Miniart are probably best known for their vacu-formed diorama buildings and their excellent range of injection moulded figure sets, and over the past year they have begun bringing us a lot of new diorama accessories and some smaller, simpler diorama bases and buidling accessories. These aren’t the biggest, flashest kits, but they are very useful ones when you’re a diorama builder.
This kit is their recent “River Embankment Section” one and comes in a medium sized tray and lid style box containing eight vacu-formed parts and six matching sprues of injection moulded accessories as well as a simple double sided sheet of printed instructions. Not all of the accessories are intended to be used with this kit so they can go into the spares box, but most of them can be used if you so desire ( with the exception that six manholes might look a little odd in such a small area ).
Assembly of the embankment section is straight forward with the instructions being clear and easy to follow though experience working with vacu-formed kits would definitely be an advantage ( don’t let that put you off, it’s easier than it sounds ). You don’t get the two sides with this as you’re intended to use the sides of your diorama base to enclose it, so what you get is the stairs and landings as well as the vertical wall, paved road and footpath section.
The accessories are the one and a half of the set that Miniart sells seperately as kit number 35530, “Street Accessories” which was reviewed HERE, but basically you get six manholes with seperate covers, six gutter drains, three bench seats, six bollards, six fence posts, and six fence sections. You’re only intended to use the fence posts and fence sections and perhaps the bollards. The instructions also show one each of the drains and manholes being used though the base of the embankment section doesn’t have holes for either of these so if you decide to use these you will need to cut your own.
The mouldings on all the accessories parts are sharp and clean with no sign of flash, minimal mould seams and no noticeable sinkhole marks. The seat frames are very delicate and extremely well done, and the bolt details on the seat planking is excellent. The fence sections look good as they are but I think with a coating of Mr Surfacer to give them a rough wrought iron effect that they would be even better. The fence posts and bollards each come as two halves so careful joining and cleaning up of the join line is required.
Conclusion. I’m a big fan of MiniArt’s diorama buildings so you won’t be at all surprised that I think this is a fantastic little kit. All the accessory bits alone make it worth getting and the possibilities for displaying it are endless. To date I’ve only seen similar layouts in rather expensive resin kits and this one costs very little by comparison. The only real challenge with this kit would be in doing it justice with a decent resin water foreground at the base of the stairs. Highly recommended.
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