by Ray Mehlberger

Recently received, from a company in Italy, is a variety of bricks and tiles by a fairly new entry in the modeling field.

Toscana Modelli began in 1998 with the aim of making bricks and tiles, in scale, which would accurately reproduce the originals. This was also done to fill a gap in the modeling field: that of static modeling of historic buildings which reproduces the construction techniques used in the real world.

Their bricks and tiles are produced from clays which come from quarries situated in their region of Italy. This, after accurate molding and the drying process makes the products very accurate. The bricks and tiles are cooked in a kiln at a temperature of 1000 C. They are also the correct terra cotta colors. This is the same process that is used to cook the real bricks and tiles. The process makes them unique, as they acquire various shades on the surface and a unique look. These bricks lend themselves to building arches, vaults, walls, roofs, columns, bridges, waterworks etc. to add to dioramas.

You need only a few skills to assemble them, a nose for architecture, and imagination. The possibilities are endless for their use in dioramas.

These cooked bricks have been known, for decades, in the Mediterranean area and did not change over time. These type of tiles and bricks predominated until the discovery of reinforced concrete. These type of building materials were used from the time of the Colosseum to modern country homes.

Toscana has sent this reviewer eight cello bags of various samples of these bricks and tiles.

The first samples are item no. 1001/20. These are a flat tile. They are 7/8" long and taper from 5/8" at one end to 1/2" at the other. There is a inner lip along the two long sides of a 1/16" depth. Scale is given at 1/20th...but I can see these easily being used in the 1/35th armor scale. Apparently these were used as roofing. Price is given in Euro's on Toscana's web site of 6.11...which converts to $5.23 USD. There are 100 in the package. Prices do not include postage.

The second sample is item no. 1002/20. This is another roofing tile. It is curved or bent. The scale, again, is 1/20th. These tiles measure out at 7/8" by a 1/2" at the wide end and taper to 1/4". There is 100 in a package of these also at 6.40 Euro...or $5.47 USD.

The third sample is item no. 1003/20. This is ANCIENT ROMAN BRICK. These are 5/8" square. They also are 1/20th scale. You get 100 of these for your money too at 5.05 Euro....or $4.32 USD.

COMMON TUSCAN BRICK is the fourth sample. It is item no. 1004/20. Again in 1/20th scale. You get 200 of these puppies per order and they are 5/8" long by 5/16" wide and 1/8" thick. Price, in Euro's is 6.03...or $5.16 USD.

I also got item no. 1005/20 "BRICK UNI 5628" & item no. 1006/35 which is "COMMON TUSCAN BRICK" again. 1105 is 1/20th scale and 1006 is 1/35th. 1005 bricks are 1/2" x 1/4" x 1/8" thick. You get 200 of these 1005 product bricks for 5.29 Euro...or $4.52 USD. With the 1006 bricks you get a whopping 500 bricks in the package for 7.94 Euro...or $6.79 USD. By the way, the 1006 bricks are one of only two products in 1/35th scale that Toscana currently does....but I believe more in this scale is on the horizon. The 1006 bricks measure 3/8" x 3/16" and are a 1/8" thick.

I have only made photos of one brick product because they are all pretty much the same except for the size.

The next sample received is 1007/20 in 1/20th scale. It is HEXAGONAL TILE, used for flooring. They measure 1/2" across and are 1/16" thick. You get 200 in a package for 8.18 Euro...or $7.00 USD..

The last sample is 1008/35. this is the second of the only two products that Toscana does in 1/35th scale. They measure out at 1/4" across and 1/16" thick. You get 500 of them for your money at 8.51 Euro...or $7.28 USD.

Also available from Toscana is a mortar paste (product no. 1009) or a mortar powder (product no. 1012) for assembling either these bricks or tiles into various structures of your chosing.

Toscana also shows a water well on their web site that is quite elaborate. You can get either a kit to build this one or can buy it assembled. Also pictured on the site is some photos of examples of structures done with these materials. Their snail mail address is:

Toscana Modelli
di Timo Fe
Via Porto Scapri 10

I want to thank these gentlemen for sending me these fine products to review. They will surely find their way into dioramas that I plan to build later.

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