ODG Studios | "W.12 Down" Diorama Base for Wingnut Wings

Reviewed by Mike Swinburne

Well this is an item you don't see every day - a display base for a premium model kit, designed with the intent to have you display the model kit moments away from total destruction. ODG Studios has released this base, appropriately titled W.12 Down and designed to show a stricken Wingnut Wings Hansa Brandenberg W.12 crashing into the ocean. The scene was inspired by the box art of Wingnut's late production model Felixstowe F.2A, where that aircraft is depicted having shot down a W.12 low over the ocean.

The base is sculpted as a single piece of "ocean" and included with it is a clear resin plume of smoke and one figure cast in gray resin. A thin layer of resin captures the details of the base and this is in turn filled with expanding foam resin making an extremely light and durable base. The bottom sides of my base have a bit of a ridge running around half and a few air bubbles. This is nothing that can't be easily addressed before priming the base for painting. There are also air bubbles in some of the water details of my sample but these may look the part once painted anyway, or again can be easily fixed with putty before priming. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing a variety of ways to paint realistic looking water, and I'm convinced this will be a fairly easy technique to master.

The aircraft contacts the base with one wingtip and the front of one float, and it appears that the W.29 may also fit on here with little modification given that these two aircraft shared the same float design.

The included plume of smoke is cast in clear resin with a slight yellowish tint. This has been shaped to fit along the right side of the aircraft and over the lower wing contour should the builder wish to depict an engine fire. Being cast in clear, it would be very easy to backlight the front of this through the aircraft with a small LED to simulate a fire onboard. I noticed a few air bubbles again at the ends of some raised smoke details but as with the water details, I believe these will look fine untouched or can be easily fixed.

A figure is included with the base which I understand will only be included for a limited time. The supplied figure was made by Ted Dyer for ODG Studios, and this is the rear gunner of the plane. Dan at ODG explains that the figure was designed to give an appearance of shock possibly in realizing that the pilot had already leapt from the stricken plane. The figure is very nicely cast with the only flaw I can see being at the bottom of the jacket. This should be very easy to fix and I expect it will not even be visible with the gunner installed in the rear cockpit. The detail present is nicely done and the figure should look quite convincing in this display.

If you're looking for an uncommon and interesting way to display one of your WNW kits, this base is one you should consider. By all appearances, it will be quite easy and fast to prepare the display for your W.12, and I hope to see someone get really creative and depict some parts flying off of the aircraft as it hits the water, splintered wood, or even visible wing structure under ripped fabric. ODG Studios' W.12 Down is available for purchase by contacting models@odgstudios.com. Price will be $40 which I understand will include postage within the US. My sincere thanks to Dan at ODG Studios for the review sample.

© Mike Swinburne 2018

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This review was published on Saturday, February 17 2018; Last modified on Wednesday, February 21 2018