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In-Box Review
135
Government Ruins
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by: Tim Sloan [ PZCREATIONS ]

introduction

Dioramas Plus was formed in the fall of 2008. The owner, Randy Pepprock, has been in the hobby industry for over 15 years manufacturing architectural miniatures for model railroaders under the “Downtown Deco” banner. Before that he worked as a scenic artist in the movie industry in Hollywood California. Randy designs, casts, packs and ships each and every order personally.

That quote being said, taken from Randy’s website, I’d like to show you one of his creations. With the economic slump, and rising prices of model kits, diorama builders both new and experienced will appreciate the kits offered from Dioramas Plus. Well detailed and packed with enough goodies to start a nice scene for a price that's less than most 1/35 armor kits.

the kit

Though the kit is titled 'Government Ruins', it doesn't depict any particular building scene, or time period for that matter, giving the modeler a wide range of uses for this.
The seven main parts are made of plaster including three for the building and four for the sidewalk. The kit comes well packed, the main parts tightly wrapped in plastic, it arrived with only one building section broken. But, considering it is a 'ruined' building, after repair it will only add to the detail.

With that you also get 16 window frames and one door frame with two nice detailed main entry doors. These are all laser pre-cut, needing only to separate them with a hobby blade. You also get two sheets of thin clear plastic, a small sheet for intact glass panes ,and a larger one with damaged/broken glass panes. The wood parts have an adhesive on the back of them for attaching the glass parts, simply peel the backing off and stick on the appropriate section of glass.

There is also a small bag of rubble which includes sections of broken crumbled walls and even individual bricks and particles to scatter about the ground. There's plenty provided, but if you choose, you can easily add more rubble by mixing up some plaster, allowing it to dry and crushing it up to make even more rubble. The photos will show the nice detail on the building sections (I brushed on some diluted paint for the photos), however, there is no detail on the inside of the building.

The seven page instructions come in typed form with no drawings for assembly, however, with the detailed and easy to follow text, assembly won’t be a problem, even for a beginner. There is also a painting guide, which includes a 'how to' description and some colored photos to help you in painting the building and the rubble, as well as describing how to mix and cement the rubble on your base (the base is not included). On the last page there are a couple of (German) posters and signs printed that you can add to your scene as well. Once assembled the building measures approximately 12 inches x 7 inches.

conclusion

No longer will you need to throw hundreds of dollars into a large dio building. With the numerous offerings from Dioramas Plus, there’s a nice range of choices at reasonable costs. This one, being his second release, is one I’m happy to have. Modelers will need to provide a base to mount it on, a simple plywood section will do.

Working with plaster can be a little tricky if not careful. It’s easily broken and can be a pain when trying to mount it to the base. Assembly will require the use of a two part epoxy glue and some two part putty to fill the seam at the sections joint. Other than that, some paints, figures and maybe a tank or two..and a little imagination will take this to a very nice scene.
SUMMARY
Highs: Inexpensive, plenty of parts included , nice realistic detail.
Lows: Lack of interior detail and no base for an OOB build. Made of plaster, which can be tricky to mount and assemble.
Verdict: For anyone wanting to build a diorama street scene without having to scratch build a building ,this one comes highly recommended for those with some experience in working with plaster and epoxy glue.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: DP2
  Suggested Retail: 44.95
  Related Link: Dioramas Plus
  PUBLISHED: Jan 02, 2010
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 79.29%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

Our Thanks to Dioramas Plus!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Tim Sloan (pzcreations)
FROM: GEORGIA, UNITED STATES

Copyright ©2019 text by Tim Sloan [ PZCREATIONS ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the nice review, I appreciate it. The main thing I hear from modelers over and again is they love the detail & the ease of assembly. The main structures of most of our kits can be glued together & ready to paint in about 15 minutes. A few swipes w/a sanding block, some 5 minute epoxy & you're good to go! As always, if anyone here ever has questions or comments please feel free to drop me an email or call. Cheers! Randy Pepprock Dioramas Plus downtowndeco@montana.com (email) 406-273-0942
JAN 03, 2010 - 04:11 AM
I started the three story apartment from Diorama Plus last night and so far have been extremely impressed.I spent more time on the insructions for the 5 minute epoxy than the entire building. Within an hour I had the walls,balconies and three coats of wash done. Also the first floor. The product is well worth the money.You will need more foamcore to finish the seond floor and roof ,if that's what you prefer to use as I do. I did drill the rebar holes a little deeper,5 minute job. As stated,you won't find a better diorama piece for the cost of an average kit anywhere else. Being a fan of modern armor,I hope Randy will release more middle east, Afganistan buildings in the future. I will try to post photos of the finished product soon.
JAN 06, 2010 - 11:05 AM
Thanks for the kind words. I'll send an extra set of the brick sidewalks (a $25 value) with each order placed until 1/10/10. Just mention that you saw this post on Armorama when you call or email your order in. Thanks much for the support! Randy Pepprock LINK (website) downtowndeco@montana.com (email) 406-273-0942 (phone/fax)
JAN 08, 2010 - 06:41 AM
Randy, that is awesome! Thanks again for getting us here in the Armorama comunity the review samples! Andy
JAN 08, 2010 - 09:48 AM
   

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