Saturday, 10 August 2013

Minarions Hispano-Suiza MC36....A Proper Review!!

I have seen this model making guest appearances on various gaming forums recently, and given my interest in a) All things Spanish Civil War in 28mm, and b)Scratch building vehicles, I thought well why not get one eh!
I duly ordered one of their limited edition prototypes, no shiny box, and no decal sheet, no big deal really, as the box is superflous, and the decal options can easily be handpainted on anyway.
About a week later my model arrives, which in itself is pretty good, seeing as it was sent from Spain.
The model is well packaged, and has survived its trip with no damage at all.

Now, here is my opinion of the model, and please bear in mind, it is my opinion, which can sometimes be , a tad contrary!
99% of gamers will be perfectly happy with this model, and will happily, or in some cases struggle to, put it all together and slap a layer of paint on. Sadly I belong to the 1% of anal retentives, who will carefully study all aspects of the model, identify the missing bits, and then spend ages putting them right.
Bearing that in mind, here is my review, with its honest critic, which is all in good intention, as I think it is important to point out any problems, thus giving Minarion a chance to correct them if they see fit to do so.

Minarions are a fairly new company, offering a selection of vehicle models specifically aimed at the Spanish Civil War gaming crowd, the models are unique in the fact that they are offered in three poular wargaming scales. 1/100th for the 15mm players, 1/72nd for the 20mm gang, and for the idiots like me at the big end of the scale 1/56th to go with our 28mm stuff. This in itself, is a great idea. The models themselves are uncomplicated litle kits, simplified for the wargaming market, they ain't no Tamiya models, and the majority of gamers will be more than happy with this aspect.

The MC36 is a 1/56th scale resin model, in a basic kit form.

Consisting of 17 parts, two of which are turret options, all cast in a bubble free pale grey resin.
Size wise, its just about spot on

Overall the level of detail is acceptable

With a careful paint job, the model will look quite pleasing, and has a number of uses outside of its SCW period setting. I can see Pulp gamers, and the VBCW crowd making use of this vehicle in their games.

Now here is where Mr Nasty takes over, and I don the shiny hat of the model making anal retentive, if you are of a nervous disposition, then please do not read any further.
The  model has issues, a number of them in fact, and for the sad detail freaks, they will cause problems.
So here we go, and I am sorry if I bore you here.
Take a very careful look at the top picture in this review

Now look at the above picture. Those gaps are waaaaaay to big, the panels should butt up against each other, with just a narrow scribed line to separate them. I will fill the gaps, and rescribe the panel lines, in doing so I will have to file off all the rivets, and reapply them. The door should be flush with the body work. The dints and marks are all ok, they should not be there, but they do add a bit of character.
Now onto the T26 turret

I have compared the Minarion turret, to my own scratchbulit master I made for the Anglian T-26 model, the size is just about right, my model was built in 1/55th scale. The difference in detail though is quite amazing, missing rivets, pistol ports, lifting eyes, and gun barrel section.
I think Minarion use CAD and 3D printing to make their masters, whilst I rely on good old model making skill, If I can get the detail right, then I expect a computer to be able to do the same, if not better than me.
Yes, its a basic wargames model, but so was the T-26 I made for my old range.
I'm sure most gamers would not give a hoot about the missing details, but I felt obliged to point them out

To summarise all of this, Minarions have to be congratulated, for undertaking to produce this model, its a neat little kit, that is not too taxing for gamers to build, and for those of us sad gits, who count all the rivets, if offers a challenge to correct the flaws.
Cost wise it retails at 21.95 euros, and on todays exchange rates that works out to around £20, is it worth it?  Well yes I think so, for those naysayers who will exclaim "it cost too much" I would suggest they go out, buy the required plasticard and putty, and scratchbuild their own version. In comparison the £20 sounds like a good deal to me.

Minarions are looking into expanding into the world of figures, not in my prefered size, but in 20mm, which is still a decent size to game the SCW.
They also have a good looking German Henschel truck in the pipeline, and I was looking at scratching my own version, so ths will save me a lot of hassle.


  1. Always bearing in mind that this is a prototype, chumrade ;-)

  2. All the better for pointing out the obvious flaws then, lets hope they can put the errors right.

  3. Nigel

    Good and thorough review with great pics. Personally I'm less of a rivet counter and while I agree that it's not perfect, it's close enough for government work and my wargaming purposes. I'm a big proponent of the 2 foot rule - any flaws that aren't obvious to the average observer from 2 feet away don't count on the wargames table.


  4. Thanks for your honest review, Nigel. Lots of things to go around...

    No doubt this will help us improve our future designs in accordance to the chosen scale. It seems obvious to me now that 1/56 scale models must be worked out a different way than their smaller scale replicas.

    Best wishes,

  5. Great review and I have to say that I must get one for my VBCW games.

  6. Thanks Lluis
    I hope the review has proven to be useful to you. I appreciate just how difficut it is to get a happy medium when it comes to mastering, and casting vehicle models, as you have said, when you start going into the bigger figure sizes, the lack of certain detail becomes more obvious. On the whole the majority of gamers will not be bothered at all, they are happy to see subjects like this model being released. I understand the printing process leaves behind a series of lines, that have to be cleaned off the finished print, so adding detail on at the printing stage is a waste of tie, as it will make it a lot more difficult to clean up the print. My answer would be to get the basic shape right, then get the additional detail added afterwards, before you commit the master to the moulding process. This shoud work just fine with the resin models.