by: Bill Cross [ ]
A Russian firm called Bastion 35 has been releasing a growing line of 1/35th scale wooden diorama accessories, including bridges, pill boxes, redoubts, fences and even windows for buildings. Bastion 35's kits are made from real wood— I repeat, the kits are from real wood— not styrene, not resin, but that stuff that comes from trees! The parts have minimal staining, and the rustic look works very well right from the box for many Eastern Front applications. Their bridges, for example, are an especially welcome addition to the modeler's repertoire, since most resin versions cost upwards of 3-4 times the price of the Bastion 35 kits.
In addition, they offer things like this set of three wooden windows common to Eastern European and Russian/Ukrainian locales.
The kit comes in a Ziploc bag with B&W label stapled to one end. Inside are:
2 wood sheets with parts for 3 windows and their frame slats
Remember as a kid what fun it was building houses, forts and what-not from Popsicle sticks? You ate the frozen treat, then used the stick to make things. Well, the Bastion 35 kits bring back some of that guileless fun. But unlike their other kits, this one has some fit problems that keep the windows from going together easily. The window parts were a bit warped, and two of the six windows shattered when I tried to remove them from their holding sheet (I suspect the wood had dried out too much over time).
The good news is the windows will fit MiniArt’s line of Eastern Front buildings. One knock on MiniArt is their windows are all the same, whether for city buildings or rural houses. The Bastion 35 windows give you a quick and easy way to make the buildings more distinctive, and drop right in with little or no fiddling (see photos at right). And since they’re wood, charring or breaking them for battle damage is easy.
The set is easy-to-build: all you need is a sharp hobby knife to separate the pieces, a sanding stick to clean-up, and some white household glue (CA glue doesn’t work because the wood soaks it up before it can bond to the other piece). The instructions are basic, but you can figure out how the parts go together without much effort. The frame slats have a groove along one side to accept the windows, so make sure you align the grooves when you assemble the set.
I'm always glad to see niche companies putting out products that address things other than another ruined urban landscape or more nondescript buildings. Bastion 35 makes diorama accessories that work really well in Eastern Europe, celebrating the region’s unique architectural identity.