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Ruined Building w/Base

MiniArt 1/35 Ruined Building w/Base Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review August 2012 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject Ruined Building w/Base Scale 1/35
Kit Number 36049 Primary Media 46 parts (40 in grey styrene, 6 vacuformed)
Pros Typical German-style architecture with medium size base perfect for most late-war single vehicle dioramas or vignettes Cons No rubble provided (see text)
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $55.00

First Look

By the end of WWII most German and Austrian cities had been struck by Allied bombers and many grand old buildings either flattened or reduced to rubble. This caused so much damage that in the case of East Berlin it was not fully rebuilt until the 1990s. The Allies rolled through this in 1945 and accepted the final surrender in May of that year.

Following their well-thought-out line of bases, MiniArt has now provided a shattered building with details for use as a German or Austrian display base. It provides a brick street, sidewalk, and building from the 18th or 19th Century made of brick with a badly damaged facade and no interior. Part of an archway to a courtyard is included. The size is suitable for vehicles up to the size of a T-34-85 or Sherman, or smaller items such as armored cars or halftracks.

There is a minimum of rubble included with this kit, and while some may grouse MiniArt made a wise decision. Vacuformed "rubble" tends to look like a big vacuform bubble and little else, so they left it out. Modelers can then add their own rubble to their heart's content, or leave off as a "Berlin '47" diorama.

A nice selection of accessories is included, topped off with a generic streetlight. No glazing is provided, but if the building was hit logic says it is unlikely the light would have been spared either.

No finishing directions other than the box art is provided, but two sets of color posters are included. These include several Nazi propaganda ones and a few generic advertisements, as well as typical street signs found in Germany or Austria.

There are some general hints on assembling this type of kit. First off, as the main parts are vacuformed, they are studded with small pips that come from ensuring sufficient vacuum pressure was used to get all of the details to show. All of these must be removed using a chisel-bladed hobby knife, and some may leave small holes behind which need filling. Also, because they are vacuformed, all of the edges are not at a 90 degree angle and may require some forethought prior to assembly. This may mean removing them and replacing them with heavy styrene strip or reinforcing them with strip on their insides so when sanded down they still provide sufficient strength for retaining assembly.

I suggest cutting a section of 1/4" plywood and using either contact cement or epoxy to attach it to the underside of the base for stability and sufficient counterweight to prevent the assembled model from flipping over. Alternatively, the entire base can be cemented to a section of wood, metal or plastic and then finished.

Some modelers report the vacuformed plastic does not work well with common styrene cement so you may need to use something stronger such as Weld-On or Ambroid multipurpose liquid cement (the kind which will join plexiglass, ABS or styrene to each other).

Overall this is a nice little kit and if judiciously "rubbled" should present an excellent "canvas" on which to display a finished model.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

Sprue Layout:

  • A 27 Shutters, windows, door, frames
  • A 13 Streetlight
  • ‒ 1 Base
  • ‒ 4 Sidewalls, arch frame
  • ‒ 1 Rear wall
  • ‒ 1 Front wall