Plus Models continues its excellent details for dioramas with a portable US Filed Switchboard set. The set is 35 pieces of perfectly cast resin, 23 photoetch pieces and a piece of wire. The kit is actually four kits in one with a desk, two switchboards and the seats/wire parts. All of the parts are cast in grey-green resin and are bubble free and crisp.
The first thing I did was to remove all the resin parts from their casting blocks. This is simple but takes some time as there are a lot of small parts. I kept them in the correct pile for each part of the kit. A quick wash and we were ready for glue.
The desk is superb with all seven drawers being separate and fitting perfectly. This allows you to pose them open and fill them with paper or the like. There are two metal handles that need attached and also a closure clip in the front. The side table is attached to the desk and you have to use wire to make a folding leg. I cut it long and snipped it off until the desk set level. A small handset is glued to the top and this part is done.
The two switchboards build the same. A bit of warning. Install part 4 or 11 first all the way to the right side of the box. Then glue in part 2 and 9 flush to that- if you look at the pictures, you can see I missed getting it glued properly and the gap is in the middle instead of the left side on one of the sets. Next, the top and bottom covers and the working desks are added. There is small PE parts for these also. A carrying strap is added and this is three parts and a minute buckle but the fit is excellent. The front of the switchboards are also PE and are added after bending down the buttons. last, the legs are added to the entire set. Both build up the same and look great.
Finally, there is a spool of cable wire depicted by two PE ends and a resin center. There are two resin fold out seats also. The resin pars are crisp but you need to form 4 wire rectangles. Find something the appropriate size and bend the rectangles around that item to make sure they are consistent and the seats sit evenly.
Now for painting. This is the US Army so...any shade of Olive Drab you would like. I painted a base of Testor's OD on the set and then came back with some highlights of faded OD. I sealed and added a black wash to the parts and then used a silver pen to highlight bolts and the like. The phone set and switchboard faces were painted black and highlighted. The folding legs were given a coat of silver as well as the wire which was then brushed black. A flat coat and it was time to add some wiring. I added a few connections on the face of one switchboard and then added some wires coming off the back. Not too many but enough so the reader could see how nice it could look. Another flat coats and finished!
If you have never tried a Plusmodel kit, you should. They build well and have a great variety of subject. This one is recommended but I also advise that some experience with small parts would be helpful. My thanks to Plusmodel and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review this lovely set.
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