The guys at Kancali have done it again. They have come out with another street section product. Most after market diorama products come out in either plaster or resin, Kancali has opted for a third route - latex. In my opinion, the latex gives you a bit more flexibility of use than the other two materials. Latex rubber provides easy coverage of uneven ground, such as a transition to a hill or around a hair pin turn on a tight city street. The rubber also makes customizing the shape of your piece very easy to do. You can cut it very easily with a pair of scissors to match any shape.
What you get
The 1/35th scale latex street comes in a molded 'Fan' pattern. It represents a very classic European flair. In the clear plastic bag you will get two street sections each measuring approximately 12 3/4 by 8 3/4 inches. There is an unusable boarder on each sheet, which still gives you a usable street section of approximately 12 by 8 1/2 (each). You can see this boarder in the overall image on the right, the first picture. The street is made with a cotton reinforcement material molded directly into the back. This makes it a very durable product.
In each package you get a 'stiffener' card that does double duty. It helps keep the product flat and it has product 'use tips' printed on one side. Another benefit to the latex is that even if it does get bent during shipping the it will not be ruined or broken. The tip sheet covers cutting, use,
and painting and weathering
. The tips are straightforward and easy to understand.
I did some research into cobblestones and in particular the fan pattern. Kancali has done their research too, they have done a nice job of reproducing this pattern in 1/35th scale. You can see, from the photos on the right, the level of detail in the cobbles and in the fan pattern.
Fan patters are done with cube cobbles that are 100x100mm or 150x150mm. For these cobbles the radius of the fan is 1m and 1.5m respectively. The usually cobble count per fan is 85. Kancali has come incredibly to close to these dimensions in 1/35th scale. The fan is only off by 1mm. The cobble count is a bit low which gives some extra space between the stones. Neither of these points detract from overall appearance of the street. I feel that the unique appearance of the fan will be a focal point of the diorama.
I placed Tamiya's British 25lb cannon (in 1/35th scale) on the sheet to give you an idea of how it will look with respect to size, shape and appearance.
You can check out a real life reference photo
here. To get a full scope on cobble stones you can check out this research site
Finishing these is easy to do. The latex can be painted in just about any hobby paint on the market. Kancali gives you a sheet with suggested finishing ideas which is great for modelers who are new to dioramas or latex. You can follow their suggestions or use your own tried and true methods. You can also use pastels on these to add a very nice finishing touch.
I think that this would be a very nice addition to a diorama builders arsenal. It would find a home at any level from beginners to advance builders.