by: Jim Rae [ ]
Adalbertus Miniatures are a Polish company who also distribute a significant number of other ranges from other Polish manufacturers. This new vignette base is produced by Toro Model but is sold/distributed by Adalbertus.
The Vignette base
TM35A03 - Ruined Pharmacy/Cobbler Vignette Base is a 1/35th scale, multi-media kit produced in plaster, resin, brass tubing and brass chain. The model consists of four plaster mouldings, three parts in resin, a length of brass tubing and a length of brass chain and is designed by Marek Baranski. The base comes very carefully packed inside a stout cardboard box with all the plaster pieces separately wrapped in bubble-wrap. The resin parts also come separately packaged inside snap-top 'baggies'.
I must admit to having a slight advantage in that i've been lucky enough to have spent time talking with the company's owner, Wojtek Bulhak, who has very clear ideas about the kind of items that the market requires, along with an infectious enthusiasm for all areas related to Polish military history. Many of the items produced by Adalbertus clearly reflect this enthusiasm.
The Plaster Parts:
Four plaster mouldings are included which consist of two vertical 'Arched' sections, an overhang and a base.
The Vertical Sections represent a typical European building and include damage from gunfire. The construction represented is the typical brick-structure with overlaid dressed-stone and plastering. The detail is very nicely done and includes detail such as cracks where the plaster overlay has fallen-off and damage to the brickwork itself.
The Horizontal Part represents a lintel which again has been pretty badly damaged.
The Base Section gives a section of paved sidewalk and a cobbled street. Once again this is nicely-cast with good, crisp detail. The cobbles are a nice mixture of flat and uneven sections, with the paving-stones being well-defined.
The Resin Parts:
There are four well-cast resin parts which include a choice of hanging signs - one for a Cobbler, the other for an Apothecary. These have a horizontal piece which they hang from. Detail is nice and reflects the simplicity of these designs which are still to be seen in many European cities. A small length of chain is provided to hang the signs from the support. Also included, in resin, is a section of vertical drain-pipe. To this, is added the length of brass-tubing to give more support to the vertical structure and to finish-off the drain pipe.
On the original, which I saw and photographed at the Nuremberg Trade Fair, the signs were of etched-brass - whether this will be in the 'production' line I don't know, as the example I have was one of the first produced. Both have their advantages - the brass signs look a bit more defined, whereas the resin ones are a little more three-dimensional.
No damage was present in my example - despite the best efforts of two sets of Airport baggage handlers...
A simple although very well-executed vignette base. The design of the building section will permit it to be used in ANY European city and represent any period the modeler wishes. The use of plaster will also facilitate painting and any additional damage or additions that are desired. It is designed to be a 'stand-alone' although with some additional work it could easily be part of a larger diorama. The use of plaster is correct as although it's heavy, the use of resin would have put up the price considerably. Plaster does have its drawbacks and advantages in equal measure. It does paint up well - acrylics or even gouache (are strongly recommended) and construction is simple enough using PVA glue. However, compared to Dental Stone, it is quite fragile and care will have to be exercised in handling it. It's still a pretty heavy package which will add to shipping costs. As to price, compared to similar products on the market, it represents VERY good value for money indeed. The subject isn't terribly original - the additional details however, make it stand out as an excellent product.