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In-Box Review
The Old Pier
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

Originally published on:


Reality In Scale are based in the Netherlands and have been producing fine diorama accessories since 2006. Their core philosophy is centered on four main values; quality, originality, completeness and reality. They use this philosophy to bring the modeling community hundreds of fine products.

The Old Pier resin kit is a unique figure base cast in grey resin and packaged in a small, sturdy cardboard box with a colored label depicting the contents of the box in its painted, final form.

The Kit Contents

  • 11 – Highly detailed resin pieces
  • 1 – Length of rope
  • 1 – Metal eyebolt

The pieces for this set is supplied separated neatly in two tiny Ziploc bags with the main section of the pier placed in the box. This 1/35 scale replica of an old pier comes with several pieces to make for an interesting vignette all on its own.


The set has one large pier section accompanied by four multi-post designed supports. The pier has nicely molded wood planking with nail head rendering. Each of the four posts were sculpted individually to show uniqueness unto themselves with fine weathered wood grain details, attached wooden blocks and molded rope lines. There is a molded cleat for tying of a boat and has nicely molded bolts on the plate.

The pier set comes with a ramp section molded with individualized wood planking and fit perfectly to the edge of the pier. In addition to the ramp there are several other small add-on pieces. I finely detailed wooden barrel and wooden box cast in resin will add a nice bit of clutter to the pier along with an old tire. The rope included with this set is intended for lashing the tire to one of the pier supports if you choose to do so. The last resin piece in the set is a small cast seagull in the perched position. By following the print on the front of the box the seagull sits atop one of the pier supports. Finally there is a small eyehook supplied with this set. As best as I can tell, the eyehook may be used to fashion with the knot of the rope to hold the old tire onto the pier support.

The quality of this kit is very well done. Most if not all of the pieces cast extremely clean and crisp. I did manage to find some flash on one side of one of the pier supports. Certainly nothing a little quick sanding and possible re-scribing to gain the weathered wood grain back.

There is very little that will be needed to get this set ready to assemble right out of the box. Some of the parts have their cast blocks still attached and will need to be removed prior to building.

There was no instruction sheet received with this set. With aid from the photo on the front of the box, even a novice to resin construction should be able to work their way through the construction process will little to no difficulty. Oddly enough, the box states this set is 1/35 scale, which it is by the way, it states that it is also 75mm in scale. I am sure this is a minor oversight in the printing of the label as a quick check of the Reality In Scale website shows this set at 54mm which is pretty much spot on 1/35 scale.


I feel this is an exceptional diorama or vignette accessory. The styling of The Old Pier with fit generically with just about any nautical themed build. Painting and weathering of this set is sure to be an enjoyable experience as there is plenty of room for preference of weathering techniques.
Highs: A finely detailed accessory cast in resin that will fit with just about any nautical themed vignette or diorama. Generically based so this will work with just about any era.
Lows: There are no instructions with this set and there was a small amount of flash on one of the piers.
Verdict: This is a great little diorama/vignette base piece and is sure to add life and a sense of reality to anyone’s beachfront build.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35196
  Suggested Retail: $24.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 23, 2013

Our Thanks to Reality In Scale!
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 Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


