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Morning all, I'm (slowly) working on a1/72 airfield diorama to house my Lanc BIII Dambusters Special which will include a control tower amongst other things. Does anyone know of a source of reasonably realistic generic maps that work roughly in 1/72 or 1/76 that can be printed off. I want them to go on the walls of control tower and on desks. Google's failed me so far, but I'm sure Britmodeller will come up with the goods! Thanks Andrew
Diorama Accessories 1:48 & 1:35 Reality in Scale Reality in Scale (RIS) produce some fantastic diorama accessories as well as their resin focal points, and it's the little things that make or break a diorama, so attention to the small details is as important as the larger areas. In all places other than the most barren of desert there is always debris, or discarded items left behind by people that occupy, or have occupied the place. RIS have created a myriad of detail sets in various media, from brochures, magazines, maps, advertising posters, to carpets, parquet flooring and even enamelled signage. We have received a sample from them for review, as detailed below: 1:35 British Aerial Propaganda Leaflets WWII (35067) This set contains a large selection of leaflets dropped on the Germans or their occupied territories by the RAF during the war, inciting uprisings and attempting to demoralise the troops in anticipation of some action or other. The set comprises two A5 sheets with 10 different types of leaflet printed in bands across the long edge of the page, with a brief description of when they were used. Each line is 30 or more leaflets wide, and at least two lines of each type are supplied, for the modeller to cut out with a sharp scalpel as required. The paper stock used is thin, to give a more scale look, and the shade of some of the imprints have been changed along the lines, to give a little variety of tone between them. Print quality is excellent, and with 2.5x magnification you can begin to see the individual words on the leaflets, which is quite impressive. 1:35 Maps WWII (35190) This A5 sheet is printed on incredibly thin paper, so that the maps can be folded and dog-eared to give a realistic look. The maps are printed down the page in lines of varying width, marked clearly in the heading as Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Russia. This gives you the opportunity to place some pertinent maps in your dioramas or vehicles that relate to the area of battle that you are trying to depict. It's a small detail, but one that will be noticed by more viewers than you'd imagine. The larger maps are suitable for wall hanging in control bunkers or on an easel during or after a briefing - their uses are only limited by your imagination. 1:35 French Enamel Advertising Signs WWII (35010) Measuring 14cm x 7cm, this sheet is covered in the type of enamelled advertising signs that were seen in French villages and towns during WWII. Such items as Michelin tyres, Nestle, Pernod, the Laughing Cow, and plenty of other long since vanished brand names are present with a total of 34 signs overall of varying sizes and shapes. They are printed on a glossy photo-paper that feels more like plastic than paper, giving them the sheen of the real enamelled versions, but if you want to show a more battle-weary version you will have to add some areas of rust breaking through on the edges and crazing with a fine pen or pencil where the enamel has been loosened by impacts or bending. 1:35 German Propaganda Magazine "Signal" WWII (35190) These magazines were printed by the Wehrmacht (German army) from 1940 through to the end of hostilities in 1945, and they were full of glossy photo stories extolling the virtues of their cause, plus the heroic deeds of their comrades. Not every edition is covered here, but there are 10 editions from 1941, 1943 and 1944, with only six editions in 1945 for obvious reasons, the last of which has a large white telephone on the front, and if it was indeed the last issue, only a few were printed, and only one is known to exist today. The magazines are designed to be folded in half, with a narrow red spine visible on the front and a red back piece. If you want to bulk the magazine out a little, some scrap paper could be glued inside the cover to give an illusion of content. As with other scale paper products in this line, the paper is of a very thin but surprisingly robust type. 1:32 - 1:16 Enamel Advert Sign WWII (SIGN01) This large enamelled sign, with a convex surface was often seen on the side of buildings as a precursor to the now ubiquitous bill-boards of today. The sign is that of NSU Motorräder, a German sewing machine manufacturer that began building cars and motorcycles in the early 20th century, eventually being subsumed by the Volkswagen group in the late 60s. The picture shows a motorbike and rider, with a boy or lady pillion passenger smiling beatifically as they motor along. There are some elements of rust around the edge due to either careless handling, or the ingress of the weather over time. The actual item is flexible, and magnetic, giving a clue as to the manufacture, and the effect is very realistic, whilst making the sign quite resistant to handling, and if you can place some ferric metal behind its planned location, it won't even need gluing! 1:35 Enamel German Street Signs & numbers WWII (35002) This 13.5cm x 7cm sheet of street signs and house numbers is printed on thick stock photo-paper, and has a very dense glossy finish. There are 30 street names in typical Germanic font, and around 60 house numbers of varying styles, some in single digits, some double and a few triple digit numbers. 1:35 Parquet Flooring (35119) This is an A5 sheet of shiny card, with a large section of parquet flooring printed on the front surface, giving a realistic look if used as a floor in a diorama base. The area does not appear to have been "cut and pasted", so there doesn't seem to be any repetition, but instead a rich honey brown planked floor with varying tones between the individual planks of wood. Given that it is on a card backing, it would be sensible to glue it down with a non-absorbing glue, to avoid seepage through to the top surface. 1:35 Carpet on Realistic cloth (35001) This ingenious A5 sheet of throw carpets, rugs and runners is actually printed on a flock-type paper surface, which I think also has a plastic back by the feel of it. There are 16 square or rectangular rugs, one oval, and a long runner that would typically be seen on a stairway or in the hall of a house. As usual, the printing is very well done, and there is an element of "scale colour" to them, so they won't appear too stark against the background, although careful cutting out will be required to avoid leaving any white borders around those rugs that shouldn't have any. Conclusion These items will help add a little individuality to any diorama, and some should be in every modeller's tool kit. Even if you have never attempted a diorama and never will, if you build aircraft or AFVs, there is always room for a map in the cockpit or driver's cab. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Distributed in the UK by Historex Agents.