We tested the cobblestone sheets by BRAWA (art.no. 2805)
Ms Preiser was really flabbergasted: Never in all her life had she seen such a massive manhole cover!
And anyway, the cobblestones in Brawaville were the biggest she had ever come across! Well, joke aside.
Looking for miniature pavement sheets at our local model railway dealer, we
eventually bought the BRAWA set art.no.
2805. At home we read on the package that we had allegedly purchased cobblestone sheets - can you imagine
The package (see-through plastic bag with cardboard strip) doesn’t provide you with much information, but allows you at least to see the product before purchase. We don’t know why the sheets were pretty bent; maybe it was the result of the bag hanging on a presentation hook for a longer time. Nevertheless, gluing them to a wooden board (diorama or model railway layout) won’t cause bigger problems thanks to the sheet being very thin.
But, using the
BRAWA cobblestone sheet, would a street in the historic centre of a town or city really look as authentic and
medieval as desired by the modeller (and the councillors of the miniature urban area)? Apart from the fact that
the cobblestones look rather like big modern paving slabs, alas, they are identically shaped and perfectly arranged
BRAWA recommends in the leaflet (we have translated the German text): ‘The application of dark grey paint which is being removed with a damp cloth immediately will increase the realistic appearance [of the cobblestones, editor’s note]’. At least, depending on the lighting situation, the paving looks three-dimensional even without the suggested treatment. But compared to real cobblestones, the miniature stones can’t be called ‘true to scale’ by any means because of their huge size.
When we have to judge on the originality of the tested product, the cobblestone sheets don’t score big either because every
major manufacturer of model railway accessories has got paving solutions in their product range.
Let’s have a closer look at the manhole cover which can be found once on each of the two sheets. Its real size would be 90 cm (approx. 3 ft), as if it had to guide monsoon rainfall into the urban sewerage system regularly. Apart from that, its big slots would present an extreme danger to Preiser children on their way to school.
By the way, the few burrs near the manhole cover (see our first photo) as well as on the back of the sheets can be easily removed with a sharp knife and some sanding paper.
The colour quality of the plastic is very good. Its light grey colour is an ideal base for further treatment
with some paint (e.g.
weathering) by the ambitious modeller.
As we had intended when purchasing the BRAWA sheets, we will use them to
reproduce a realistic, contemporary city pavement. Who wants to create a historical atmosphere on a diorama or model railway layout
get much satisfaction from the tested product. At least the cobblestone paving sheets are very reasonably priced:
Our local model railway dealer asked for EUR 3.20 (purchase: Sept. 2006); in reality the cobbled area would have
an overall size of 227 square metres.
|'First impression' (15)||9|
|Closeness to reality (15)||6|
|Wealth of detail (15)||6|
|Fineness of detail (15)||9|
|Closeness to scale (15)||6|
|Condition of all parts (15)||12|
|Quality of colours, prints or painting (15)||15|
*Find out more about the test criteria for modelling