PEGASUS HOBBIES 1/72
Russian Log House – Two Story Large Karilian Region Izba
|No. of Parts||13|
|Material||Styrene (Hard Plastic)|
During the last years several major mass production companies have started to launch on the market diorama accessories, completing the older list of such stuff produced by Airfix, Esci, Hasegawa and even Matchbox. Both Italeri and Pegasus Hobbies have come with new and attractive buildings, an important part not only for dioramas, but also for the wargaming table. Great is the fact that the offer of the two just mentioned companies does not overlap, while Italeri grants attention to the Western front, Pegasus Hobbies treats mostly the Eastern one.
In the 1/72 scale, the Western front has been somehow more popular, but thanks to Pegasus Hobbies the roughest and important front of WWII, the Eastern one, benefits at present by an excellent gamma of soldiers supported by diorama accessories representative for the area. It is well-known the interest paid by this company to details and accuracy, most of their figures being inspired by reference images, and the same is valid also for their houses.
Two types of products related to houses are made available by the manufacturer and none of the models is available in both categories. The houses are factory assembled and pre-painted, aiming the Ukraine and Russia region, or in parts, like any standard model kit, focusing on the Russia areas.
The subject of the review is representing the kit entitled "Russian Log House - Two Story", having as subtitle "Large Karilian region Izba". There is another kit from Pegasus Hobbies named "Russian Log Houses" and subtitled "Simple Izba Houses", but no confusion can be made between while both the names and the artworks are totally different. Obviously, and the content is not the same, or even closer, the Two Storey Izba being much larger than the model included in the other set. Furthermore, the box of the Two Storey Izba incorporates a single building, the other kit incorporating two identical houses.
Karelia is a historical province of Finland, at present divided between Finland and Russia. It lays from the White Sea to the Gulf of Finland and possesses two of the largest lakes in Europe, Ladoga Lake and Onega Lake. After the Winter War, Finland lost Karelia in 1940, but re-conquered it for three years between 1941 and 1944. However, the inclusion in the title of the provenience region does not limit the use of this house for some other regions from Russia. Furthermore, quite similar constructions may be encountered not only in Russia and Finland, but also in other countries from Eastern Europe such as Romania, Bulgaria etc.
Measuring 16 cm length, 15 cm width and 9.2 cm height this striking kit of a rural building comes in thirteen parts and the walls fix very fast due to the provided snap system. Of course, for durable assembly, these need to be glued with any standard model kit adhesive (polly-cement).The model is extremely simple to put together, and only few minutes are necessary to finish a building imposing though its size. An assembly instruction sheet is made available inside the box, without numbered parts, but mostly the kit consists in large pieces, easily recognised in the instruction paper. In addition, the snap system makes impossible the wrong assembly of any part. The artwork of the box features the house and gives reliable guidelines for painting the model.
The outdoor walls reproduce quite nice the logs, with a small reserve related to the ditches of the bark which are a little bit too enhanced. The inner side of the walls does not feature any detail related to logs, looking like being painted, and in addition, no interior or floor is given. A nice touch is that even inside, both the windows and doors are reproduced with the similar attention granted to the outside part. Perhaps some walls from inside would have been great to come taking into account that through the windows we can see till the other side of the house, a quite impossible thing at a real one. If it is desired, these walls might be quite simple recreated using a large number of materials. Emplacing the indoor walls in their locations is pretty simple, from the first glance we can imagine where these should be placed. In the large majority of cases, photos from the region show the interior of the log houses unpainted or painted in white or green. The windows miss the glass, that is a must have in order to increase the accuracy. These should be scratch-built from clear plastic and fixed at their places with super glue. Moreover, broken windows might embody another solution, especially if it is wanted to portray a house under attack. Reference images illustrate the frames of the windows unpainted or painted in various shades of brown or white for such a house. The windows are set in proper locations for 1/72 scale, fact emphasised by the great match of figures with windows. Likewise, if there is the intention to plant soldiers at windows, it is better not to remove the bases or to add such devices in case that these miss. Except increased stability and facile gluing, here the bases substitute the floor of the house, without them it will be more difficult to get through the window the barrel of a soldier firing off his weapon. On the other hand, setting figures at windows is quite imperative, especially if there are not inner walls added, the figures obstructing the view of the other part of the house. Both the front and the right side doors are modelled shut, still a sharp blade and a steady hand can make them to open.
The roof comes in two pieces linked between through a cornice featuring at both ends the folk art motive of horns. This is common to the Baltic region and originates from Vikings, a comparable detail being encountered at their Drakkars. However, the motive is often met at other rural houses from South-Eastern Europe or if it is desired, it might be removed. The particulars of the roof seem to reproduce timber, and in the same way the roof is presented on the artwork of the box. Photos of the period show more styles of roofs such as corrugated metal or the famous thatch. In case that is an intention to change the style of the roof, corrugated metal replicas are available in some train stores while thatch may be scratch-build from various models of brushes. The latter is quite difficult to be done, time consuming and requiring a lot of patience and material, but the final appearance of the roof might a great reward for the put in endeavour. Staying very fine on the house, the roof might be let unglued for better seeing the interior, if the modeller will add it.
Delivered in two pieces, the chimney contains a pin and hole system for a better matching between the parts. A cavity in the roof marks the right location for the chimney and the excellent sculpture allows this part to be painted as being made of stones or bricks. In the middle there is the stove pipe which does not need to be drilled, the hole being already at its place when assembling the two parts of the chimney.
The details are crisp, perhaps a little exaggerated on the logs, but their ditches diminish after painting. As previously highlighted, the size of doors and windows as well as their emplacement perfectly fit with the size of 1/72 figures. Flash is kept at a normal value and can be removed without effort. Manufactured in light brown styrene, the material excellent accepts enamel and artistic oils as well as polly-cement glue. All parts match fine, but after gluing, between them might remain a really tiny gap that can be filled with putty, white glue or other similar materials.
Thanks to its details, fine proportions and historical accuracy, the Russian two story log house from Pegasus Hobbies is addressed both for wargamers and diorama builders, being also extremely suitable for various upgrades. In addition, its value is enhanced by the fact that it may be used not only exclusively for Russia settings, but also for other locations in different countries from South-Eastern Europe. Around it can be set up not only a WWII diorama, but also a WWI or even a modern scene can take profit by this valuable accessory. Last but not least, this impressive structure greatly match with other rural buildings issued by the same firm as well as with various 1/72 diorama accessories of other companies.