- Published on Saturday, 30 June 2012 00:00 Nick Mayhew
1/35 Dock with Stairs
Catalogue # 5615
Italeri have introduced a range of diorama bases (if one can call a dockside a base) which can be used either on their own, or in conjunction with each other. Sub-titled "30cm Modular Element", this kit and the others in this range are presumably inspired by Italeri's foray into the large scale (1/35) gun / torpedo boat market.
The kit comes on two sprues plus one large piece for the main dockside. There is also a small length of tan coloured thread simulating rope, but no decals. A six page instruction booklet details construction in five pretty simple steps with the aid of black and white photos of the actual kit parts, rather than line drawings.
The first thing I noticed was that box is actually quite heavy – there is a lot of plastic packed in here. The parts count is very low, but then I would expect it to be. The kit is essentially a vertical quay side, which includes the stairs, and the main dockside part which forms the horizontal 'base' for any diorama you might wish to display.
Wood grain effect perhaps overdone, but for me easier to tone down than to add on
The main base measures approximately 30cm x 20cm. This kit can be used in modular fashion with the #5612 Long Dock, so there is scope for something truly epic if you have a S-100 or MTB to hand!
Boarding ladder and life saver
The base is supported by two pillars (L-beam for strength), rather than by a back and two sides. There issome nice variety in its surfaces, with large corner paving, smaller rectangular paving stones which are bisected by a tram line, and then larger paving stones at the back. There is also a circular man hole cover and a smaller drain to further break things up. I have not checked the rail line gauge but the rails are quite crisp and look good to my eye. The only problem with these is that they do limit you to a diorama of a relatively developed docks, rather than something a bit smaller.
Some wear and tear on the quay side stairs which can always be added to if desired
Although construction is quite basic, there are two parts that will need cutting so that the steps section can be laid into the side of the quay. Thoughtfully, Italeri have moulded the cut lines much thinner, so this should be pretty simple for even a novice builder as long as you have a small razor saw.
Details like these break up what is quite a large surface area
Details are provided in the form of two tall and two short wooden docking pillars (grain effect may need to be toned down a little), two different mooring points and mooring rings, a boarding ladder, and a rubber ring (life saver).
Rail line close-up; tricky little ejector pin mark could always be obscured by dockside clutter
Cut lines clearly indicated
The docking pillars are to be glued to the vertical quay side, but I see no reason why they should not be posed slightly further out 'in the water'. Talking of which, in case it is not clear, you will need to simulate your own water at the dockside, but there are numerous products out there for this.
The 'rope' looks quite convincing
Although this kit is labelled as 1/35, I see no reason why it cannot be used with 1/32 seaplanes, and I am thinking in particular of Revell's excellent Ar196. If you want to see what can be accomplished with both this kit and the long dock, take a look at this fantastic diorama.
The finished article [Italeri]
So What Do We Think?
An excellent medium sized diorama base that can be upscaled almost indefinitely with Italeri's other modular Long Dock. Construction should be very straightforward, with only creating the water perhaps more challenging? The scope to super-detail or personalize this kit also adds to its appeal.
With thanks to Italeri for the review sample.
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