|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Rather that pour concrete, it is and was more common for Soviet-built airfields to consist of preformed concrete sections that were simply brought in from the factory and put into place. Of course, this meant that the areas of installation had to be leveled prior to the plates being put down and it also meant that some sort of sealer needed to be used to prevent vegetation from growing between the plates, but it seems to have worked out well. I would imagine that such a runway or taxiway would not exactly be the smoothest around, but it has proven to work well.
There have been several types of plates used by the Soviets/Russians over the years with the PAG-14 being fairly common. These are rectangular plates that work best when placed length wise to the normal flow of traffic. I should mention that I could find nothing on these during my research so I am assuming these are concrete and not metal.
This new kit from ICM provides you with 32 of the PAG-14 Airfield Plates to use as a diorama base. This would be quite appropriate for any 1/48 Soviet or Russian aircraft or a plane used at a base that was built by the Russians over the years. The illustration on the box shows a base made of these plates in an 8 x 4 configuration. There are no instructions with the plates and no painting guide aside from the box art.
Each plate is separate, though you will have to remove the sprue pips from the side of each one. After that is done, it should be easy enough to either simply glue each plate together or to install them in a framework of some sort. The molding on the plate is very much up to modern standards so it is a simple matter to clean up each item and then assemble it. Best of all, the price of this set is most reasonable and with a completed size of 555 x 333mm, should be enough for most 1/48 kits.
So if you are looking for an inexpensive base for your next Russian kit, say a 1/48 MiG-23, then this would be an excellent choice.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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