by: Jim Starkweather [ ]
introductionThis second building by Custom Dioramics and VLS, is interesting in that there are not many releases I have seen that look as unique as these two buildings. That is part of their charm I think. This building is again patterned by Carles Elias (and the box art version was done by non other than Bob Letterman himself). The list price for this release on the VLS site is $50 USD, but I was able to quickly find it on greatmodels.com for $40 and Netmerchants.co.uk for £35.
looking insideI should point out that I have not built this building. The best I could manage was to dry fit walls and pieces together. I did find that without a proper diagram for how it goes together, you will spend about 5-15 minutes trying to figure it out. But it's sort of like a puzzle so for those who like puzzles you may enjoy!
The kit has about 15 resin pieces. There are some smaller resin parts that include filler pieces for the roof area and two door knobs. These didn't look too well detailed for my taste but they may do fine for some. As usual the backside of the walls and roof sections are glazed-over resin. I am sure this is just due to the manufacturing process, but as I have said before it sure does bug me. I almost wish for the plaster days when you could chip away at the walls and make your own damage and wall details. Ahh but resin has its advantages of course. One slip with a plaster wall and...smash... your done.
conclusionsOverall I would have to say this kit is pretty much on par with most VLS/Custom Dioramics releases. There will be areas you will need to fill of course, and the fact that one door is a seperate piece whereas another door is fixed in place may bother some. On the whole though I would say it's a unique design for a popular subject (the eastern front). So many people would be wise to start with a building like this, rather than try to get away with something that is probably more western European in origin.
If you have time make sure to checkout my video review as it will have some additional points and more details.