by: Chas Young [ ]
IntroductionPlus Model is fast becoming a manufacturer of those small items that can make a significant difference to the visual and emotional aspect of a diorama. I have noticed that many military dioramas showing destroyed or damaged buildings lack interesting/realistic interiors. Sure, we sometimes see a chair or a table, maybe a wine bottle, and it’s these sorts of items that really add the ‘human’ factor to a scene, proof that somebody, perhaps a rich family in this case, once lived in the building.
This kit, one of Plus Model’s latest releases sent to Armorama for review, is a 1:35 Bass and Clothes-Tree.
reviewThere are 21 grey resin parts and one photo-etched fret in total. The parts themselves are packaged in a sealed plastic bag, wrapped in bubble plastic inside a sturdy, full colour cardboard box. Although Plus Model have obviously packed the parts with great care, they may wish to invest in zip lock or re-sealable bags as once these bag are opened, parts fall out easily.
When viewing the pictures, the first thing you may notice is that there is hardly any flash on the resin parts. The very little flash present can be easily removed with a sharp hobby knife.
Immediately, I must point out that the instructions are quite poor. The kit provides a small, hand drawn illustration on a small slip of paper. To understand the assembly of the double bass P.E pieces in particular from these illustrations is very difficult indeed, unless you are familiar with or conduct research on the instrument.
The Double BassI am going to use musical terminology as simply and understandably as possible. If in doubt, consult the diagram in the photo section of this review.
The largest piece in the kit, the body of a double bass usually measures up to the lower chest of an average man. Here, I have compared the size to a DML resin figure (yes, it’s Nicholas Cage) measuring 5.3cm in scale which is 185.5cm. As you can see, minus the resin block, the size is quite accurate. Regarding the resin block, it has a very thick attachment point which can only be cut by a saw or extremely strong, sharp modelling knife. The sound holes (or ‘f’ holes) appear accurate.
Fingerboard, Scroll and Peg Box, Tailpiece and Endpin:
The scroll in particular has been cast with crisp detail. All these parts appear simple enough to assemble from the instructions, except the endpin detail (P.E part M3). To be honest, I cannot find any information on it and I am left unsure of its assembly due to the unsatisfactory instructions. The resin block on which the scroll, tailpiece and endpin are cast has thick attachment points which will require great care to remove without damaging the part detail. A definite area where Plus Model can improve is to cast parts with thinner attachment points. Their brilliant kit packaging certainly prevents any chances of the parts snapping off.
Bow, Bridge and Tuning Pegs and Strings:
All these parts are photo-etched. To assemble the bow, you must fold the part in half. For interest sake, the bow represented is called a ‘French bow’ which differs slightly to the ‘German bow’ in that the shape of the frog is square. The bridge must also be folded in half before attachment. Tuning pegs appear simple enough to assemble and attach to the peg box. The strings are a fine piece of P.E detail, the spacing is correct i.e. closer together near the top, spread apart towards the bottom.
The other half of the kit provides parts to represent a wooden clothes tree, which household visitors would use to hang their cloaks or hats on when entering a building. Construction only requires 4 legs, however, there are 5 legs provided. This is because 5 hooks are required, therefore Plus Model have chosen to avoid casting a separate hook at the expense of providing an extra leg. The main wooden pole, two re-enforcing circular pieces, a weight which fits on the bottom end of the pole appears easy to assemble. However, the attachment points on the main pole are again very thick.
A nice, thoughtful addition to the kit are two hats, a male bowler and a female hat with an elaborate and detailed ribbon. Unfortunately, these hats are both solid and will require hollowing out before they can be ‘hung’ on the hooks.
ConclusionThese unique diorama accessories from Plus Model encourages the modeller’s creativity and can contribute to interesting building interiors, which would otherwise be limited to undistinguishable rubble and perhaps a chair or two.