by: Karl N. Hoy [ ]
These relatively new kits from Darius Miniatures have been greeted very warmly by modellers as a fantastic and quick way to present 1/35 (or 54mm) figures on well detailed bases/backgrounds. I believe some of their first ‘wedgies’ were previewed by Mario Matijasic, the Historicus Forma Associate Editor.
Darius Miniatures are themselves a fairly new company (started in 2010 I believe). According to their website they now have 19 Wedgies. Some have parts of vehicles in them and these include a T-34 turret, part of a Tiger tank, part of an M2 Halftrack, part of a Hetzer and an AB-41 to name only a few. Each base will easily accommodate a single figure but there are some that could accommodate two or more so there are plenty of options to choose from.
Kit B35005 presents us with a river wall with cobbled street detail, a bollard which I think represents part of a railing and a half-submerged VW Kubelwagen. In the kit you get the wall and car as a stunning one piece cast but you also get some excellent weapons- an MG34 and a PPSh-41. These are shown on the box but it doesn’t say you get them in the kit and I think it should as they are excellent pieces.
There is also another gun but I’ve checked several databases and consulted Jane’s Firearms Guide and cannot find it. It has the rear shape (roughly) of a Suomi M37-39 (Finland) but the fore grip beyond the magazine is totally foreign to me. I believe it might just be a case of bad referencing. (If someone knows exactly what it is I’d be pleased to hear from you.)
Surprisingly the only part that requires construction is the bollard and bent railing which you’ll have to heat and bend yourself as it comes in a straight length. There’s also no mounting space for the bollard so you can either leave it off (as there is no unsightly mounting hole to fill) or put it on. The bollard itself is well moulded with the pour block on the bottom.
The rear of the Kubelwagen is really a piece of moulding mastery. The lines are clean and sharp and the detail is utterly flawless. It’s really like you’ve got a nice styrene vehicle and just cut it yourself- that’s how good the detail is. There’s the canvas cover on the rear plus a rope around the rear fender. You also get roughly half of each tyre- the one on the left shows some nice hub detail. The only omission is the lack of decal for the rear number plate but I suppose the spare’s box will provide for some, but it would have been nice to see it included in the kit.
The wall bricks themselves are done very nicely with variations in size and facing- some are sticking out, some are pushed inward etc. This will provide an excellent painting surface and give just the right amount of visual interest.
Concrete stones edge the wall and each one has little blemishes and imperfections- there is even a line of uneven concrete underneath the overhang! The cobbles on top are moulded in much the same way as the bricks with some nice uneven bits and there is some fine debris/stones that tie the cobble section to the concrete edge stones.
The only other bit on the wall is the beginning of a small arch on the bottom right- some sort of a drain or culvert maybe. The detail from this continues around the right side but does not extend the full height which is a little strange but doesn’t detract from the model.
I foresee only one problem in painting- the rear of the kubelwagen is very close to the brick wall and it will be quite tricky to paint the bricks in this area- not impossible mind, just a bit tricky.
As I said earlier you get some guns with the kit along with a few other bits and bobs- I’ll go through these in more detail:
MG34 with bipod: There are actually two bipods- a folded one or a deployed one. For such tiny pieces they have nice detail and the MG34 itself is a cracker of a mould with fine detail all along the outer cooling jacket and the body. A nicely rendered bullet belt is also included.
PPSh-41: This comes with a separate drum magazine and is nice enough- not of the same quality as the MG34 though and it may be a little under scale but unfortunately I have no other version to compare it with and am guessing by eye.
Unknown Gun: Whatever it is its nicely detailed!
Panzerfaust: A good moulding with nice detail around the firing mechanism and warhead.
Ammo Crate: Nice handles and detailing but it will need some wood grain added as the grain moulded in it is faint.
Bucket: Just a bucket- with no handle! Best replace it with a styrene or etched bucket.
Dynamic and full of potential is, I think, the best way to describe this release. Stunningly moulded with excellent attention to detail- this scene may be quite small but it certainly has impact and interest. It could also fit into quite a lot of WW2 scenarios and could be used with many nationalities of figures.
One of the great assets of this base (and of the range in general if they follow the same plan) is the ease with which you can use it- there’s very little construction and in this example there was no clean-up on the base itself meaning you can get stuck into painting very quickly. There’s plenty of styrene and resin figures out there, I’m sure, crying out for a base like this so my advice is to go ahead and try one!