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 (and most recently, wooden cabs and bodies for Russian trucks). 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. But in addition, they offer things like this kit which depicts a door gate common to rural 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 gate 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. Like their other kits, this one practically builds itself: mine went together in less than a half-hour. A sharp hobby knife separates the pieces, and a sanding stick makes clean-up simple. You put it together with white household glue (PVA) because CA glue doesn’t work very well at all: the wood tends to soak it up. The instructions are basic, but you can figure out how the parts go together without much effort. In the case of the slats on the gate, you can even leave them together as they come straight from the sheet to give that "casual" look that gates often have.
My one quibble about the product is it will not fit right in with existing diorama kits like MiniArt's the way Bastion 35's windows do. But if you don't mind scratching your own wall for this baby, then it's a winner in my opinion.
I'm always glad to see niche companies putting out products that address things other than another ruined urban landscape or more non-descript buildings. Bastion 35 makes diorama accessories that work really well in Eastern Europe, celebrating the region’s unique architectural identity. Definitely recommended.
Highs: Simple, easy to build, no special skills or tools are required.Lows: Somewhat limited application, as it requires a wall or structure to use it.Verdict: A valuable asset for Eastern Front diorama builders.