You have Piers like this on rivers which are not affected by tidal surge and is an ideal size for a rowing boat. I could even see this with kids fishing off of it in the American South and so i feel you are being a little unfair to Mike.
AUG 23, 2013 - 01:33 PM
Thank you Jim! This is a neat little piece! In one word, “Niche” pretty much sums it up. Charles, thank you very much for the editorialized feedback on this piece. Opinions on any of the products being reviewed are always welcomed as to would be the retort to such opinions… Yes I did summarize the four “values” that make up the self-declared philosophy of Reality In Scale. I am still a bit confused as to why the folks at Reality In Scale have fallen short on their goals in respect to this piece. All of the parts were in fact in the kit and the likeness to an old pier is in fact that of, well, an old pier. This would be my opinion now, but I would think that this was created with the vignette application and not necessarily the diorama. One could enjoy painting figures and just need a simple placement and not want to add full water effects, shipping lines and longshoreman. The one thing I have learned from this hobby is to not be so presumptuous on how an individual will actually use anything in one of their projects. Who is to say this is not on a lake, pond or as Darren chimed in with, a river. The application is solely up to the individual building it not up to how someone else sees it. Not all builders wish to take the time to factor tidal surges, heights and lengths of docks or even whether seagull is indigenous to the location...they just build, and have FUN doing so. As for scratch building, this is definitely a skillset of an experienced modeler but certainly not exclusive. I do not think though, that only a modeler that can scratch build is “competent”. There are some exceptionally talented modelers that do not scratch build and in the same respect, there is plenty of scratch building modelers that use resin as the medium of choice in creating their pieces. Something made from plastics or resins are not less the creation from ones made from wood and metals…just a different product used for the task at hand. Finally, I DO NOT speak for Jim, but, I took from what he said as referring to something new and different, not absurd and fanciful; a nice little project for someone to put on their bench and have some FUN with. This hobby is about enjoying the craft of building models…i.e. FUN.
AUG 23, 2013 - 02:57 PM
Guys – I get the feeling that I ruffled some feathers, so I thought I’d try to clarify some things. First – although I quoted people, I only meant that as a point of reference for my comments, and was in no way attacking them. Let me assure you that all of my derision is reserved for the product. Despite the company name, this looks more like someone’s fantasy of a pier – someone on the order of Walt Disney or Thomas Kinkaid. Even the designer seemed to be uncertain over just what he was making. The multiple pilings lashed together indicate heavy-duty use, and the barrel and crate suggest that it’s actually used for loading cargo at some level. Then there’s that single bitt, as if large vessels might tie-up here. These are all belied by the miniscule size and low height. It it’s meant to be for tying up a rowboat or fishing off of, then make it look like that. Darren – who is Mike? “and so i feel you are being a little unfair to Mike.” I’m all in favor of fun, but in all seriousness [sic] can only consider this more caricature or kitsch than modeling.
AUG 25, 2013 - 05:01 AM
I should have said Todd not mike.
AUG 25, 2013 - 06:42 AM
All good Charles...I didn't you were attacking me my friend! I think, myself, it was a pretty big hit on a small chuck of novelty resin is all. I seen where you were coming from and even more so now as all of your points make for an excellent argument. I chose to look at the piece for what it was...a small accessory for someone to have some fun building. The market is loaded with items that really are not to spec...pretty much everything is not to scale if you start measuring the thickness of the plastic. Just trying to keep things in perspective in regards to a hobby that is suppose to be enjoyable! I am OK with your honest approach, different view points, like I alluded to earlier, are welcome!! As for the "Mike" thing...LOL!!! I have to guess it might have come from my last name...been called Mike for years as the last name got list first on things and a quick glance looked like Michael!!
AUG 25, 2013 - 07:04 AM
Todd - I guess I was more bothered than I should have been over how confused it appeared about what it wanted to be when it grew up ;-) It just seemed like a silly product, but there may well be an audience for it - I note they list it as a figure base. Although resin and plastic can be made to "pass" as wood, I am convinced that nothing else can do as good a job as the real thing. Argument below - NOT my work: I'm also likely biased by all the pathetic attempts I've seen to give resin "grain" to make it look like wood - such as this: I clearly didn't know of the "Mike" history. Charles
AUG 25, 2013 - 08:14 PM
