Every person after they have been making models for a while starts to add scratched, bought, found, borrowed, and begged items to their model or diorama. This helps to make the finished model a unique item to them and gets the mind going and juices flowing in other model makers as they admire the results. I have become a regular customer of JB Models.eu as he stocks an interesting selection of items at a good price with a reasonable speedy postal service (2 to 4 days usually).
A large number of the items reviewed here are produced by RB Model in Poland but not all. I am sure that by now most are familiar with RB Model barrels and turned metal ammunition but they produce other items besides those. Here I am going to take a look at some of the items that may have been overlooked by those of us who build AFVs as they may be seen as aimed at another section of the hobby, or for that matter just not known about at all.
Listed below are the items I am going to look at, with the majority being produced by RB Model;
- Brass chain link by - RB Model.
- Brass sheaves by - RB Model.
- Masts/ Antenna/ Aerials - RB Model.
- Brass blocks - RB Model.
- Brass gins - RB Model.
- Cotton ropes and Anchor lines JB Model.
Brass chain link
The brass chain link is beautifully made with a reasonable strength for its size/s. You get a full metre of chain regardless of which of the five sizes you purchase, this of course gives you 35 metres scale wise or 114 8. The five sizes are;
- 1.3mm x 1.75 mm costing 1.10.
- 1.35mm x 1.65mm costing 1.10
- 1.9mm x 2.6mm costing 1.10.
- 2.6mm x 3.8mm costing 1.19.
- 3.7mm x 5.6mm costing 1.22.
Now while you dont see chain stowed on most modern AFVs very often you certainly do on World War Two vehicles, and this is a quick, cheap, and easy way of making your model your own.
If I am honest it was not until I had had a good look around the JB Models site that I had even heard of the word Sheave. As it turned out a sheave is a pulley wheel which may be vented or solid, and the examples I have purchased are for some alterations to a BergPanther I am working on but I am sure you can see other possibilities now that you know what they are. The solid sheaves are available in five sizes which are;
- R=2.5mm x D=1mm x f=1mm costing 0.13 each.
- R=3mm x D=1mm x f=1mm costing 0.13.
- R=4mm x D=1mm x f=1mm costing 0.13.
- R=5mm x D=1mm x f=1mm costing 0.13.
- R=6mm x D=1mm x f=1mm costing 0.13.
These five sizes give you a fair number of options and I can see them being used for things such as emergency hoists by the AFV crew in a hurry as well as my reason for buying them. If you do have a use for them the price is fair and they can be purchased in tens or 20s to store secure amongst your odds and ends for when needed at a fair price. The vented sheaves also come in five sizes (is there a theme here) which are;
- R=6mm x D=1.5mm x f=1.5mm costing 0.60.
- R=8mm x D=1.9mm x f=2mm costing 0.60.
- R=10mm x D=1.9mm x f=2mm costing 0.60.
- R=12mm x D=2.2mm x f=2mm costing 0.60.
- R=15mm x D=2.4mm x f=2mm costing 0.75.
These vented sheaves are an exquisite piece of engineering for which RB Models should be congratulated. They also offer the same possibilities as the solid sheaves but have that extra little eye catching detail, and are in follow on sizes from the solid sheaves.
Brass Masts/ Antenna/ Aerials
These were originally I believe aimed purely at the very small scale boat modeller, however as their title suggests someone has seen other uses for them. While it is my belief that they are too stiff and unfortunately too short for most if not all modern AFV aerials, they should be suitable for AFVs from earlier time periods and with some work will make good aerials for larger figures. This item is available in four sizes which are;
Brass blocks and Gins
- L=35mm x ψR=1.0mm x ψr=0.5mm costing 0.42.
- L=40mm x ψR=0.8mm x ψr=0.4mm costing 0.47.
- L=45mm x ψR=0.8mm x ψr=0.4mm costing 0.48.
- L=55mm x ψR=1.0mm x ψr=0.5mm costing 0.55.
These items really are a joy to behold and it is my belief that no one who purchases one of these and uses it will fail to be impressed. The engineering of these pieces really make my eyes hurt due to their small sizes and various components that all come together to make little jewels for addition to your model or diorama. There are four types of block available which are also produced as single and double sheave versions. The pulleys and blocks which I am not qualified to accurately identify their type which is where the pictures will help identify the one to meet your needs. There is also a double and two single types of gin. I am sure that once you have seen this product type you will be able to think of uses for them, and at the very least they should get your grey matter working. I am going to break these items down as best I can so forgive me if I make an error.
Single brass block with top and bottom pin;
- L=6.3mm x R=2.5mm x d=1.8mm costing 0.76.
- L=7.5mm x R=3.0mm x d=2.4mm costing 0.70.
- L=8.5mm x R=4.0mm x d=2.4mm costing 0.70.
- L=9.5mm x R=5.0mm x d=2.4mm costing 0.70.
- L=11.5mm x R=6.0mm x d=2.4mm costing 0.70.
Why is the smallest the most expensive? I can only think that due to its small size it is harder to make and assemble meaning a higher cost.
