In-Box Review
European Balcony

by: Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]

Build it and they will come. 135th Construction Battalion (a VLS Creations Company) brings us a solid new diorama kit #CO 0091, European Balcony #2. Ben Jakobsen applies his sculpting magic for this building add on kit.

When you receive your kit it will come in a nice solid clear styrene box. The box is about 2"x4"x1" and very light. Bob Letterman paints the kit on the label in its built form.

Inside the box you will find two ziplock bags with the resin parts nicely packed inside. One contains the balcony balusters and the other contains the remaining pieces.
As you can see from the pictures the ziplock bags fill the styrene box quite nicely and there should be no rattling/shaking during shipping. The pieces are nice solid resin pieces and I donít think would break.
What you get

When you open ziplock bags you will find:

  • 13 balusters

  • 2 ornate supports

  • 3 top railing pieces (2 short, 1 long)

  • 2 corner posts

  • 2 wall posts

There are 22 pieces in all

All are cast in resin. All of them come with the typical resin block. There was no flash on any of the main body pieces. There was flash on some of the balusters. On my kit there was a bit of mold material on the resin blocks. No big deal, these are cut off anyway. Mold material is a bit expected with a new set of molds.

My first thought when I saw this kit come across my workbench was of an average AM kit. Being a scratch builder my thoughts were that Iíve built a balcony before, whatís the big deal.

Well, the big deal is that this kit will save you loads of work and time when it comes to the balusters. This kit hits its stride by molding curves for you. If youíve ever tried scratch building a curve it can be tricky. Then try and duplicate that 13 times. That is not an easy task and can become expensive. The balcony supports are a nice point for this kit. Sculpting two matching supports with curves is a time consuming and potentially frustrating task.

This kit is nicely planned out. There are receiving holes for the balusters, which should make it go together quite easily. The box art shows you a nice angle shot to give you guidance on what resin blocks to remove and what detail to leave and which way the artist intended the balusters to go.
In my background research I found the style of this kit is very representative of just about any larger stone building almost anywhere in Europe. While I was looking at the different buildings I noticed that most urban apartment style buildings had balconies with iron railings. I found that the large styles of buildings such as government buildings (non-private residences) had this type of heavier stone balconies. So, I would take that into consideration when planning your diorama. You can see some of the sample balconies that I found in my research. The balusters are well represented. The balcony supports are very robust and European. As you can see the platform is simple and right on the money.
My recommendation for someone purchasing this kit is to set aside some extra time early in the build process. In my kit the baluster clean up breaks down like this:

Very Easy


Seam Line Cleanup7 Balusters6 Baluster

This isnít bad, Iíve seen other resin kits with worse clean up. The seam lines are raised in a few places, uneven in a couple of others, and there is some thicker flash here and there at the seams. A little putty and some care with a piece of sandpaper and they are as good as anything.
The mold material is not of any concern because it is on the top of the resin blocks. There is no concern that the molds arenít crisp. There is usually a bit of mold material on the first few runs of a new kit. Make sure you wash and clean the parts well so the CA glue (or two part epoxy) has a nice clean surface to bond to.

You wonít be disappointed with this one.
The top two qualities of this kit are
1. Itís a time saver.
2. Itís a consistency maker.

Sure you can scratch build a balcony. You can carve a master and make a mold and cast 13 balusters. That will require time and products; resin, RTV latex, mastersÖ.. That can be time consuming and expensive, especially if you arenít going to use the resin and latex for other things.
If you get your hands on this kit your building will come together in a hurry and look great.

I'd like to thank Custom Dioramics for supplying this product for review.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CO0091
  Suggested Retail: 14.95
  PUBLISHED: Jan 27, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Scott Lodder (slodder)

I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]. All rights reserved.


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