This kit is Turnout with cast frog, Type IIIa 1/9, USSR (Russian gauge 1524 mm)
, item ARM35031
. This multi-media kit builds into a 806 mm (31 11/16 inches) model - over 92 feet in 1/35! It includes points, stock and closure rails, frog and wing and guard rails, tie plates, headblocks, cross ties (sleepers), track spikes (fastenings), bolts, and a switch stand with a lantern.
Railroad modeling is being fortified with an ever expanding selection of models in the dominate military scale of 1/35. Armor35
produces German and Russian resin track and trackside equipment such as track signs and water standpipes, wooden and resin crossties (sleepers), and scale natural sand and stone ballast, coal. Armor35
also makes associated military and civilian figures.
While there is not currently a 'model rail scale' for 1/35, it is very close to No. 1 Scale (1/32), also referred to as Gauge 1, Gauge One, and 3/8". Thus, it does afford some crossover to electric model railroading.
focuses on 1/35 models of Soviet railroad subjects as well as soldiers, workers and peasants of The Workers and Peasants Red Army, circa The Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.
Turnout with cast frog, Type IIIa 1/9 kit
This model was developed in cooperation with Sergei Dorozhkov, director of Pereslavi Railway Museum. Armor35 previously released a limited section of this 5-foot gauge Russian railroad turnout, kit ARM35004. Then they created the extension set ARM35032, Turnout frog section, Type IIIa 1/9, USSR (Russian gauge 1524 mm). Armor35 has combined those two kits to bring us this full turnout: ARM35031
Including the 480 track spikes, there are over 780 pieces in this kit! The kit is a combination of the aforementioned kits ARM35004 and ARM35032.
480 resin track spikes
153 resin ties plates (3 types)
39 wood ties
28 resin fishplates
10 resin rail bolts
8 resin rails
3 paper templates
3 resin frog and guard pieces
1 resin frog tie
18 resin bolts, fasteners and spikes
17 resin ground throw switch stand parts
12 resin ties
8 switch lamp lenses
3 brass switch stand parts
3 baggies of sand, ballast, coal
1 acrylic track template jig
1 assembly instructions
Assembled, this will be a wide, expansive model! Judge it by the Tiger I straddling one of three sections of assembly templates.
Armor35 offers several of the items above as separate items; I list these at the end of this review.
Casting is generally good. I have not found any air pocks. Many parts are still on their pour block. A few pieces have burrs where they were removed from their sprue/block. Uncharacteristic for Armor35, there are a few pieces with flash. The flash is thin to the point of being translucent, so should be no problem to remove. Some of the longer rails are bowed but I find this to be of no concern as the resin is not brittle. Most of the bolt/nut detail is sharp although some of the bolts on the frog component look rough.
Railway equipment tends to be hefty, yet in 1/35 some parts should be delicate. Armor35 achieved this, as you can see by looking at the spikes and tie plates. Remarkably, most pieces are whole but there are a couple of tie plates cast onto the ties of ARM35004 that broke off. I do not think these will be noticeable, especially after ballast is added.
Armor35 supplies dozens of wood ties milled to Soviet profiles. They are precisely milled along the grain. The wood is hard and does not splinter. However, a couple of them are slightly warped. This wood takes paint like any other surface but did not soak up pigment, as mentioned below.
Metal & lenses
Two frets of metal photo-etched parts are included. One is the base for eight lenses for the switch stand lantern. All are cleanly etched.
There is plenty of remarkable detail in this set. Rail profiles are impressive. Rails have open holes for the bolts. Plenty of bolts are provided, both cast-on and separate. Armor35 even cast some bolts with thread!
If this kit was metal instead of resin, the switch stand might be functional. Connecting rod, crank, and point throw bar are all included.
Atop the switch stand is a lantern. Each lenses is printed as a tinted clear material and each contains the concentric circles common to lenses.
While the ties for ARM35004 are resin, wood grain is visible on them and they are equipped with tie plates. The detail of this turnout is amazing.
Finally, three samples of ballast, sand, and coal are included. These must be meant only as samples because there is hardly enough material to fill out between two ties.
Model manufacturers have told me that instruction sheets can be difficult to create and are costly. Armor35's instruction sheet is well illustrated and printed. They use line art and halftone illustrations. Be careful during assembly for as I discovered building ARM35005 Water Crane USSR, the ink was not waterproof!
However, unlike another of their kits, they did not include the drill sizes you need for spikes and bolts. When I assembled kit ARM35029 Track Buffer Stop, 1435/1520 mm, with Wooden Railway Sleeper
, I found that a .76 bit would work but it was tight! I settled on a .74. Drill the holes for the resin spikes as deep as you wish - deep as the spike is long or shallower; you can cut the spike or simply leave it partially protruding as a spike that is working out of the foundation. That's prototypical.
A simple painting guide lists three colors: wood; dark steel; shiny steel.
Military modelers might not know the model railroad “AI” method of coloring the ties; “AI” is well-known in the model railroad community as a mixture of alcohol & india ink in which one soaks wooden components.
Armor35 references AK Interactive and Mig products for securing the ballasts.
conclusionTurnout with cast frog, Type IIIa 1/9, USSR (Russian gauge 1524 mm)
is an extraordinary kit! It is big in terms of space it will occupy, and big in terms of over 700 parts! Armor35 has combined two partial kits, which can be used in smaller dioramas, to allow modelers to model a full turnout. This can be a unique and visually captivating subject of a diorama.
Separate rails to seat onto separate tie plates held onto wooden ties by separate tie spikes; separate bolts holding rail joints/fishplates to join the rails. Bolts and spikes galore! Metal pieces do what resin probably can't. Printed lantern lenses look much better than painted clear styrene!
Casting is predominately high-quality. There are a few minor burrs and flash but nothing significant. The wooden ties can't be beat. Individual parts that create sub-assembly components add to the authenticity.
Drawbacks include some fragile items and there is not enough ballast and sand to pack the track.
Regardless, this kit is a true craftsman style model that can steal the show from whatever figures, vehicles or ordnance you incorporate into the scene. It can't help but become a showpiece!
Armor35 items used in this kit
ARM35009 Railroad nail (Track spike)
ARM35011 Railway sleeper wooden USSR (Cross tie)
ARM35021 Ballast (Sand)
ARM35022 Ballast (Stone)
ARM35030 Lining under a rail A-III type (Tie plate)
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