- Published on Saturday, 27 August 2011 23:22 Robin Jenkins
1/76 European Town House
Kit number A75005
Available from Airfix for £15.99
The history of Airfix's range of 1/76 AFVs, vehicles and figures can be traced back to the early days of the company; certainly when I started modelling in the late 1960s, there was already a fair number of kits of tanks and boxes of figures available. Later on, the company released a small series of buildings or features as boxed items; I remember these more as "play sets" rather than accurate diorama sets and they included a West Wall gun emplacement. Even later, some items which were more scale-like appeared, such as their RAF control tower, pontoon bridge and a forward command post. These were certainly good enough for wargamers to incorporate into their battlegrounds and I have seen a few of these so used over the years.
Coming right up to date, Airfix have taken what may appear as a major step forward in this area, not only in quality but in the materials used. On review here is the first of a series of releases of quality buildings manufactured in resin - yes, resin from Airfix! This is a ruined European town house circa the 1940s and is definitely not aimed at the junior modeller; I would say the target audience are wargamers or small scale diorama builders. The pricing of the model, at just under £16.00, would put junior modellers off somewhat, but in the box is a high quality item that will suit the other modelling groups perfectly.
Within the squarish, bulky box is a single piece of resin making up the town house (above). The photo shows it is a 3 storey building which has suffered massive damage to one half of it, removing over half the walls, floors and roofing. Shell damage can be seen in two areas at the front of the house and one on the right hand side. There are also many bullet, debris or shrapnel impact marks. A view down into the building (below) shows the internal structure with the damaged floorboards.
Also included, again unexpectedly from Airfix, are some photoetched window frames and some clear plastic with which to glaze or partially glaze them (above). Everything is packed very securely within an expanded polystyrene foam interior box.
Finally, there is a suggested painting guide on the rear of the box (below).
The quality of the resin is very high, there being no warpage, blemishes, flash or thinning and all of the detail is crisply rendered. I felt the walls and roofing portrayed the damaged building better than did the floorboards, which were too flat and uniform at the edges of the damage, rather than the twisting and upheaval that often appears in photos of ruined buildings; the boards themselves also appeared a little thick. The building itself is a single wall variety and similar in style to those sometimes photographed in WW2 in northern France, Holland or western Germany.
Pricing is there or thereabouts, possibly a couple of pounds more than I would I have priced it at personally.
So what do we think?
A radical entry to a hitherto unexplored area of modelling by Airfix, using materials not normally associated with them. High quality, slightly overpriced but very well presented. I look forward to seeing further releases from them in this range.
Our thanks to Airfix for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.