by: Bill Cross [ ]
A Russian firm called Bastion 35 has been releasing a growing line of 1/35th scale wooden diorama accessories, including bridges, pill boxes, redoubts, fences and even windows for buildings. Bastion 35's kits are made from real wood— I repeat, the kits are from real wood— not styrene, not resin, but that stuff that comes from trees! The parts have minimal staining, and the rustic look works very well right from the box for many Eastern Front applications. Their bridges, for example, are an especially welcome addition to the modeler's repertoire, since most resin versions cost upwards of 3-4 times the price of a Bastion 35 kit. But in addition, they offer things like this kit which depicts a wooden fence with a roofed gate, a very common fixture to rural Eastern European and Russian/Ukrainian locales.
Inside a rather undistinguished pasteboard box are:
42 fence slats
4 fence posts
2 gate posts
1 gate roof lintel
1 sheet of gate roof shingles & fence railings
1 sheet of gate frames & plank coverings
Remember as a kid what fun it was building houses, forts and what-not from Popsicle sticks? You ate the frozen treat, then used the stick to make things. Well, the Bastion 35 kits bring back some of that guileless fun. This kit practically falls together, with nothing more required than a hobby knife to separate the pieces, a sanding stick to clean up any contact points, and white household glue. In fact, CA glue doesn’t work very well at all, as the wood tends to soak it up. The instructions are basic, but you can figure out how the parts go together without much effort.
Unfortunately, the sample I was sent had some deficiencies. The fence slats should have numbered 42, but were short by a half-dozen pieces. I don't know if this was the review sample's problem, or if the instructions promise more than the kit delivers. It's not fatal if I'm content to build an asymmetrical fence array with one side longer than the other, or with pieces removed by foraging soldiers looking for firewood. But a more serious problem concerns the gate doors: when assembled, they have a gap that looks frankly terrible, and in 1/35th scale would be the equivalent of 3-4 inches. What’s more, there are no hinges for the gate doors, though this isn't a fatal defect in my opinion, especially with so many unused PE fret leftovers floating around my work bench.
I'm always glad to see niche companies putting out products that address things other than another ruined urban landscape or more buildings. Bridges are an important part of even basic dioramas, and fences for Eastern Front settings are commonplace. I will be reviewing two other items from Bastion 35 shortly.
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