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Service Station

MiniArt 1/72 Service Station Build Review

By Steve Causey

Date of Review November 2013 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject Service Station Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72028 Primary Media Styrene
Pros High level of detail, excellent molding Cons Base/foundation needs reinforcement
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $51.95

Build Review

One thing that has been lacking in modeling subjects until lately has been quality buildings for dioramas and backgrounds. MiniArt has been introducing buildings, figures and 'till now ignored diorama subjects. The kit is molded in high quality multicolored styrene. 169 parts on 51 trees, molded in red, orange, gray, tan and black. You could achieve a great looking model without any paint at all.  Altogether you get 11.5 oz. of plastic!

The molding is lovely, no sink marks, all ejector pin marks are subtle and on hidden surfaces. Surface detail is delicate but still holds up under primer and paint. The kit even includes rain gutters and downspouts. The instructions are in color pictographic form and remind me of the high quality Faller of Germany instructions and are spread out over 28 steps.

Assembly begins with assembly of the modular walls; window frames, doorframes, sofit detail, etc.  Once these are assembled, the modular wall parts are combined to make up the total wall and levels of the building. The walls fit together with butt joints aided by square pins, but care is needed to keep everything plumb. (I assembled my walls on a flat hard surface checking for plumb and evenness'. Mating surfaces need to be cleaned up, but using sprue cutters all that was needed was a few swipes with a sanding stick to remove any errant sprue nibs.

Once the wall sections are together they are either stacked to make the two storey section of the building, or they are used as end pieces. Again care is needed to insure 90-degree corners and straight walls. (I used blocks of hardwood in the corners to keep them square.)

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The one weak part of the kit (in my opinion) is the base/ foundation of the building. There is no positive location for the building, (It is simply glued on to the assembled foundation) and the foundation itself has no positive way to insure a square assembly. With building kits it's nice when the walls lock into a base with positive locators allowing a plumb framework. The kit leaves it up to the builder to insure accuracy.  I used three pieces of balsa wood to shore up the back wall of the foundation and to keep it square. It's an easy fix only taking a few minutes.

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The roof reminds me of a Roman villa (Clay tiles) and it is well executed with delicate moldings on the tiles and ridge caps. The storm gutters are a little bit of work to install but are well worth the effort.

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The kit builds into a highly detailed work of art suitable to enhance any diorama or be itself, the center of a great build. It will reward the careful builder with a great structure (with or without) paint.

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I really like what MiniArt is bringing to the market and will be a willing builder of any of their fine kits.

Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!