by: Todd Michalak [ ]
Armor 35 has been consistently providing quality figures and railroad diorama accessories for a while now. Adding to this growing list of items, Armor 35 releases their 1/35 Scale Railroad Switch (USSR I 520mm) kit. This vignette segment is a multimedia model kit consisting of resin, clear acetate and photo etch parts. When complete, this piece depicts a section of railroad tracks at the point of a track switch.
1 Clear Acetate sheet 2mm x 215mm x 149mm
57 Light grey cast resin parts
1 Brass photo etch sheet
1 Nickle photo etch sheet SKP Lenses
2 Bags of ballast
1 Set of instructions
The Railroad Switch (USSR I520mm) kit is presented in a sturdy cardboard, flip-top box. Most of the parts come sealed in individual Ziploc-type plastic bags separating he parts for organization and protection.
In taking a look at the resin parts first, all of the parts are cast extremely well. There is little to no flash present and no visible air bubbles, sink marks or even seam lines. There are several casting blocks still attached to some of the parts; however, the attachment points are minimal and should quickly clean up. From this pile of resin, there are twelve railroad timbers. These are to be placed into pre-cut slots located on the clear acetate base provided. The fit is snug and little to no cleanup will be needed to install the timbers. The timbers themselves are finely detailed with a woodgrain appearance and delicate angle brackets for the rail support have been molded directly onto them. There are four rail segments; two short and two long. Again, these parts are cast very well and are detailed indicatively of what we would see on real-world rails. This kit is supplied with two bags of ballast for placing on top of the clear base and around the timbers once the construction has been completed. Both a fine and course grade ballast is supplied with the kit.
This lever controlled switch makes up the bulk of parts included in this set. From the switch to the connection points on the rails, there are numerous almost microscopic parts to contend with. All of these parts do add to the highly detailed look of this piece. There are many resin bolts supplied with the kit to connect the various parts such as the switch rails to the main rails and timbers as well as the connecting rods to the switch. With this kit there are brass photo parts for tying the two switch rails together at the base of the switch and an arrow indicator. The track switch indicator light is a solid cast resin part and the kit has a small colored photo etch lenses from SKP included.
There is a four page set of instructions included in this kit. These instructions are presented in a black and white exploded view format and laid out so the construction of this scene is easy to follow. The majority of the instruction consists of numerical part referencing showing where the parts are to be installed and all of the text given, as in the case of the colors for painting are given in both Russian and English.
This is my first time taking a look at Armor 35s railroad accessories, and I have to say I am impressed. The quality of the casting is excellent and the presentation of this as a multimedia kit adds a tremendous amount of detail to the overall look. Careful planning went into designing and casting all of the small parts, as in the case of the bolts connecting many of the parts, which adds to this detailing.
While all of the parts were securely protected in the box inside bags and wrapped with bubble wrap, there was a few small parts that I noticed that had broken off. These were the upper flat section to the tiny angle brackets which are molded directly to the timbers. Normally broken parts can obviously raise ones level of concern after purchasing a kit; however, it is understandable knowing the delicate nature of these parts and natural tendency for small resin parts to snap off. The parts were contained in the box, and with a steady hand, the parts can be glued back into place as if they were never apart. If they were missing, the art consisted of one .5mm thick flat piece and two nuts and bolts which were molded to it. Easily scratch-built if so desired.
All in all, I feel the Railroad Switch (USSR 1520mm) kit from Armor 35 would make a fine addition for anyone interested in the subject matter. The piece could be added to a scene or stand alone as a diorama or vignette.