MiniArt 36028 – Village Diorama With Fountain
If you’re like me and like to build dioramas but aren’t that into making your own buildings to put on them then MiniArt is the go-to company. If you don’t know them yet they do an extensive range of full, partial, and destroyed buildings in vacuum formed plastic mouldings as well as a number of diorama bases that accomodate one or two of those buildings. These allow you to quickly and easily place a vehicle and figures into a ready made scene with a minimum of effort.
This particular diorama set is one of their newer offerings and portrays a bombed out corner section of a brick and plaster building together with a small section of iron fence, a paved road, and a small communal type water fountain such as you would find in the centre of a small village. I’m not certain what geographical areas this suits best but it makes me think of a small Italian village.
The kit consists of thirty vacuum formed parts for the building and fountain plus the vacuum formed base ( measuring 21cm x 26cm ). There are also two sprues with forty two parts of injection moulded accessories such as the doors and doorframes, window frames, window shutters, a wall mounted lantern style light frame, streetlamp, and sections of fence. The instructions are printed on a single folded sheet making four pages of simple line diagram drawings which are clear and easy to follow.
The building represents a corner section of a two story building with most of the upper floor destroyed and it stands 17.5cm tall at the highest point once complete. The exterior is finished in a plaster over brick look with the internal walls looking similar but having less missing plaster. There is no internal floor but rather a pile of rubble, so if you want a floor you’ll need to add your own to bring it up level with the top of the stairs.
The window frames, doorframe and door are provided but there is no glass for the windows so you’ll need to add your own. Both the windows and doors can be position either open or closed and though window shutters are included these aren’t indicated as being used so can go into the spares box or can be used if you so desire. These sprue parts require a small degree of clean-up with some light flashing and mould seems being present.
The fountain, like the building, is made from vacu-formed parts and stands 7cm tall when complete. Filled with clear resin ( or similar water reproducing products ) it looks very good indeed. The paved base is designed to sit onto the main base piece but no clear area is left for it which allows you to use the base without the fountain if you want to without having to deal with a large blank square.
The accessories provided on the two injection moulded sprues include the door and windows as mentioned as well as two sections of fence to be used on the low wall. There are also several items included which aren’t intended for use on this kit which will add to the spares box. These include two wooden gates, four wooden shutters ( which will fit the included windows if you do want to use them ), and a free standing street lamp. The street lamp, like the windows, does not include anything to replicate the glass so you’ll need to do that yourself.
Assembling the building and fountain requires a degree of skill as the pieces are vacu-formed and need to be removed by scribing and snapping rather than cutting to get clean edges and once they are glued together they require a bit of clean up to eliminate all sign of the central joint line, but this is well worth the effort as the finished scene looks very good indeed.
Overall this makes up into a very nice looking medium sized diorama just waiting for vehicles and/or figures to bring it to life. Miniart buildings aren’t readily available in NZ but if you can get your hands on one for a reasonable price then you’ll find them to be well worth the effort. I would be nice to see them address the issue of not including something to do the glass parts with. This is easily addressed using thick clear plastic found on a lot of everyday packaging but a small pre-perforated section to use would be a very welcome addition.
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