Mark.58's 21 x 26 cm 1/48 scale wooden hard stand makes a very effective display base for any Eastern Front fighter-sized aircraft kit.
This is one of Mark.58's "T-Bases" (see Jean-Luc Formery's excellent overview of the range
for all the options) and so fits pretty tightly around a typical WW2 single-engined aircraft.
The base comes pre-painted and I'm particularly impressed by the muted colours that have been used. The wooden slats are totally the opposite of the bright DIY "garden furniture" colours that all too often spoil dioramas - Mark Toillié (the master-modeller behind the range) has chosen a subdued tone - as much grey as brown - to give an excellent weathered look. And the real beauty of his bases is that they are all hand-made and individual - no two are exactly the same (and if you can't see the type of base that you need in his extensive range, contact him - he's happy to produce unusual items to order.)
The white of the snow is brush-painted so inevitably, here and there (if you look closely), you'll find a rather sharp division where it ends, so you might want to quickly get out the airbrush to feather the edge a little - or go one better and use a product like Signifer's Artificial Snow
, which simulates both fresh snow and slush remarkably well.
Mark. 58's bases are unusual in being cast in acrylic resin. Previously, I've seen plaster bases which are often lacking in detail and extremely fragile. so a Mark.58 product is a real eye-opener - the casting is pin-sharp (the wooden slats here look as if I'd laid them individually from balsa stock) and the base is almost scarily thin. The secret is revealed when you turn the base over - there's a sheet of glass-fibre mesh embedded in the resin to give rigidity. You probably can break the base if you try hard enough - but it'll take some effort... This thinness is a real bonus if you want to model a Mark.58 base into a larger diorama - you won't end up with something six inches deep and need a trolley to wheel it around on!
I was initially more than dubious of the very idea of pre-painted bases, but having had a chance to see one "in the flesh" (so to speak), I'm a total convert! Mark.58 provide ideal instant bases on which to display your models, which can also form the basis of larger dioramas where the only limitation is your own imagination. Highly recommended.
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