by: James Bella [ ]
PlusModel from the Czech Republic has a catalog filled with neat items including complete kits, conversions, figures and accessories to enhance dioramas and models alike. This metal working lathe should be able to be used in a variety of settings and time periods. I cannot determine the make of this lathe and the only detail that stands out to me is what the pulley on the motor shaft would be used for, possibly to run some add-on accessories.
Packed in a small, lightweight cardboard box, the 26 resin pieces are contained in two plastic bags further protected by bubble wrap. Three of the thin levers did break free of their casting block, so a careful check of the bags and pieces is recommended to make sure nothing gets tossed out. The instructions consist of two exploded drawings which appear easy enough to follow. Also included is a small decal sheet containing three decals for what I would imagine to be the speed charts and manufacturers label.
The parts are cast in a light gray resin, well detailed with no apparent casting flaws. The pour stubs and blocks are well placed, and clean up should prove fairly easy. The carriage can be positioned where the modeler desires, so parts 18 and 19 will need to be cut to length. The box art serves as the painting guide and a reference of the assembled kit.
Scale wise, the lathe measures approximately 7 feet long, and 40 inches from floor to the top of the bed, which seems to be acceptable. A DML figure looks about right standing next to the lathe, also.
The first step in the instructions cover the major components, so these were cleaned up first with everything pretty much falling into place. Take care not to remove the locating pins on some of the pieces, such as the spindle and motor, as these fit into holes on the main lathe body. I left the storage cabinet loose, as this slides easily under the lathe and will make painting easier. After installing the spindle, I checked the fit of the carriage and tailstock, and found the tailstock to sit too low as it was hitting the carriage crosspiece and was not level with the spindle. This was remedied by adding a piece of styrene flat stock to raise it level with the spindle. This shouldn’t affect the appearance too much, as the tailstock mount is commonly quite beefy.
Slide the carriage into place where you want so the guide rods can be cut to length, attaching the ones towards the head first and working towards the rear ending with part 12. The tailstock can also be positioned where desired. The light will need to be painted to ‘look like a light’, or just left off as these were usually more of a nuisance than a help on the real ones.
The second drawing of the instructions finishes the build by adding the finer details such as the work light, handles and levers. I normally do not use cyanoacrylate, but a fast set one was very welcome setting the levers in place! All total, the build took about two hours.
The kit went together easily and has excellent details which should paint up nicely. This lathe could be equally at home in a full production shop or a farmers’ workshop. No tools or extras are included, but add an oil can and a couple of greasy rags and you’ll be all set.