Wednesday, February 10

Review: Three new aircraft bases from Galaxy models

Galaxy models continue to bring out new and much-needed products for the modeller. Toi add to their mask and toolsets we have already reviewed here on TMN we add these, new aircraft bases to the mix. Gary takes a look at them with some of his own kits in his review...

Display Base Review
From: Galaxy Models
Scales: 1:72 / 1:48 / 1:32 / 1:35
Product Link on the Galaxy Models Website

Galaxy Models continue to expand their product catalogue with the release of a new range of high quality wooden display bases, under the Galaxy Tools label. The bases come in two sizes (190x370mm and 280x390mm) making them suitable for models ranging from 1/72 to 1/32. Currently, Galaxy provides one set of designs that are focused on US Aircraft Carrier decks and another set that are more generic covering Chinese and Russian themes.
Each base is made from real timber, being 20mm thick and is sealed with a light varnish. This greatly enhances the appeal of these bases in my eyes as they look and feel very professional.
The graphics appear to applied directly to the timber, rather than stuck on. This results in a much better looking and durable finish. I used the Soviet Union base to display my ICM 1:72 MiG-25 RBT. The striking red artwork and simulated snowy finish provide the ideal base for this cold war warrior. Note that these style bases are not really scale specific and could be used for aircraft, armour or figures of any scale.
The carrier deck bases each depict a section of a modern-day US Navy carrier. Given that no numbers or identifying lettering are included on the deck I'm not sure why they represent CVN-75 or CVN-68 specifically as they really are just generic. Scale specific versions of both decks are available in 1/72 (190x370mm) and 1/48 (280x390mm) sizes.
The surface of the deck is roughly textured (much like a real carrier) and the tie-down points, which criss-cross the deck, are not indented but 2D printed onto the surface.
For those wanting to enhance the look/realism of the tie-downs, Galaxy includes a full set of photo-etch tie-down points and a 3mm flat bottomed blade with which to cut out each hole. This is a nice option to help convert the 2D tie-downs to full 3D. This not only looks more realistic but will allow modellers to actually chain their models to the deck, should they wish to. To round out the package a set of kabuki masks are also provided for the tie downs in the event you wish to paint them once installed or paint around them.
To provide a sense of scale I placed my Hasegawa 1:72 E2-C Hawkeye on the base. The Hawkeye would have to be one of the bigger USN carrier-based aircraft and as you can see there is ample room for the model and I could still comfortably add a deck tractor and figures without making it feel cramped. The only thing I would do to the base was add some weathering in the form of oil stains and scuff marks because it just looks too pristine. I would also apply a clear flat coat over the whole surface as it looks a little too shiny.
In addition to the bases above, Galaxy Model also provided me with a sample of their new 1/48 carrier catapult base. This base is slightly larger (290x415mm) than the other 1/48 deck bases listed above and as you can see it looks far more photo-realistic as well. The deck is surrounded by a polished wooden frame which I think works really together.
The details on the surface of the deck are raised (or indented in the case of the tie downs) so this makes for a far more convincing finish than say a cardboard printed base. The bitumen deck surface is also rough while the catapult track is smooth with raised ribs and runners. All in all very realistic.
Here you see my Hasegawa 1:48 F-8E Crusader positioned on the deck to provide some sense of scale. I plan to apply a light flat coat over the deck surface as the plastic looks too shiny and is distracting.
In conclusion, I think these bases are a great addition to the ever-expanding catalogue of products from Galaxy. There are a number of existing options in the market today for pre-printed display bases, but most are plain 2D printed on a cardboard sheet. These new Galaxy bases (especially the carrier decks) go beyond flat printed cardboard by adding realistic texture to the surface, and its amazing how much difference this makes to the realism. The last thing you want is for your base to detract from your model.

Galaxy Model products can be readily purchased on eBay or direct from Galaxy using PayPal. For more details contact Galaxy via email at

Gary Wickham

Many thanks to Galaxy Model for the review sets.
Galaxy Model products can be readily purchased on eBay or foreign (non-Chinese) customers can also buy Galaxy products directly using PayPal. For more details contact Galaxy via email at
To see more of Gary's work then please do go to his website for a whole lot more of that...