Not too long ago, we had the pleasure of getting to know about Paracel Miniatures (PM). Now is time to review some of PM’s products, generously submitted by Lê Xuân Giang.

1/35 NVA stowages AC 0102

This set is one of the first PM’s releases, and made evident from the start their motivation to produce Vietnam war accessories. Interestingly, although the T-55/54/Type 59 and derivatives is the most produced family of tanks, it is curious that manufacturers have neglected for so long. For a long time, Esci (re-release by Italeri) and Trumpeter (a reminder of Trumpy’s humble origins) were the only kits available in 1/35. However, it was not until Tamiya ten years ago and today’s new generation of kits (leaded by Takom’s release), that we can see a renewed interest in this venerable tank. In this context, the set of PM is extremely relevant. Accessories focused on the T-55 family were unthinkable in the past, and even more have access to something dedicated to the North Vietnamese Army. But do not be fooled by the name of the kit, these accessories are very versatile and I am sure they could be used to pimp out T-55s across most of places in the world where (official or not) armed forces were equipped with Russian/Chinese supplies.

Beyond the need to clean the accessories before painting (excess of resin and moulding residuals), the level of detail is very high. I’m not sure if the pictures do them justice…

This set is basically composed of two ‘blocks’ of backpacks and bags of different kinds, other small bags, a helmet and three pieces of track. The latter are very interesting addition and  they are modelled in by both sides, so they could be used in a number of situations, including dioramas. The two main components are designed to fit with Tamiya and Trumpeter turrets. Of those, I only have the Tamiya, and I can confirm that the fit (without any cleaning or sanding) is quite good and only minor adjustments are needed to achieve a realistic contour.

As here we also think about the future, we tested the parts on a Takom turret as well. Without going into the dispute over which manufacturer achieved the most accurate turret, fitting of resin parts requires a little more work to achieve a realistic contour shape. In both cases, seems necessary to trim the centre a bit to make them rounder. However, it should not be a complex task for a modeller with basic experience with resin accessories.

1/35 Friends (Vietnamese civilians set 3) VN 1716

Second reviewed set is also part of the Vietnam series. ‘Friends’ set is composed by two figures of children/youngsters. The youngest represents a blind child (carrying a cane) and the tallest seems to assist him while carrying what appears to be a Ty đàn bà (traditional string instrument). The pair represents a beautiful scene that could be a small vignette, or part (together or separately) of a diorama. And again, I think the level of detail is at a very high standard …

From my point of view, the most interesting feature of the set, and in general of PM series, is that figures truly look like Vietnamese. I mean that faces do not represent a ‘generic’ person with some Asian trait (such as the eyes). Observing the details, even if they are not painted, figures manage to convince that this is not the standard John or Fritz with yellow hair and pink cheeks, which sometimes happens in figures modelled by sculptors biased towards archetypal ‘white’ or in the case of mass produced plastic figures. In this sense, perhaps figures lose some versatility, but I think they gain in identity.

1/35 Romeo & Juli JAN 0101

The third set to comment, is part of the ‘post-apocalyptic’ series and bears the sarcastic name of Romeo & Juli. Here it is more difficult to talk about historical accuracy or richness of detail, but you can judge by yourself the crispness of details in clothes and Juli’s internal organs while crawling on the floor. A thing I am not entirely convinced, is the decision to model Juli fix to the ‘floor’ and as consequence omitting details of the torso. I agree it is important that figure remains in ‘flat’ position, but I am already thinking about how difficult it will be to remove the base …

What I consider to be the greatest advantage of the kit is its scale. Been modelled in 1/35 means that there is a vast universe of accessories and models to go crazy dreaming about possible scenarios, vehicles and stories of zombies versus ‘any human group’. As an additional feature, Romeo seems to be slightly taller than a standard human in 1/35, so either he played basketball or perhaps was part of a failed experiment with obvious genetic mutations…

I have pending to provide a final conclusion until I have the chance of work these kits. But I think the excellent quality is evident, and most importantly, the versatility of these (and other) sets offered by Paracel Miniatures. Thanks again to Le Xuan Giang for your kindness to send us their products and I invite you all to take a look of PM’s growing catalogue and stay tuned for more reviews. Also do not forget to visit our Facebook page. Hasta la vista!

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