I’ve slowly been working my way back into armor and vignettes and/or dioramas, so when I saw this set list I thought it would be a good exercise in painting, and allow me to have some unique items to add to a scene.
The Plus Model “Old Suitcases” set comes with 9 pieces (actually 7 suitcases of varying sizes, plus a hat box and a steamer trunk) molded in a light gray resin. All of the various luggage items have a casting block attached, either to a back/bottom corner or along the bottom of the item. Making a choice as to whether to use these blocks as handles while painting, or to cut them off prior to paint, will be an individual decision for each modeler. As I have large hands and am often rather clutzy, I chose to leave them on and do some touch up painting afterwards.
With resin items I generally do a pre-paint wash in hot water with Dawn dishwashing soap. This was done and the suitcases left to dry overnight. I sprayed Tamiya fine primer on all pieces but noted some “fish eye” almost immediately. Stopping there, all bits were recleaned, this time using a strong degreaser: Simple Green (used this for many years to clean motorcycles and automotive wheels, etc.). Again, an overnight dry and more priming. This seems to have done the trick as there were no issues with the primer sticking this time.
Once the primer dried, I sprayed the suitcases the suitcases various shades of brown and tan using both ModelMaster enamels and Ammo of Mig acrylics (thinning these with Tamiya lacquer thinner). The paints laid own nicely, and the parts were placed in my old food dehydrator to dry (this helps speed dry times). After the base coats have dried thoroughly, the detail painting starts. Most of the items have straps molded in, hinges, handles, locks, and also corner protectors. The straps I figured to be either cloth or leather, the handles leather, and the hinges, locks, and corner protectors to be some form of metal. Paints were selected and applied accordingly. After more dry time I applied a slight oil wash, using Burnt Umber, to highlight the details a bit.
At this point I chose to remove the casting blocks. I used a scribe to remove most of the webbing, and then snapped the rest of the block off cleanly. A bit of scraping with the edge of an X-Acto blade and just a bit of work with a file finished the clean-up work. A bit of touch-up painting was then applied, and that portion was done ( the steamer trunk still has the casting block attached in the photos due to a missing large X-Acto saw).
The set also includes various travel stickers, as often seen on luggage that followed travelers to various destinations, both nationally and internationally. I sprayed a layer of Future as a gloss coat, and applied the decals randomly on the suitcases and steamer trunk. Once dried, I used a mixture of Tamiya Flat Base and Future to reduce the level of gloss and seal the decals.
This set is a quick and easy way to add some unique items to a scene from almost any modern era, and also lets the modeler practice some detail painting. The items are all cleanly cast with minimal clean-up work needed before painting. Well done PlusModel.
A big “Thanks” to Plus Model and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this kit.