by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
Railway Diorama Base
Rusty Rail offers a wide range of O scale - 1/48 scenic castings. RRMS-O-19 "Railway Diorama Base" allows 1/48 modelers a sharp base to show off their latest models. Rusty Rail has been casting model railroad scale -- and now 1/35 -- buildings, accessories and kits since 2001. These incredibly detailed castings feature many recessed and relief detail, solid and hollow, with amazing undercuts.
RRMS-O-19 "Railway Diorama Base""Railway Diorama Base" is simply packed in a medium plastic bag held shut by a stapled label. It has a small footprint that measures 6" long by 3" wide and 1" tall.
The base is a tangent length of lightly built track reaching through rough land that has been harvested of timber. Ballasting is slight.
Size & ScaleThis track is versatile. Engineered for On30 -- 30-inch (762 mm) narrow gauge track in 1/48 (O scale) -- the track gang was skilled as it is exactly 30 inches on both ends as well as in the middle. If you intend to use this for a larger scale the gauge gets narrower; 1/35 converts to an unusual 22-in. (560 mm) gauge. Commercial On30 models are engineered to run on HO standard gauge track so this base could stand as a 1/87 display, although the loading gauge is tight.
I show the track with figures in 1/35 and 1/43, and with a 1/48 Pzr III (natural and artificial light).
Casting quality is impressive, full of recessed and relief detail and amazing undercut areas! Your reviewer has cast some resin in the past and can not figure out how Rusty Rail managed the opposing undercut items. This mimics cutting-edge high-tech slide molding used by the leading injection molding styrene model manufacturers.
The majority of the casting is high-grade. There are a few minor excess resin grains cast onto the inside of the rails. It appears that everything Rusty Rail intended to reproduce did so. Resin is thick and robust. Not hard and brittle, not soft and malleable.
DetailThe oval base is landscaped with a fine gritty ground texture. It can easily be enhanced by ground foam, static grass or whatever you like to use. Set into it are small boulders and two cut tree trucks, plus a fallen branch. Right through the middle the gandydancers laid the track.
The rails are nicely sized, as are the cross ties. They have good rough wood grain indicating the lack of treatment many logging and mineral railroads provided. The ties seem prototypically spaced. The roadbed does seem lightly ballasted - perhaps with clinkers or pea gravel. Rail spike heads seem too big for the scale.
PaintingI primed it light and filled some undercuts with washes. Lifecolor sets for weathering wood and railroads were applied with airbrush and bristle brush. Ground colors are as many brands as colors used. Rocks and the trunk were treated to a variety of paint, dry brushing and washes.
ConclusionYour reviewer finds this model to be a nifty small display/diorama base. The level of detailing is excellent. The quality of casting is high.
Whether you are a model railroader or a modeler of military or civil scenes this casting is very versatile. In 1/35 it could stand in for a plausible industrial railway. I have seen a photograph of United Kingdom troops during the battle of Normandy next to a track that hardly looked wider than their feet!
I had a great deal of fun painting this model. Whether I park a train or non-rail subject on it, it will look great! I happily recommend it.
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