Entry No. 2: MiniArt Dingo Mk.1b Review
(Photo from the MiniArt website)
This was the first full kit I built from MiniArt, and I was more than impressed with it. In many ways, this kit was one of the more enjoyable builds I've worked on.
The Dingo was a lightly-armoured scout car used by commonwealth forces during the Second World War. Dingos were primarily used for reconnaissance, but also saw some action in armoured car regiments. The Canadian army used a variant of the Dingo built by Ford, named the Lynx.
This is the first of a number of kits built by MiniArt that represent the Dingo platform. The kit represents the Mk.1b variant of the Dingo in 218 polystyrene parts, as well as a photoetch fret and decal sheet. The kit offers the modeller the opportunity to build a detailed chassis, driver's compartment, and three crew figures. It is moulded in the soft polystyrene typical of a MiniArt kit, and is of the absolute highest quality. Attention should be paid especially to the excellent work by the designers in making such details as welding beads on the hull, as well as the interior, which offers some interesting weathering opportunities.
I built this kit in April of 2020 as something to do during quarantine. The kit retailed for around $40 CAD on Amazon (which, interestingly enough, is a great place for people who like MiniArt kits to find their latest offerings. Shipping is efficient, and the prices are pretty reasonable.)
The build begins with the driver's compartment, covering steps 1-23 (!). The build stages are straightforward, and easy to follow along. The interior is very nicely detailed, and fortunately it can easily be shown off as the armoured covers for the roof can be shown pulled-back.
Next up, steps 24-31 focus on building up the chassis. MiniArt did a good job with this element of the model, as there is a wealth of detail on an area which other manufacturers tend to forget about. Be aware of some fiddly bits though, make sure not to let the carpet monster eat up any steering rods!
The remaining steps focus on detailing the exterior of the Dingo and attaching the wheels. There is no engine detail in this kit, but this is not really an issue because enough attention is pulled in by the driver's compartment to make up for this. The wheels are absolutely fantastic. Although they don't have flat spots moulded in, the quality more than compensates for this. No mould lines to speak of.
MiniArt provides some photoetch mudguards and tool clamps as well, and these can be used to add some nice bits of interest around the hull.
This is one of the final models I brush-painted. Using copious amounts of foamy hand sanitizer I laid down a coat of Tamiya's XF-62 Olive Drab on the exposed surfaces, and some Rubber Black on the tires. The interior was weathered primarily with Brown Panel-Liner from Tamiya overtop some sponge-chipped X-10 Gunmetal. On the exterior, I used a sponge to chip X-10 along edges, and some Sienna pigment mixed with panel-liner to create mud effects. Decals were actually from an old Tamiya Universal Carrier, used to represent a Dingo in Northwestern Europe.
Since I opted not to make a desert scheme, I used MiniArt's British Tank Crew (Winter) to add some life to the kit. The figures are also well detailed, and went together well. A bicycle from Tamiya's British Paratroopers kit was fixed with thin wire to the right side of the vehicle to add some interest as well.
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