Now you have the double sheave version of the item above, and they are;
- L=6.3mm x R=2.5mm x d=3.1mm costing 0.76.
- L=7.5mm x R=3.0mm x d=4.2mm costing 0.70.
- L=8.5mm x R=4.0mm x d=4.2mm costing 0.70.
- L=9.5mm x R=5.0mm x d=4.2mm costing 0.70.
- L=11.5mm x R=6.0mm x d=4.2mm costing 0.70.
Now we have the double pulley with an eye for hanging the block, and they are;
- L=4.5mm x R=2.5mm x l=4.5mm x d=3.1mm costing 0.89.
- L=7mm x R=3mm x l=4.5mm x d=4.1mm costing 0.84.
- L=8mm x R=4mm x l=5.5mm x d=4.1mm costing 0.84.
- L=9mm x R=5mm x l=6.5mm x d=4.1mm costing 0.84.
- L=10.5mm x R=6mm x l=7.5mm x d=4.1mm costing 0.95.
Now the single pulley with an eye for hanging the block and they are;
- L=4.5mm x R=2.5mm x l=4.5mm x d=1.8mm costing 0.89.
- L=7mm x R=3.0mm x l=4.5mm x d=2.3mm costing 0.84.
- L=8mm x R=4.0mm x l=5.5mm x d=2.3mm costing 0.84.
- L=9mm x R=5.0mm x l=6.5mm x d=2.3mm costing 0.84.
- L=10.5mm x R=6.0mm x l=7.5mm x d=2.3mm costing 0.95.
We now have open ended pulleys of which there are only two types which are;
- Single H=4mm x R=2.5mm x d=1.8mm costing 2.38.
- Double H=4mm x R=2.5mm x d=3.1mm costing 3.90.
These are purchased in packs of ten and are unassembled, I suspect that part of the reason for the 10 pack is that I can hear the cussing now as pieces fly off into the ether never to be seen again. If I am honest I believe that this product should only be attempted by modellers who are very well versed in the use of PE, have very good eyesight, and exceptionally nimble fingers. It is a pity as these pulleys would also be a very useful item, and it may be worth the manufacturer selling these assembled as well as unassembled at a slightly increased price.
Finally in brass with have the gins which are available in two sizes with one also available with double pulley wheels. These items if used should really catch the eye and draw it in to your build due to the finesse of the parts that have been brought together in these pieces. Here are the details of the gins;
- R=12mm x H=25mm x h=19.5mm costing 2.20.
- Single R=8mm x H=17mm x h=13.7mm costing 2.00.
- Double R=8mm x H=17mm x h=13.7mm costing 2.00.
There are also wooden pulleys with up to 3 sheaves in each block in a large number of sizes.
Cotton ropes and Anchor lines
Cotton ropes why should I buy cotton ropes! I hear you say. Well lets take a look and then you can decide if it is or indeed is not worth your time and money. The ropes are sold as two main types with one being described as blackened anchor rope, and the other described just as cotton rope which is off white in colour and listed as ecru.
The blackened rope is a hand made product which accounts for the price, and would make very good cables as well as a heavy rope. It is supplied in 2 meter lengths giving you 70 meters or 229 4 which is considerable, and unlike many found and second hand rope type materials I have used has a nice stiffness to it with a consistent diameter throughout its length. There is a good level of detail within the ropes structure which will help add that little touch of realism. It is my intention to use them as tow cables on a number of vehicles and as the lifting cables on an M88. While a number of kit manufacturers supply cotton in their kits to replicate cables this product and that provided in kits are as different as chalk and cheese as regards quality. The reason I will use this instead of metal cable is that it is easier to manipulate, and should be easier to impart a natural looking sag. This rope type is available in thirteen sizes from a diameter of 0.6mm to 3.5mm (21mm to 122.5mm scaled) ranging in price from 4.36 to 10.20.
The off white cotton rope is a much softer and less stiff material but still retains a high level of structural detail. It is available in seven sizes from 0.5mm to 1.2mm (17.5mm to 42mm scaled) ranging in price from 2.10 to 3.60. The diameter is consistent throughout its length and it is my intention to use this product to tie down stowage on World War Two era vehicles. While some of these ropes are expensive I do consider them worth having available to use as needed, of the two I prefer the blackened rope as it is a better quality material which is reflected in the price difference.
All products are packaged in Ziploc bags with a card sleeve, and in my case sent through the post in a cardboard box which contained polystyrene chips to protect the items. Each item is individually packed with the exception of the blocks and sheaves which were packaged together, which may not be the case if a number of any combination of this product type is ordered.
A good selection of products from predominantly RB Model which will add to the detail of your build, I have listed them under JB Model.eu as that is where you can purchase all of the items together. While these items are not aimed at our area of the hobby I think you will agree that most of us have uses for them at various times, and unlike scratched items they offer consistency in detail and size. In the case of the blocks I defy anyone to scratch the smaller of these items. If you have a use or can see the possibilities in these items I highly recommend them.