AFV ClubMiniart
British Infantry Tank Valentine Mk.II
1:35 kit comparison
AFV Club kit #AF 35185 - Miniart kit #35116

Chapter 3: Additional Hull Details/Fenders
Chapter 3: Upper Hull:
The AFV Club fenders are separate parts with indentations underneath corresponding to the reinforcing ridges on the top of the fenders and you need to drill out numerous locating holes before attaching the fenders to the hull. The fit is very precise, just be careful to fit the idler tensioning handle through the hole in the front of the fenders.

Having the fenders separate also allows the four small cut-outs to be included under each of the side engine deck hinges for added detail and you have a choice of the small front and rear fender extensions or the full suite of large desert sand fenders with side storage bar. These sand shields don’t extend vertically but actually flare out from the suspension and the AFV Club fenders include this feature although they could be a little more flared as period photos show this to be quite pronounced on some vehicles. There are additional etched fender supports both for the main fenders and the additional sand shields for added definition.

The full sand fenders showing the incorrect vertical Miniart fenders and the flaired AFV Club fenders.
These could be flaired a little more as per the reference image below .

AFV ClubMiniart
AFV ClubMiniartAFV Club

The Miniart fenders are included with the main hull moulding and lack some finer detail as a result such as the four cut-outs under the engine deck hinges. They are also about 1.5mm shorter than the plans indicate corresponding to the hull length issue mentioned above and the front and rear support braces are moulded with the fenders but are commendably thin for a good appearance as well there are additional etched fender braces for added detail. Like the AFV Club kit you get a choice of the small front and rear fender extensions or the full suite of large desert sand fenders with side storage bar, unfortunately the sand shields are fixed vertically and this is incorrect as they should flare out as mentioned above and some work will be needed to get the right fender profile.

Rear fender details, note the cut-outs under the engine deck hinges missing from the Miniart kit.
AFV ClubMiniart

The exhausts on both kits are multi-part assemblies that are hidden when the guards are added and they both also have the fishtail outlet in two halves to simulate the hollow outlet nicely as well as having small etched parts to add finer detail. Fitting the sheet metal guards on the AFV Club kit needed a little work and I actually trimmed the top of the front fender support (part C28) to allow the guard to fit better, also the small rear guard also needed a bit of trimming to fit over the fender supports better.

Images showing the exhaust muffler before fitting the sheet metal guards.
Also note the hatch support stop on the superstructure corner is very basic and lacking detail on the Miniart kit.

AFV ClubMiniart

On the right fender is mounted two large storage boxes with the AFV Club boxes have separate lids if you wanted to show these open while they are fixed on the Miniart boxes. There are some detail issues with both kit boxes, images of the early style box lid show that large front box has just two strengthening brackets while the AFV Club lid has four brackets and the Miniart five brackets. The correct two bracket box lid is lurking on the AFV Club sprues as part N5 so just use this but you will have to settle for the Miniart box unless doing some minor surgery. AFV Club correctly place the large Track Adjusting Tool (part E37) and the pick axe handle (part E9) on the larger front box but Miniart have the Track Adjusting Tool (part C2 which is also undersized) on the front box and the Pick Axe handle on the rear box which is incorrect. You can simply fit both tools on the front box for the correct arrangement but note the instructions show to fit the Track Adjusting Tool the wrong way around but it’s simple to just reverse the position.

Rear fender tool details, note the undersized Miniart Track Tongs (lower right) .
AFV ClubMiniart

Both kit boxes will need some rivet and fender supports trimmed to allow the boxes to sit correctly on the fenders and trial fitting will show you what is needed. While speaking of tools on the left fender at the back is the large Track Tong tool and again the Miniart tool (part C35) is undersized with the AFV Club tool (part E38) sized correctly, there is also the Jack, Fire Extinguisher, Shovel, Crowbar and Pickaxe Head added to both kit fenders. The Jack Block rack on the right front is moulded with the blocks on the AFV Club kit but the Miniart kit has an etched rack and separate blocks for better detail definition here.

Large right side tool box with the correct lid with just the two strengthening bars on the AFV Club box
as well as under sized tools on the Miniart box.

AFV Club

At the front are the two small side lamps with, the Miniart lamps have the guards moulded with the lamp and this lacks detail while the AFV Club lamps have separate etched guards for better detail definition. Similarly the Miniart horn doesn’t have a guard at all while the AFV Club horn also has an etched guard to add, this also has small holes for the separate electrical cable ducting and you need to feed the ducting through the guard as you fit the guard while needs a bit of care. As noted the cable ducting is separate on the AFV Club kit while moulded with the hull on the Miniart kit and this gives better definition to the ducting on the AFV Club kit but you will need to bend the front head light ducting down a little as it sticks up too far as it comes and the actual wiring from the ends of the ducting to the respective lights will have to be added on the AFV Club kit. A small bracket is attached on the front left hull that stops the crew door opening too far to damage the exhausts and the Miniart bracket (part C47) is very basic lacking detail while the AFV Club bracket (B17) is far more detailed with the actual clip for the door to sit in when open. Also note this bracket is not called out in the AFV Club instructions but just appears fitted to the hull in step 19.

Images showing the additional etched guards on the AFV Club small lights and horn and position of the spare track cluster.
AFV ClubMiniart
The separate electrical cable ducting on the AFV Club kit for better definition over the moulded on ducting on the Miniart kit.
AFV ClubMiniart

The headlights on both kits have separate fine U shaped supports and hull mounting brackets into which sit the headlights, the AFV Club lights have full clear lenses and the Miniart lights have the blackout slit covers, both these configurations are seen in period photos. You should also note that the head lights can swivel around with the glass facing backwards for protection when not in use, also the use of infantry steel helmets added over the lights was also a common practice to protect the lights.

Head light details, also note the etched light cover on the AFV Club fender light and the etched rack for the Jack Blocks on the Miniart fenders.
AFV ClubMiniart

An optional POW can rack is supplied mounted on the rear hull that was a common feature of desert Valentines the rack on the Miniart kit noticeably smaller and includes etched can handles and securing straps, this smaller rack appears from references to be an add-hock rack on early Valentines. The AFV Club rack on the other hand is the more common “standard” size rack and has the correct style grab handles and box mountings for a good representation of the box. The AFV Club cans also have etched handles and a couple of cans have fine engraved stencilling but you will need to supply the securing straps yourself from tape/paper etc. Note you will also need to leave off the rear hull inspection hatch handles if fitting the box racks with the rack handles replacing these for opening the hatch. For some reason the POW can rack doesn’t get a mention in the AFV Club instructions but the parts are on the sprues as parts E16, E17 and D39 for the handles that fit into the two locating holes either end of the rack base.

The POW cans and rack details.
AFV ClubMiniart

The desert Valentines also carried an auxiliary fuel tank drum on the left fender and both kits supply this as a fairly simple assembly with mounting legs and separate grab handles, the tank sizes (length and diameter) varies slightly in both kits but so does the tanks shown in the various plans so I’m going to lose and sleep over this as its just minor variations that isn’t really noticeable on the final kit. Both kits also have a rack of four spare track links on the left fender, the Miniart kit uses four of the kit links with an etched bracket while the AFV Club gives you four of the individual links from their track set #AF 35197 with a plastic bracket. AFV Club would have you fit this rack lengthways with the fender but reference photos show it mounted diagonally on the fender the way Miniart have it, so just reposition the AFV Club rack accordingly and all is sweet.

Auxillary fuel tank details.
AFV ClubMiniart
backReturn to main review page  

Page created March 27, 2012

Back to Top