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First Look Review
Steppe Unwatered
Steppe Unwatered Ground Mat
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:

Model Scenes

A new scenery company from the Czech Republic, Model Scene produces landscaping materials for model railroad layouts and other dioramas. Their products are handmade so each piece is unique. Models available include trees, ground cover foliage, leaves, wooden fences and laser cut precise details. Model Scene advertises their product range as appropriate for scales (model railroad scales in parenthesis):

* 1:32 (Number 1 Gauge) / 1:35
* 1:45 / 1:48 ( O scale)
* 1:72
* 1:87 (H0 scale)
* 1:120 (TT scale)
* 1:160 (N scale)

Amongst the Model Scene product line of mats (foliages) are:
* Grass mats Standard line
* Ground cover foliages - Premium line
* Grass mats with calc stones
* Forest base
* Turfs line

Steppe Unwatered

Model Scene's Steppe Unwatered mat is a highly realistic model of natures thirsty plains. The size of the mat accommodates all but large 1/72 models, smaller 1/48 subjects, and even small models in larger scales. It can be torn and cut to size and shape as needed. The mat can be cut and torn to fit and blend with other Model Scenes mats and those of other manufacturers.

The mat is packaged on a cardboard backing over which slides a clear plastic sleeve. This both protects and displays the product. Included is a paper with instructions about shaping and gluing the mat.

The mat is 18x28cm (7"x11"). Made of synthetic interwoven material this effectively simulates clumps of wild grass and short shrubbery. Fine earth surrounds the grass. The foliage is not uniform in height and texture, enhancing the realism. Small bits of grass, earth, and leaves are loose and fall off. It is hasn't been watered for a while, after all. The synthetic grass does have a slight sheen.

To demonstrate the quality and effect of the mat to you, I present photographs of the mat in both artificial and natural light. Seven models in common scales are used for perspective: 1/35 Maultier halftrack with figures, a 1/35 PaK 37 anti-tank gun with figures, a 1/48 motorcycle patrolling around a Khalkhyn Gol airfield, a 1/48 fighter (and pilot), a 1/72 Kūbelwagen, a 1/72 Pfalz D. XII, and an HO farm house, farmer, and horse wagon. Notice the proportions of the foliage compared to the scale of the model.


Model Scenes' Steppe Unwatered mat offers you stunning scenery that you can use for displaying a single model, or as part of a complex diorama. Easy to handle and use, this is a convincing authentic scenic model. Recommend.
Highs: The material is realistically non-uniform in height and texture. Easy to handle.
Lows: The synthetic grass does have a slight sheen. Some ground cover sheds.
Verdict: A stunning scenery product to use for displaying a single model, or as part of a complex diorama.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: F533
  Suggested Retail: 9,90
  Related Link: Ground cover foliages - Premium line
  PUBLISHED: Oct 05, 2010

Our Thanks to Model Scene!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


Hi Fred It looks great, far more realistic than matting I've bought from other sources in the past, both in terms of the colours and the variation of "grasses". At first glance I thought the clumps must be something you've added - the fact that it arrives looking like that and ready to use is amazing! All the best Rowan
OCT 05, 2010 - 08:37 PM
i think i'll be ordering some grass from there as well. paul
OCT 06, 2010 - 02:59 AM
Looks fantastic. I will be getting this too.
OCT 06, 2010 - 03:01 AM

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