Of all the somber icons of the Second World War, I can think of none more chilling than German electrified barbed-wire fences. While they were used in a variety of locations, their most-notorious job was surrounding concentration camps. The barbed wire was strung from concrete pillars with insulators to allow for electrification at fatal voltages. Every few pillars had a lone electric light bulb protected by a tiny tin shade.
At times, it seems as if Plus Models wants to recreate the entire world of the 1940s in miniature. As part of this crusade, they have now released a 1/35th version of the German barbed wire electrified fence.
Inside Plus Model's usual green box are 96 pieces of resin plus a sheet of photo-etched barbed wire. You get:
Three "concrete" pillars
1 light bulb fixture with shade
90 electric insulators on 9 resin sprues
A tiny sheet showing placement of the parts
The kit parts look chillingly realistic, like fences I have seen at the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps in Germany. Only three posts are included, so the set must either stand-in for a longer stretch of fence, perhaps on a pedestal with figures or other small diorama, or else you will need another 2-3 sets to complete a proper length barrier, perhaps along a railroad marshalling yard?
Whatever one says about the subject matter, the detailing is excellent right down to the barbed wire, with a nice texture on the concrete pillars and sharp, well-defined features on the ceramic insulators. My biggest criticism is the lack of pre-drilled holes for the insulators. It seems it would have been easy to pre-form holes during the casting process. Now builders will have to drill their own; gluing the insulators to the posts will leave them subject to too much torque once the PE barbed wire is stretched around them.
My one reservation about the kit is how much applicability it will have to armor modelers and diorama builders. I haven't seen too many modelers wanting to replicate concentration camps, so the use for the set may be somewhat limited. Check your references. But in terms of accuracy, this one is breathtakingly close to the real thing.
Highs: Chillingly accurate rendition of infamous German electrified barbed wire fence section.Lows: Pricy. No pre-drilled holes for electric insulators.Verdict: A sobering reminder of what the war was all about.