A recent detail set from Matho arrived, with parts for three plastic shopping baskets. These are typical here in Europe and have been around for at least a couple decades, although traditional wire baskets are still popular in many stores. Being plastic they can be moulded in any colour, usually one that matches the store’s branding. I’m not sure how widespread these are, so cannot say if they would be appropriate to any of the world’s current war zones.
The real things are stackable, being tapered, and consist of only three parts – the basket and the two handles that clip into holes in the rim. And outside of shopping, you can get them as laundry baskets, often in white or pastel colours.
Packed in a ziplock bag inside a plastic bubble-pack are four 3D-printed resin parts – the three baskets and a sprue of six handles. My sample was clean, without the oil or wax that can be found on some 3D prints, and nothing was broken. I was surprised, as very thin printed resin parts (these are Shapeways’ “Smoothest Detail” material) are very fragile and can snap easily. There are no instructions, but a look at the pictures on the Matho website is enough.
I started by cutting off the handles with a sharp knife. Be careful to get the right spot where the handle meets the sprue – there should be a lug at the end of each handle that is meant to be there. And be sure to hold the handle down with a spare finger while cutting, or it will go orbital and feed the Carpet Monster! I found the handles to be easily bent with too much pressure, so be gentle.
The inner rim of each basket has two holes on each side where those lugs on the handles fit in. I had to clean them out with a gentle flick of a sharp knife, as crud collects in them during printing. Fitting the handles took patience, as they popped out with every attempt to fit the second lug. Matho’s website says you can leave them loose, but I found I had to glue them or they just fell out. (Superglue to the rescue!) I posed them in three “classic” stances for future diorama use…
My samples took brushed acrylic paint easily (the yellow was Modelflex railroad paint, and the others were Vallejo) without being washed. Airbrushing might be better, but only if you really want to break out a microscope to observe the thinness of the paint.
If you model a modern supermarket, these baskets are a perfect detail. Or, they can be litter on the street, as they often “grow legs”…
Highs: Perfect replicas of real baskets. Easy to build.Lows: Handles a bit fiddly.Verdict: Another fine detail for modern urban scenes!
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