Charles, Somethings in the modelling industry do strike a cord with some folks easy enough ...myself included. Like I said, its all good brotha'! I am a big fan of the wood scratch variety as I originally come from the wooden ship side of things. I just tend to be a "modelling whore" (if I can get away with using my own coining in reference to myself...LOL) and build just about any genre...usually at the drop of hat!! I learned early on to be able to use what ever I could lay my hands on...basically not nailed down, and in some case that too!! So the "natural approach is a nice way to go. But you know that there is a number of builders out there with out the knowledge and or the time to lay out a full blow scratch project and enjoy just building something, painting it and displaying it for themself. Learning to manipulate the features on some rather less than accurate plastic and resin faux wooden items is something one need to work at...a couple scrapes and a snad here or there and anything can be made to look the part I think! This deck was obviously of the plastic variety....a little love with the right paint and weathering fits the bill, especially for the scale I think. I actally look at it as a challenge to try and make something plastic look like its not...don't always hit my mark but sure have fun trying. I too have been known to dabble in the wooden side of things from time to time as it is partly what is called for but a lot of the time it is what seems to be the closets material I can lay my hands on. As you can see, this one is not done and may not be...but the experience was worth the time to play around with! Helps open the mind to newer things. If I could find the right figure for the little Old Pier Base I will give this a go....like I know I mentioned a number of time already...FUN! The challenge of making it come out decent enough to show at least here online is rewarding enough!
AUG 26, 2013 - 08:07 AM
Todd - Great work on that screen door and facade - if only the BAR code was on the inside ;-) No doubt some judicious use of a sanding stick will take care of it. I don't know what your original intent was, but would encourage you to complete it to whatever point would satisfy you. It looks like you didn't plan to add adjacent walls, but the ends could easily be covered by rampant weed growth - say Kudzu. Regarding finishing styrene and resin: Here's a ModelCeller crib done by a fellow named Andy Eaton - probably British. I wish he had distressed it a bit so it looked like it was used sometimes, but the finish on the steel parts is great and I love how he managed to keep all the paint where it belonged, so the NBW detail stands out from the wood. I haven't seen the kit (they seem to have more items out of production than in), but assume the hardware is cast in with the wood. This is from an Atlanta-area fellow named Tom Yorke, who's had a long and varied career, from working in the Disney back shops, to having his own small companies - many of them. This is a ~1:24 model of a "scratched" (in the company shop) New Zealand logging "critter"; the frame is his resin casting, while the uprights are styrene. I'm surprised that the wood is generally so pristene looking, but he does a great job with the end-grain and is clearly a rust afficionado. Lastly, another example of actual wood. I'd say it's the hardest to get a really old/used wood effect with the other materials. I wish the decking wasn't trimmed so evenly at the pier framing, and I don't see the expected joints in the decking, but the finish is first class. There's even some of the green that you expect on old wood structures in a damp environment - although I don't expect the water to be that shade of green. I also wish the pilot house on the tug looked like it was fastened to the deck, instead of just sitting on top of it. What really bugs me (even more than fantasy piers ;-) is photos showing beautifully done structures, but with shadows under the walls because there's no foundation or attempt to integrate them into the landscape, so they just float over it. I can appreciate the desire to be able to remove a structure from the setting, but there must be some way to make it look like it really belongs there. One technique I've seen is to screw them down (using interior blocks) from underneath. Charles
AUG 26, 2013 - 11:54 AM
Charles, Thanks. As for the "code"...that last row and a half was the "unfished" part on the outside. One more course and I would be good to go! Fine examples! Mr. Yorke's is an interesting piece for sure. I enjoy Chuck Doan and Marc Reusser's a lot. Their attention to detail and vision on their work is outstanding I think! I think in respect to the first pic you posted, Andy's work, this is where individuals may differ on viewpoints on one's projects. Although I can most certainly appreciate the builders completed model and yes, the crib is made very well, the piece is lacking appeal...could be the subject matter, case, color or any combination thereof. Not a bad model to look at but it just does not have that "hook" I guess. The last one I can see why you like the piece...this is done nicely and the water is a bit green but nice just the same. Takign a close look at the tug, that line appears to be a mop board which runs around the bottom eadge where the deckhouse and deck meet. I figured I would toss this up too since we already derailed this entire thread a bit here. LOL!! I am just noticing MA location on you profile...are you planning on heading to ArmoCon (the show formally know as AMPS East)the end of next month? If so, I will have a table set up in the vendor room with a friend for the Modelers Social Club Forum, stop by and say hello!
AUG 26, 2013 - 10:13 PM

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