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First Look Review
7 Birch Trees
Birches, 7 pieces
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Birches (Birken), 7 pieces, 3.2" (8 cm)
Item: 25096
Series: Classic Trees
Scales: H0 (1/87), TT (1/100 -1/120), N (1/160), Z (1/220)


This is a set of seven Birches (Birken), part of the Classic Trees and Economy Set series by NOCH. They have convincing leaf material.

Classic Trees
NOCH offers several categories of trees and bushes. The Classic Series is in the middle of the NOCH tree range. As new materials and models were developed, their original models were branded as Classic Trees.

Economy Sets
NOCH markets their new Economy Sets for value and for social reasons:
    …you actively participate in the protection of the environment and climate with the purchase of an Economy Set. For every 100 model trees sold of this range, the organisation "Plant for the Planet" will plant a real tree on behalf of NOCH. In addition, the trees of the Economy Sets have a completely new shape: The bare tree, the colour combination and also the handicraft production have been significantly improved. - NOCH

Birches (Birken), 7 Piece, 3.2 in.
These models are packed in a light clear plastic carton which opens on each end. The trees are held by the root bases in slots cut into the L-shaped label/base. Useful graphics on the label include silhouettes of a human in HO, TT, N and Z scales, with graduation marks to judge the height of the model. On the label back is a table listing trees that NOCH models, the prototype heights, and the scale heights for HO, TT, N, and Z Scales. It also features an advertisement for Plant for the Planet.

Each tree is made from plastic. The trunk is molded with slight bark detail. Ejector circles and mold seam lines mar the parts. Strings of styrene also extend from some of them like whiskers.

Trunks are inserted into a base which sometimes leaves a faint seam at the joint. The base is molded to resemble roots protruding up from earth.

The trunk is molded with integral boughs and branches. Some have flash. Brown plastic is used with white paint brushed on. Except for species without white bark (river birch, Heritage river birch, sweet birch, and yellow birch) birch that I see have very dark grat or black splits between the white bark.

For foliage NOCH used fairly sinewy foam that reminds me of dry lichen. It is somewhat brittle although very little broke off when moving the trees. The leaves look like pinnately veined leaves. However these trees have the "cookie cutter" duplication of most mass-marketed model trees.

Height matters
How tall is a 3.2-inch / 8 cm Birken in your favorite scale?
    1/32 (54 mm): 8.3’ / 2.5 m
    1/35: 9.2’ / 2.8 m
    1/48: 12.5’ / 3.8 m
    1/72: 18.8’ / 5.8 m
    1/87 (HO): 22.8’ / 7 m
    1/120 (TT): 31.4' / 9.6 m
    1/144: 37.8’ / 11.5 m
    1/160 (N): 42’ / 13 m
    1/220 (Z): 57.6' / 17.6 m

To visually demonstrate these models I show them with:
- 1/35 soldiers and a Maultier
- 1/48 - O scale figure
- 1/72 soldiers
- 25mm mounted rider
- HO - 1/87 reefer; trucks; man with farm animals
- 1/100 ("UK/US" TT scale) Saab Draken
- N scale freight car

Conclusion
I have been favorably impressed with NOCH Classic Trees in the past and still am. However, while these birch trees may have been cutting-edge when they came out decades ago, today they look average.

A white trunk does not a birch make and the foliage crown is not authentic. These trees look average and can be acceptable background trees unless you just want some white trunk trees.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.
SUMMARY
Highs: Convincing leaf material.
Lows: Ejector circles and flash. Questionable canopy shapes and trunk colors not authentic.
Verdict: These trees look average.
Percentage Rating
50%
  Scale: Multiple S
  Mfg. ID: 25096
  Suggested Retail: $20.00 (14.99€ )
  Related Link: Birch Trees
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2013
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.22%

Our Thanks to NOCH!
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)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

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 ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Sorry, Fred - but I don't see anything convincing about them. "They have convincing leaf material."
APR 04, 2013 - 02:00 AM
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