Miniart 1/35 Valentine Mk.VI Canadian Built Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||November 2011||Manufacturer||Miniart|
|Subject||Valentine Mk.VI Canadian Built||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35123||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Highly detailed Valentine||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$63.95|
The Tank, Infantry, Mk III, Valentine was an infantry tank produced in the UK during WWII. More than 8,000 of the type were produced in 11 different marks plus various purpose-built variants, accounting for approximately a quarter of wartime British tank production. Over its lifetime it went from a riveted construction to entirely welded, and from a petrol power plant to a two-stroke diesel engine produced by GMC which was less likely to catch fire. It was supplied to the USSR and built under license in Canada. Developed by Vickers, it proved to be both strong and reliable.
MiniArt is a model company based in the Ukraine.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows a Valentine Mk. VI in overall dark green. It has Soviet markings on the side of the turret. This mark is a white square with a symbol that looks like a sail boat with WDN to the right of it. Below that is the serial number T73671 all in white. This is on the right side of the turret. On the other side this mark has a further mark of a large solid white diamond over top of it. This tank was with the 5th Guard Tank Brigade, 20th Army, North Caucasus, Summer 1942 (this mark is one of the two offered on the decal sheet).
The box art announces that it is an unassembled model kit containing 605 parts and contains 5 Soviet tank crewmen figures and photoetched parts. It is one of MiniArt’s WWII Military Miniatures Series.
One side panel shows a color profile of the box art subject. Next to this is color illustrations of the two brass PE frets included in the kit.
The other side panel repeats the kits features again and says the kit is aimed at modelers 14 and over, but not under 3 and glue and paints are not included. This is in several languages including English. A copyright date of 2011 appears as well as MiniArts street and e-mail address.
Upon opening the box, one immediately notices that this kit is stuffed. It contains a large sealed cello bag that has 19 medium gray parts trees, the decal sheet and 2 brass frets of photoetched parts.
The 2 identical letter B trees are in another sealed cello bag inside this larger one.
The decal sheet and PE frets are floating around loose inside the large cello and are not cello bagged themselves.
Letter C tree has it’s own sealed cello.
Letter A tree is also in a sealed cello.
The letter 3 letter J trees are all interconnected and loose, with no cello.
The single letter G hull tub part is in a cello.
The 2 letter D parts trees are loose, with no cello.
Finally, the 5 identical letter F trees are in a cello.
MiniArt sure has used a lot of cellos for these parts trees.
The instructions complete the kit’s contents.
The instructions consist of a stapled booklet of 12 pages. The cover pages are printed in full color and on a slick coated paper. The rest of the pages are printed in black and white on uncoated paper.
Page one begins with a 3-view of a Canadian Valentine in overall dark green, with the white serial number T15975 on the front and the rear of the hull. This is a tank assigned to a training unit, Borden Camp, Ontario Canada, 1942.
Below this is a color listing for Vallejo, Testor, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell and Mr. Color bands of hobby paints suggested to use to finish the model.
Page 2 begins with cautions in several languages, including English and international assembly symbol explanations in the same languages. Below that is the parts trees illustrations. Some parts are showing shaded out in these illustrations, meaning that they are EXCESS and not needed to complete the kit.
Pages 3 through 11 give a total of 48 assemby steps. The bottom of page 11 has MiniArt’s street and web addresses and MADE IN THE UKRAINE.
Page 12 has the full color 3-view for doing the Soviet box art subject, discribed already above. Below that is illustrations of the 5 Soviet tank crewmen and the parts to use for them and the colors.
Medium gray letter A parts tree holds: the dashboard instruments, glacis plate parts, interior raised deck part, fighting compartment floor, turret ring, control levers, driver’s seat, front and rear hull panels, storage boxes, hatches etc. (34 parts) Two parts are shaded out on the parts tree illustrations as being excess.
2 identical medium gray letter B parts tree holds: driver’s seat arms and supports, return rollers and their mounts, drive sprockets (made up from 6 parts), idler wheels (made up from 3 parts), tires, boggies and springs, headlight lamps, deck straps, grab handles etc. (77 parts per tree) Twenty-five parts are shaded out on the parts tree illustration as being excess on each of these trees.
Medium gray letter C parts tree holds: the final transfer covers, storage bins, a tool box, fire extinguisher, tools, small hull panels, headlight bases, muffler and exhaust pipe etc. (73 parts) Eighteen parts are shaded out on the part tree illustration as being excess.
There are 2 sprues for letter D. These hold: fender end pieces, gun breech parts, the radio and generator, turret side sections, turret periscopes, turret hatches and roof, radio aerial base parts, main gun, coaxial machine gun, hull side panels etc. (63 parts) Twelve parts are shaded out on the part tree illustration as being excess.
The 2 trees of Soviet crewmen parts are called out as being letter E in the parts tree drawings. However, in the assembly step drawings each figure’s parts are called out otherwise alphabetically, so be careful here. Each figure is divided into separate heads, torso, legs and arms. There are also 8 rounds of ammunition included on one of these 2 trees. 3 of the figures are handling the ammo rounds. One figure is to pose in the turret hatch and another is the seated driver figure. Two figures are bare headed and the other 3 wear leather helmets.
There are 5 identical medium gray letter F parts trees. These hold the individual track links. (44 links per tree)
There are 2 identical medium gray letter JB parts trees. These hold the road wheels. (14 parts) Two parts per tree are shaded out in the parts tree illustration as being excess.
There are 2 identical medium gray letter JE parts trees. These hold a larger diameter road wheel (2 parts per tree) The single medium gray letter JD part tree holds a turret half.
The 2 brass photoetched frets are next. They hold: the tool box mounting frame, siren shield, radio grills, spare track links strap, muffler guard screen, angle irons etc. (63 parts)
The decal sheet completes the kit’s contents.
MiniArt make the following kits of the Valentine:
- Kit no. 35092 Valentine Mk. IV with Red Army crew
- Kit no. 35096 British Infantry Tank Mk. III, Valentine Mk. II with crewmen
- Kit no. 35100 Pz.Kpfw. Mk. III 749(a) Valentine III with 3 crewmen
- Kit no. 35104 British Infantry Tank Valentine Mk.IX
- Kit no. 35106 British Infantry Tank Mk.3, Valentine Mk. V
- Kit no. 35111 British Infantry Tank Valentine Mk.XI/OP, 2 in 1
- Kit no. 35114 British Infantry Tank Valentine Mk. VIII
- Kit no. 35116 Valentine Mk. I with crewmen
- Kit no. 35119 British Infantry Tank Valentine Mk. X
- Kit no. 35123 Valentine Mk. VI Canadian-built, early production (subject of this review)
That’s 10 different kits of the Valentine done by MiniArt!! So, modelers can literally do just about every mark of the tank that existed.
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.