MiniArt buildings. All the buildings from MiniArt have similar sized windows and doors, and although this may seem like a short cut, it does mean that the overall cost of production can be kept low. In any event the buildings have more than enough individuality for the similarity not to be too obvious, apart from the double doors. But I will add scratch built doors, to change them for single doors, which I feel are more appropriate for front doors at any rate. The kit’s double doors are excellent for balcony doors however, more of which in another review. Also on the sprue are several different street and wall lights, which will add to this house as well to any other diorama.
The house consists of four outside walls, with one rounded corner. The ground floor has two arch type openings to the street, and concrete flight of stairs going up to the first floor (or second floor for our American friends…). The upstairs has no other interior walls, but the way the stairs end at what looks like a doorway next to another doorway in to the upstairs room a small wall to create a stairwell would really finish it off. No roof section is provided, but it should not be a problem to add a small piece of flat roof from wood or plasticard if you so wish.
Three different light options are provided, one hanging from an ornate wall bracket and two different free standing street lights. One has the light housing fitted atop a straight post, the other hanging of a looped post. As there are two sprues, there are two of each, giving you a total of four individual lights.
Also included is a sheet of commercial wall signs and house numbers. The signs depict weather worn enamel signs, and look beautiful. Glued to a thin sheet of plasticard and a (optional) coat of varnish they should really add the icing on the cake. All the signs are however in Hungarian, which limits their use for dioramas in other countries.
This building would look great with an Anti-Tank gun hidden on the ground floor, trained across a crossroads, or perhaps with a civilian car parked inside, covered in debris…. As the stairs lead intact to the first floor, perhaps a sniper or MG team in the window? This building offers endless possibilities and really stands out, both through its layout and complete yet compact shape.
The vac-formed parts are easy to cut out, but you do need a sharp exacto blade. After sanding the edges they fit very well together, and this kit should pose no problems to any modeller with some experience. For those who have not worked with vac-form models before, MiniArt does some simpler buildings, such as the Russian City Building (kit 35016) or the Park Gate and Fence (kit 35007) which could be a nice introduction to this kind of kit. Keep posted for a step by step soon, when I will build this for a Berlin diorama.
You can check out their website http://www.miniart-models.com/
for all their other 1:35 scale kits, and they also do and interesting line in 1:16 scale figures.
My thanks go to Svetlana at MiniArt for providing this review sample.