by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
A manhole is the opening in the ground through which a person can enter the sewer, drain or similar underground utility vault for repair/maintenance works. Manhole closings are protected by a manhole cover, a removable flat plate designed to prevent accidental or unauthorized access to the manhole. A storm drain is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from the streets. Most storm drain inlets have gratings or grids to prevent people, vehicles or large debris from falling in.
Evolution Miniatures is mostly known for their high-quality figure sets in 1/35 scale. However, the company also offers a line of diorama accessory products, designed and produced using 3D rapid prototyping technology. The third release in this line is: Manholes and Drain, Territory of the former USSR (EMA-35003).
The set is packed in a standard Evolution Miniatures hard cardboard box, with the box art image showing painted contents of the set. Opening the box reveals three zip-lock bags containing 5 pieces. The pieces are cast in grey resin; these are clean of any casting imperfections and feature impressive level of details. The only thing which needs special attention are the large casting blocks which have to be cleaned carefully.
The set depicts manholes and drain used in the former USSR. These are still found throughout the post-Soviet states, and I managed to locate a website with manhole miscellany describing manholes and their inscriptions from various parts of the world, including Baltic States and Russia… it is incredible what one can find on the World Wide Web. Both manholes in this set are round as it is the optimal manhole design. The first includes the base as well as the flat manhole cover. The manhole cover features series of checkered indentations with the center inscription ГК (gorodskaya kanalizatsiya - municipal sewers), and outer inscription ГОСТ 3634-61 (State Standard No 3634, updated 1961), 1971 (year of manufacture) and another set of letters ТЛЗТ which I couldn’t decipher, probably the abbreviation of a particular manufacturing plant. The intricate cover design and inscriptions are tiny, but still very nicely defined and should really pop up after a wash. The second manhole features a curved beam design and the central inscription with a large К (kanalizatsiya - sewers), smaller TM (probably the manufacturer's trademark), as well as microscopic lettering likely noting the State Standard and year of manufacture. These are just too small to read in 1/35 scale. This particular manhole also features a small opening which helps with lifting the heavy cover. As for the drain, it includes both the base and the drain grating, also featuring a small side hole for lifting the grate.
Manholes and Drain, Territory of the former USSR (EMA-35003) comprises of 2 large round manholes (one of them with a base) and 1 drain grating (also with a base) in 1/35 scale. These are produced using 3D technology and perfectly transferred to resin. The resin pieces feature astonishing details and cyrillic inscriptions, making the set specific for Russia and other post-Soviet states.
Altogether this set is a very welcomed addition to Evolution Miniatures catalogue, not just for making Soviet/Russian vignettes and dioramas, but also for various post-apocalyptic scenarios.