Over the past 18 months I’ve regularly looked at the models buildings and wagons (and the Berlin Tram) by Najewitz Modellbau in Germany – they look fantastic in the photos and I’ve always been keen to take the plunge – however the description of the material has always had me a bit wary – the wagons & tram and some of the smaller scale buildings being laser cut Finnpappe which they describe as “…no word for it in English dictionary is a product made of ground wood pulp. To say it is cardboard is the wrong title for it. It´s more similar to MDF, quasi ‘MDF-light’.” However the larger 1/72nd and 28mm buildings are kitsets of a resin material, the type isn’t clearly specified on the website – but I took the plunge recently and ended up ordering a selection of the 1/72nd scale buildings…
The Najewitz Modellbau Buildings I received are moulded from a plastic-kitset-like resin – i.e. similar to plastic kitsets but a little softer on the surface and more flexible where it is thinner but probably more brittle similar to more traditional resin mixes. On the website they say “…if you get a modelkit, maybe you must glue it…” which I’m not sure if it means you can use standard polystyrene cement like plastic kitsets or you need to use superglue (I’m assuming the latter). Anyway the detail is very good – on the website it states the masters for the moulds of these plastic-resin kitsets are lasercut so “…the precision is very high and the details are …viewable on [the] resinmodels….” – and certainly first impressions are good (hopefully some of this detail can be clearly seen in these accompanying photographs).
The kits I ordered are for Normandy, Northern France & Belgium (principally for WW2) and are all 1/72nd scale (20mm):
- nj-72-c1 – Ferme Le Caillou (Waterloo)
- nj-72-ch1 – “Chateau” Normandy
- nj-72-hot – Hotel Normandy (3 storey)
- nj-72-gondree – Café Gondrée (Pegasus Bridge)
The only negative to date is the way they were shipped – each kit had it’s parts loosely wrapped in newspaper, with no tape or bubble wrap, and they were then loosely packaged in a box with no additional packaging material – the result was they got well shaken around in transit all the way from Germany to New Zealand and 3 of the 4 kits basically had all their parts come loose in the box and get all mixed together – literally as they appear in my photographs here! What’s more I noticed small parts falling out of the box in my car after I picked it up at the NZ Post depot – as yet I have no idea if any parts have actually been lost in transit as I need to figure out which parts belong to which building – but it wasn’t a reassuring sight… The box itself was partly crushed too due to the amount of airspace in it at shipping – due to heavier items being on top of it I suspect – although none of the kitset parts appear to have suffered any damage or distortion as a result… So at this stage the quality of the model parts gets a 9/10 score, but the shipping only gets 4/10 I’m afraid (assuming no parts have actually been lost in transit) – and I’ll be contacting them about the shipping issue so hopefully they can improve things for future customers (cost was great, just the implementation that’s not so good)…
With luck I’ll get some or all of these assembled before Christmas and be able to get some more photos up of the buildings once they have been constructed and/or primed ready for final painting. I suspect I’ll order at least one more time from Najewitz Modellbau as those wagons are hard to resist, and they do have some other lovely buildings I’d like… And the latest news hot off the press this week is they have now added a modular 28mm paddle steamer gunboat for the colonial gamers out there – see the prototype on the Lead Adventure Forum – but as I already have four 28mm River Steamers I’ll have to try and resist adding this one!
Meanwhile I’ve also had deliveries arrive of more 20mm buildings – some painted Eastern Front ones from Hovels and some kitset style ones from Game Craft Miniatures (a Northern-European stone barn & 2 multi-storey city buildings and some stone walls) which are similar style to the Najewitz one’s above – so hopefully I’ll get some preliminary pics of both of these up in the next week or so too along with the Musket Miniatures 1/87th Eastern Front buildings…