In-Box Review
Tropical Hut Style 1 (Stilted Cane & Thatch)

by: Scott Lodder [ SLODDER ]

First view

The box art by Bob Letterman is nicely done. It shows a great hut you can easily add to a Viet Nam era diorama. Officially it is CD 8025 – Tropical Hut #1. This hobby is heavily weighted in World War II kits and this is a fresh topic.

Not only is it fresh in subject matter it’s fresh for Custom Dioramics (CD). The recent releases have been “beam and mortar” traditional style buildings. We know Ben Jakobsen can sculpt European roof tiles very well. This kit shows he can also sculpt a wonderful thatch/reed type roof in resin.

This kit will build a rectangular bamboo/cane walled hut. The roof is made out of reeds. The whole thing is elevated/stilted on a wooden pole lattice ‘foundation’ under a wood plank floor.

My first ideas for this are a SEAL patrol or a reconnaissance patrol. You could pair this with the CD Sampan, kit 6139. The interior is fully molded and the roof can be removable, which opens up more potential. There is a front door, which viewers can see in and they won’t be disappointed when they peek in. The furnishings are up to you.

parts and pieces

Inside CD packages the parts well. The shape of the parts should travel well and the kit should arrive in good condition.
You will get 17 pieces in the zip lock bag. The pieces are all big and easy to work with, which is comforting. The majority of the parts have a resin block. I noted on the foundation that there are some extensions on the foundation and elevation poles. I haven’t seen these before. I believe they are designed to help ensure resin is poured all the way to the bottom of the main poles. They may be some type of excess/run off/over pour piece. Based on the box art and personal knowledge I recommend they be removed.

The form of this kit presents you with a unique version of flash. The bamboo walls have gaps between the poles. These gaps are quite narrow. I can see that the majority can be cleaned with a nice fresh #11 blade. For the very tight spots I envision some type of ‘floss’. You could use a piece of floss that you use on your teeth to clean this flash out or a small needle.

CD keeps their detail high with rope ties and knots. The planks that make up the interior floor are CD quality casting. The logs sculpted in this kit are quite accurate in that they are straight overall but have curves and imperfections.

I spent a considerable amount of time test fitting pieces to figure out how to put this kit together. Part of the time I spent test fitting was because I have spent more time building traditional style buildings. This may be a simple ‘fall together’ kit for modelers who are very familiar with this era. For me it took a few tries. Once together I realized how well engineered the kit really is. The pieces are designed after a true 1:1 scale version with wall headers and doorframes etc. Another example of how well engineered the kit is shows up on the roof peak beam. The roof is molded in two main parts each sharing ˝ the peak beam. CD has molded in the appropriate angle so (once the resin block is removed) the two ˝’s will mate together easily and in the correct angle. Another engineering feature is that all the resin block lines will be hidden when the kit is built.
my thoughts

Eventually everyone who builds Viet Nam era diorama will have to have this kit. You can build it elevated or not. So you don’t have to worry about modeling water. You can do the interior or not, just add a curtain door. It is simple enough for a modeler who is new to resin. I don’t see any downsides to this kit.
Here is a cool kit. What I like the most about this is the era it targets – Viet Nam. Custom Dioramics brings nice sculpting to a great subject in CD 8025 – Tropical Hut #1.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CD 8025
  Suggested Retail: $32.98
  PUBLISHED: Jun 03, 2006

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  • Engineering
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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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  • cover
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  • StubShot
    Extra Extensions