One of the great things about bricks is that they are pretty universally used and they have pretty much stayed the same in their basic shape and material for over one hundred years. So a brick wall in Tet in 1968 doesn’t look that dissimilar to a brick wall in France in 1916 or a brickwall in Germany in 1945. And that’s one of the things that makes kits like this so useful, their versatility.
This kit comes in a medium sized tray and lid style box containing twenty-nine vacu-formed pieces with which to make the wall sections as well as two matching sprues in white plastic with a further fifty pieces that make up into two street lamps, two coach lamps and several wrought iron panels that can be used in fences etc ( these parts, other than the street lamps, are generic to many MiniArt kits so some of the parts aren’t intended for use in this kit but make valuable additions to the spares box ). There is also a double sided sheet of instructions done in simple line diagram style.
What you get is three complete wall sections with two additional short sections ending in a ragged, broken look. There are also four capped brick pillars which can be used between the wall sections. You of course also get the two street lamps and various other left over bits. This allows you the freedom to assemble the wall sections how you like, or even to combine two or more kits into one longer wall or even a full courtyard wall.
Assembly of the wall sections is straight forward with the instructions being clear and easy to follow. There is a degree of skill required in assembling the wall parts as the pieces 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 joint line. Experience working with vacu-formed kits would definitely be an advantage but once you have the hang of it they’re really quite easy to do.
The street lamps and the other parts on the accessories sprues are quite nice but to be honest they are showing their age in being among MiniArt’s earliest kits. I’d actually like to see Miniart take these and give them a clean up and remould them in better plastic as I feel like their current kit quality is so much better than these suggest. Which isn’t to say they are bad because they aren’t, they just require a bit more clean up and can do with some sharpening up in places.
There is no clear inserts of the lamps to represent the glass which is another thing I would like to see included. You can make them youself using some thin, clear plastic such as that used on boxes with a clear see through cover ( Barbie Doll boxes when you have daughters are great for this ). Oddly there is also no lightbulb but the small ones used by model railroaders will work ( especially if you actually want to run wiring through these ).
Conclusion. This is one of MiniArt’s simpler vacu-formed kits, being marketed as an accessory rather than a diorama base like many of their building related kits. Simple though it may be this fills a much needed gap in the market, allowing people to build brick walls in many scenarios, and just as importantly ( to me at least ) they aren’t all bomb damaged ones. While I do think the accessories sprues need updating and the absence of clear panels and lightbulbs is a bit of a negative I think those should be seen as extra bits to the main brick wall kit itself and should not detrat from the overall kit.
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