Loaded with stones

We tested the interlocking concrete paving stone sheets by Auhagen (art.no. 41206)

silberner VW New Beetle auf Verbundpflastersteinen

Believe it or not: With their interlocking concrete paving stone sheets German modelling accessories manufacturer Auhagen offer 21,472 stones per packet to modellers who want to reproduce paved areas in a modern model railway layout or diorama. But what is likely to bring the sweat to the brow of every Preiser paviour will leave the modeller pretty unimpressed. You wonder why?

Packung mit InhaltWell, similar to real life, where the stones come generously pre-grouped for machine aided paving, you’ll get 4 'ready arranged paving' sheets each of which has got a size of 105 mm x 200 mm (4.1 in x 7.9 in). They are packed in a see-through plastic bag that allows you a first glance at the product, and a printed card board strip provides you with all the necessary information (German language). Excellent: The sheets can be placed side by side seamlessly - they even interlock perfectly well! For a more realistic look, you will apply some paint to the gaps between all the stones anyway, and then you won’t be able to see the junctions between the sheets anymore. At this point it becomes apparent that Auhagen, a modelling specialist that some still smile at as an ‘Eastern company’ (relating to their reputation as a manufacturer previously based in the former German Democratic Republic), has at least reached the quality levels of their well-established West-German competitors.

The light grey engraved plastic sheets look true to scale, but their paving pattern is so perfect that especially bigger areas can easily look monotonous and boring, so some modelling experience and an eye for realistic reproduction of the environment are essential to make e.g. a miniature supermarket car park look like a real one.

aneinandergelegte, miteinander verzahnte PlattenIn order to create the natural appearance of a recently paved area it doesn’t take a lot of ‘patina’ to be applied to the spotless grey model stones. Heavily used ground surfaces however should be treated with a sharp tool to imitate some cracks and irregularities and weathered with some dark paint, but if you want to use them for newly paved places, you will be more than happy with their fineness and wealth of detail.

Paving stones in general can’t really score in the ‘originality’ section of our test pattern because every major modelling manufacturer has got them in their item range anyway. Nevertheless, we have given the tested product some extra points because of its clever interlocking solution which makes the application to a diorama or model railway layout so easy.

Measurement testing finally proves that the paving stones are absolutely true to scale. The common size of the original (200 mm x 165 mm, i.e. 7.9 in x 6.5 in) has been correctly transferred to 1/87 scale. The colour quality of the light grey plastic is good, but the tiny teeth at the edges of the sheet show some white discolouration as if they had been bent, e.g. when being thrown out of the mould during the production process. Some minor burrs can be found on the back of the sheets, but they can be easily removed with a sharp knife or some sanding paper.

conclusion

That’s what the modellers’ community has been waiting for: A contemporary, true to scale paving solution for all modern kinds of facilities like e.g. car parks, fire stations, retail parks, swimming pools, petrol stations, traffic reduced areas... Thanks to the high quality of the tested product and its simplicity of use, an appealing result on your diorama or model railway layout is almost guaranteed.
 

test synopsis*
Packaging (15) 12
'First impression' (15) 12
Originality (15) 9
Closeness to reality (15) 12
Wealth of detail (15) 15
Fineness of detail (15) 15
Closeness to scale (15) 15
Condition of all parts (15) 12
Quality of colours, prints or painting (15) 12
Gesamtwertung: gut 114
(max. 135)

*Find out more about the test criteria for modelling accessories here.

Tested October 2006     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - www.tiny-world-BIG.com - please visit our  main page