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I finally got my shipment this week and glued together one of the barracks buildings / walls. Wow! I'm really impressed with the quality of this set.
Every structure is completely enclosed so it is truly modular. The pieces are literally 0-tolerances so they glue together perfectly. And, I can leave all of the roofs unglued and set up desks, chairs, bunk beds, etc. inside for fun. Maybe I'll set up the dead Geste brother with Sgt. Dajineau (the dog) at his feet for the Vikings Funeral scene.
So, for now, if anyone is interested, here are the measurements to compare this new Italeri Beau Geste Fort with Airfix's Fort Sahara:
Across the front: Italeri 10.75 in with one tower, one wall with gate, and 1 corner piece / Airfix 10.25 in with one tower, the long front one-piece wall with gate and barracks wall.
Depth: Italeri 10.75 in same as front descripton / Airfix 6.25 in with tower side wall and short wall to the back corner.
So basically: Italeri: 10.75 x 10.75 (10.25 w/o tower wall to the back / Airfix: 10.25 in x 6.25 in (6.0 in w/o tower wall).
Towers: Italeri and Airfix both 4.75 in tall / ItalerI 2.75 in and Airfix 2.25 in both at the base.
Strelets: I can't wait to get both of your new French Foreign Legionnaire Sets (RIF's in Blue (Shut-up already GC! Have you no shame?)) and the WWII in Khaki Tan. I will definitely set them up in some different Fort shapes with some cool accessories and send in the pictures to you hopefully for Contributions. If you would feel like sending me a couple of your Test Sprews of each FFL theme (RIF and WWII) I'll do some set-ups immediately for you so your Forum Members/Customers may get turned on enough to buy more sets and some Forts helping everyone! Don't worry about colour. I'll just paint some up in solid one-colors for your viewing and contributions.
So, I hope this helps. The Italeri Fort gives you a bigger square shaped fort which is complete by itself. But also Modular, so if you buy 2 forts, and put a tower each at opposite corners and 2 walls on each side, you'll get about a 17.0 in square fort with zero modifications, or smaller with 2 towers and only 1 wall each side to make 11.00 x 11.00 in square.
Airfix you must do major conversion work to make it any bigger.
Just looking thru Google Images, you can see the Airfix firing steps sit higher on it's walls, makeing the legionnaires over-exposed and making the fort look more toyish. But the Italeri fort's firing steps (building's roofs) sit lower, so the legionnaires are not exposed giving it a more realistic appearance.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.
Personally, both are outstanding pieces of artwork which I feel equal affection, but the Italeri will give me (you) limitless potential for various forts shapes and sizes and endless fun! - GC
Yes it looks really great but the price, I can not even raise the cash selling my body parts due to a miss spent youth not a good price for my kidneys or liver, heart (what Heart). When bringing up the subject of cash with SWMBO I was told to sell some of the junk in my toy boxes. What junk all 183 boxes contain highly valuable miniatures. So I will have to wait for Santa or the Euro millions (Our answer to powerball) before I can buy a few forts to go with the 12 new Strelet sets I will be buying.
Thank you for responding. I very much enjoy your humor.
I hear what you are saying about the cost! But you could literally buy just one fort, and use it to trace and make as many other parts you want to expand it, or just need more than one tower.
If you wanted to scratch-build, I pretty much already gave the measurements for both Italeri and Airfix.
I hope I can live at least another 25 years so if I amortize a $70 fort out over 25 years, that's only about $2.80/year.
Anyway, hope you get one. They're pretty cool! - GC
I was wondering about the material, not familiar with it and how sturdy it is. The Airfix forts were kind of small, but being plastic were durable. I still have mine I bought when I was a kid (along with re-issues I bought later).
Glad to see you here on the forum. Your question is a good one. Within the Italeri box it says "French Desert Fort in MDF laser cut." Here is a Wiki description:
"Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood. It is made up of separated fibres, but can be used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is stronger and much denser than particle board."
And then all the fort's various pieces are cut out of small boards by laser; super fine and perfect cuts. I'm very impressed.
This is a very high quality wood product. Super smooth and very stiff to the touch. All the pieces fit together perfectly. You can see all of the various boards with pieces cut by laser in Google Images.
The glue I'm using is "bsi Bob Smith Industries, Inc. Maxi-Cure (quick dry) for Hardwoods, Plastics and Ceramics." There may be better, but this is my first MDF project.
I'm going to paint mine, for looks and to seal the wood. I wouldn't recommend submerging this in water. But it is very strong once the various walls, etc. are built.
I love my Airfix, too, but this is a better deal. You'd have to combine two Airfix to equal one of this. Plus this is modular so you only need to set the walls and corners and towers together. Airfix takes a lot of conversion work.
Thanks Garrison, I saw the pics of the fort and it does look impressive.
I've seen some sets with buildings made of the flimsiest of materials; you never know these days. Then again, when I first heard about sets with buildings and scenics made of "pressed foam" I was skeptical, too. I have to admit after getting my first Barzso playset and seeing how sturdy they actually were I became a bit of a believer = you just have to be a bit careful and I would never think of giving a foam building to a kid to play with.
So thanks again.