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Built Review
Soviet Railway Markers & Signs
The Set of Limit Signs for the Direct and Curved Sections of Railway
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

This 1/35 set of Soviet railway signs and markers are part of the Railway Accessories series from Armor35. It is a mixed-media set with resin and photo-etched parts, and decals.

Controlling trains weighing thousands of tons moving at tens of miles per hour is hard enough on engineers. To orient them, vast numbers of specialized signs and markers are set trackside. These markers warn of speed restrictions, mandatory signaling, yard limits, distances to and from specific points, and more.

Trackside signage was mounted on purpose cut posts or scrap rail. For emplacing the signs in soft soil or solid ground, round baseplates were used.

The Set of Limit Signs for the Direct and Curved Sections of Railway
This set of signs and markers are packed in a sturdy lid-opening one-piece box. Glued across the top is the box art, a photograph of the models. Inside are resin and photo-etched parts and decals securely held in zip-locked baggies. An instruction sheet is included.

Resin parts include;
    2 x Tall timber sign posts
    1 x Large baseplates (I have two in my set!)
    2 x Short rail sign posts
    1 x Small baseplate
    1 x Tall rail sign post
    1 x 100 meters picket
    1 x Curve limit sign post
    1 x Transition curve sign post

The photo-etch fret holds 11 parts;
    1. Long sign face for kilometer marker
    2 & 3. Sign mounting brackets
    4. Transition curve sign face
    5. Whistle sign face
    6. Kilometer marker (from Moscow) for tall timber post
    7. Kilometer marker (from Moscow) for tall rail post
    8. Short sign face for kilometer marker
    9. 3 x 3-hole sign mounting brackets

The gray resin pieces are cast without flash, sinks, and mold seams. A couple of pieces have some burrs from the pour block to carve off while a rails have roughness where they were parted from their block. There are no air bubbles. The timber posts have recessed lines demarcating paint colors and ground depth level.

instructions, painting, decals
The decal sheet contains many numbers of four sizes for the different signs and markers. These decals are thin, with minimal carrier film, and sharply printed. It also holds two data blocks for the transition curve sign, plus a pair of curve limit sign post markings. Finally, it includes a printed green and white whistle marker face.

Paint required is simple: black, green, red, and white. No brand is recommended.

Instruction sheet: very neat and clearly illustrated. Use care around liquids - water will smudge the ink.

Each limit sign is illustrated full-size for 1/35. It also provides a schematic of the roadbed profile. Height and lateral placement relative the railroad track is shown in millimeters; a bird's-eye diagram shows how to orient the posts next to the track. The signs are described in Russian and translated into English. The posts can be either rail or lumber. Each piece is keyed to a color and decal numeral size. However, the printed photo-etch part keys do not match the identities etched into the fret.

Building these signs is simple and relatively quick once you acquaint yourself to the instructions. With the mislabeling of the etched parts, assembly can be confusing for a few signs. Matching the parts to the illustrations and box art will help decipher which etched parts attach to which resin posts.

I attached the p/e to the resin with superglue. A couple signs are intended to have brackets joining them to the posts. These brackets are not labeled although sharp eyes will spot them in the illustrations.

After a coat of tan primer dried, Polly Scale, Vallejo, and LifeColor paints were hand brushed. It would be quick and easy to mask the posts but I consider it unlikely the prototypes were sprayed. Thus, brush painting to leave brush marks is more authentic and accurate. I applied varying coats of white to simulate weathering and age (including a bit of yellow to simulate lead-based white in the open), and different weathered blacks and dark browns to also simulate weathering. I speculate the baseplates were cast with concrete. Two were painted 'fresh'. The other I decided to depict with peeling paint, by poking the drying paint with my finger.

After brushing Future for the decal base, the decals went on. These decals are very good but just dip the decal in water. If you leave the paper in the water more than a few seconds, the decals come loose and float about. Picking them out with tweezers or a brush caused the decals to wrap up. Transfer the decals to the model surface directly from the decal paper. Finally, some nice flat clearcoat dulled down the models.

The 'family portrait' shows all of them next to an Armor 35 figure, set under a ruler which simulates the height of the posts above ground.

Signing off
Armor 35 has prepared another neat set for their series of 1/35 railroad details. A similar set for rail yards and sidings is also offered, it being this set without as many signs, and no curve and whistle decals. The models in this set are nicely cast and the etched pieces are flawless. Aside from some curling out of water the decals are also first rate. Plenty of them, too! I appreciate the schematic of the roadbed profile.

I am not troubled as some may be that no wood grain is molded on the wood posts. My complaint is that the otherwise very professional instruction sheet mismatched the part numbers of almost the entire photo-etch fret.

This is a quick and fun set to prepare. It allows modelers to add another level of detail to any diorama incorporating a WWII-era Soviet railroad. Armor 35 has a passion for the subject and this set looks to be a labor of love. I appreciate it it and certainly recommend it.

We thank Armor 35 for providing this set for review here on KitMaker Network.
Highs: Crisp casting and sharp photo-etch. Neat and clearly illustrated instructions, thin and sharply printed decals.
Lows: Printed photo-etch part keys on the instructions mislabeled the part numbers on the fret.
Verdict: This is a quick and fun set to prepare. It allows modelers to add another level of detail to any scene incorporating a WWII-era Soviet railroad.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35013
  Suggested Retail: $10.00 ( 360 py6 )
  Related Link: Limit signs for switch sections
  PUBLISHED: Jun 05, 2014

Our Thanks to Armor 35!
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 Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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