NEW Cutting Mats from TANKRAFT

If you wander around model kit builder websites or related groups on social media, chances are that you may have been presented with an ad for these new sealf healing mats for us modelers.

PRO MODELER 18X24 MAT WITH SHERMAN TANK ART FROM TANKRAFT.COM.

Mats are available in 12”x18” (30.5mm x 45.7cm) and 18”x24” (45.7 x 61cm) with your choice of a beautiful Panther or Sherman WW-II tank art. The Sherman mat comes printed on a Olive Drab color and the Panther on a Panzer Grey color.

Here’s the beautiful mat from Tank Kraft featuring a Panzer tank complete with build stats on the right top corner.

As a model builder, I’ve been using the no longer available mats from Hobbico sometimes also branded with the Revell logo on them. The picture below shows the old mat from Hobbico and the new ones from Tankraft. They are 3mm thick and with one already in use on the workbench, I can attest that they are of great quality. They are strong yet they maintain that flexibility as a whole that I was used with the Hobbico’s. There are some mats we can get from the crafts stores but I’ve been used to these that I find those a little on the stiff side, not too mention that even with coupon code discounts they don’t come cheap for their sizes.

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As you can see from the pictures above, the Tankraft mat already started to receive some heavy punishment in one of the building stations in the shop. By the look of the green mat on the left that they are put to good use and it.

How is the print on the mats?

The print is of very good quality. My 1st job on top of the one above was decal application. It is very hard to tell where I did cut with a brand new #11 blade on the printed areas. I don’t think I’m wrong by saying that the design on these mats -like all others- comes from Pad Printing. This means that no matter how good the print is, it will be solvent resistant. The green mat on the left above shows heavy peeling. That was half a bottle of Ambroind cement accidentally spilled. The print along with the green coating is gone on that area and that my friends, is not the mat’s fault but my clumsiness.

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I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these mats to model kit builders of all levels. It is a well-thought product from model builders to model builders. Where you can fit one you can fit 2, so go ahead and place an order for both designs (more available at the time of this entry) and save on shipping.

PS,
I always like to work my kit decals on a clean mat. I hope to see an 8×12 or 11×14 version in the not so distant future featuring 60º and 45º degree lines.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Our sincere thanks to TankRaft for sending in these samples.

 

 

 

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Author: George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

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