Randy Pepprock, with his new company Dioramas Plus continues his new line of military diorama buildings with this Stone Ruin. A very simple structure, perfect for those wanting something to fill a void, but not spend a bunch of time or money on a more complicated structure.
This is a fairly simple building, consisting of 2 walls. The front wall is stone with tall arched windows, and the side wall is brick. Both walls show significant damage.
In the kit you get:
• 2 Hydrocal Plaster walls
• 3 laser cut wood window frames with adhesive backing
• 1 Bag Hydrocal “rubble” piles and bricks
• Clear Acetate for window glass (3 undamaged, 3 damaged)
The kit comes in a very sturdy box, and opening the box one will find the parts very carefully packaged. All the walls are wrapped together in cellophane against a large piece of cardboard for support. This is sandwiched between some crumpled paper on the top and bottom of the box. The wood window frames and “glass”, along with the instructions are all at the bottom of the box. This makes for a very sturdy and safe package, and none of my walls were damaged in any way. A far cry from previous manufactures packing methods for their plaster building kits!
Starting with the main components of the kit, the walls, we find some very nice clean castings. Both walls, like all traditional plaster building kits, are detailed on only one side, however the quality of the casting has made the backside very smooth and if you wished to add some kind of detail through scribing or adding wallpaper or paint, you can do so with little effort. The brick relief on the side wall is outstanding and very much looks the part. It even includes some chipped and damaged bricks. I was a little disappointed with the relief on the “stone” wall, as I was thinking of more robust rough cut stone structure, but this seems to reflect a stone veneer type building made from slate slab, not unlike what you see in many homes around a fire place or as patio pavers. Some of the stones are “chipped” in a realistic fashion; however there are large “gashes” that pass over several runs of stones. In my opinion they look a bit unrealistic in that stone would chip and show different damage on each stone, not a consistent gash as though the wall was made from foam. Also looking at the overall wall, all the “gashes” and “chips” run in the same direction, and are not random. I will say that the overall quality is still excellent, and if the look of the finished product is what you are wanting, then it still builds into a very nice structure.
Also included is what have become signature items in Dioramas Plus kits, the laser cut wood window frames and pre-cut clear acetate for window glass. The “glass” comes in both unbroken and shattered versions, so you can mix and match. However in this particular structure note that the far right window is only partial, so “shattered” would be most appropriate for this one. You will also have to modify one of the window frames to reflect the surrounding damage…a simple snap with your fingers will break the wood in the right places, and you can even use the broken part of the frame as part of the rubble. Test fitting the wood into the frames showed the fit to be perfect.
I must say that for all the building kits from various manufactures we have seen over the years, the laser cut wood frames and clear “glass” are bonuses that always get me excited over these kits and add to the ease of building one.
You also get a nice bag of rubble, with some larger parts that are specific to this kit as they have the same “stone” pattern that the front wall does. There is enough to have a really good start on a fine diorama.
The instructions are up to Randy’s usual standard, providing a very detailed step by step guide over several full color pages. 80% of the instructions is just about painting, so if you have never built one before, no worries. Randy’s easy to follow instructions will help you produce a finely painted building. He even covers building rubble piles and painting them! Again, you’re not just getting a box full of plaster parts, but a full kit that will take you from parts to diorama ready.
Even with my disappointment in the relief of the stone, this is still a very nice little building and the arched windows add visual interest. A complete building only has a 6”x9” footprint, so will fit nicely in most dioramas. At a modest 6” high it won’t overpower even the smallest vehicle or band of figures. I will no doubt find a home for this in a future project where I need something just a bit different than the normal stucco or brick building. Again I can’t praise enough the inclusion of window frames, “glass”, and the bag of rubble. That shows how Randy at Dioramas Plus is building these with the modeler in mind!
Highs: Great quality, inclusion of wood window frames and 'glass'. Lows: Relief and carving on stone work a bit shallow.Verdict: Another great little kit from Dioramas Plus, and perfect size for most dioramas wanting something a little different to fill in a void or make a nice backdrop for some figures.
About Andy Renshaw (skyhawk) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
I started modeling around 8 years old when my dad bought me a Monogram 1/48 A-7. We built that together, and after that he turned me loose. Along with armor and figures, I also enjoy building aircraft and trains (model railroading), and tend to cycle between the genres.
Recently married, I have...