MiniArt 35061 - Soviet Field Kitchen KP-42
I’ve never been a big builder of Soviet themed kits, the T-34 never really did it for me and the war in the East never really held a big appeal. But I do like Field Kitchens, possibly as I’m a big fan of the lower end of technology in World War Two. When MiniArt announced the production of this kit I really liked what it looked like and felt this was probably going to be the kit that dragged me kicking and screaming into building something Russian.
This kit comes in a small tray and lid style box on three large and one small light grey sprue. One of the larger sprues contains the four figures with a few accessories while the others contain the parts for the field kitchen itself. There is of course also the instruction sheet which is a single sheet of paper folded in half to create four pages with a total of twenty six steps done in simple black and white line diagram style.
The quality of the kitchen parts is excellent, the level of detail is very good, very sharp, and there is minimal clean-up with only faint mould seams and the only ejector pin marks are in locations that will never be seen. There’s a reasonably good ammount of parts, many of them small and delicate ones ( including four minute wingnuts ) that adds to the overall level of detail on this.
The chassis of the kitchen is a single frame to which a number of small, delicate handles and levers are attached. The leaf springs are very well done as is the draw bar coil spring. There is a folding stand for the front which comes as two parts, one for modelling it folded up, the other for modelling it down. Likewise there is a rear support stand and a small fold down foot stand with optional parts to show them either up or down. The mudguards do have a lot of small sprue pips so a little bit of clean up is required there to get rid of those.
The wheels are made up of of a centre hub with a seperate hub centre to which are fitted the tyres that are each made up from seven seperate slices. This results in some very nice all over tread detail. The detail is good, only missing the small air valve nub which never seems to be on any injection moulded kit. There are a total of three wheels included with a spare that mounts onto the storage box. This has two of the five bolt holes open with just three smaller bolt heads representing those mounting it in place.
The oven is really well done and looks superb. The firebox door is moulded closed so would need to pretty much be rebuilt to show it open ( and you’d need to add a fire inside ) as it would end up a total write off if you tried to modify it. The chimney is very well done and just crying out to be sooted up. The lid is very well detailed and can be posed open if you want though there is no internal pot so you just look straight into the fire box. Here the inclusion of a large internal pot would have been a major points gainer.
The storage box is a simple affair that isn’t designed to be shown open ( I’m hoping that at some point an AM company will do an interior for it allowing it to be shown opened as I’d love one ). The detail is very good though there are two parts moulded on that are shaped like small squared off handles that look like they are meant to be holding something in place ( possibly the large laddle ) but are solid. I’m not certain what these are but to me they look like they should be cut off and replaced with open ones. Included is a nicely done slide out table/stand which mounts to the underside and can actually be left to slide in and out if you want.
There are two hotboxes included which have a good degree of detail and it is here that the four miniature wingnuts are used. These aren’t designed to be posed open so will need a reasonable ammount of tweaking to be able to do so with them, mainly to the hginges and the lid interior as the insides can be covered by filling them with something to look like soup or stew etc. You will also need to make your own backpack straps and small mounting points for them if you want to show those on them. Considering the box art shows the cook filling one of these it would have been nice to have the option to have them open.
The figures did surprise me a little as the level of flash was not at all what I’m used to with MiniArt figures, especially their newer ones, so hopefully this was just an aboration as they all required quite a bit of cleanup of flash around all the mould seams. That part of it aside they have good detailing and nicely done faces. The aprons are included as seperate piece which gives them a very good look as the edges are nicely thinned. The only other small quibble is the lack of hobnails on the one boot sole that will be seen.
The accessories included with the figures are a bucket with one pile of potatoes to go in it ( the peeled ones ) and one pile to go beside it ( I was hoping for the potato sack on the box art but unfortunately not, this you will have to add yourself if you want one ), a small wooden stool, a small stack of logs, an axe, and a chopping block. There is also a long handled laddle for the cook, and a rifle and knapsack for the infantryman. The soldier peeling the potatoes also has a paring knife in his hand.
The painting guide surprisingly only covers the figures so I assume the kitchen will be the usual russian green. The guide uses a numbering technique with the numbers matched up to a chart which gives you the appropriate colour and number for paints from Vallejo, Testor, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, and Mr. Color.
Conclusion. In the end there was no kicking and screaming involved, this is a great little kit ( made better with the recent announcment of a horse drawn version sans the figures included here ). I did find the level of flash on the figures to be more than the usual for MiniArt figures and there are little quibbles like the lack of an internal pot and that the hotboxes can’t be posed open without some work. I do realise though that these aren’t faults in the kit but more my desire to be able to have bits open to show the kitchen in use.
So those quibbles aside if you’re looking for something a little different for your soviet diorama then this one could be just the ticket as it is really a very nice kit. One other major advantage I found with this is that with the Germans using so much captured soviet equipment this would work equally well as a beute kitchen in german use with three of the four figures quite easy to modify into germans.
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