Styrene molding technology has really improved in the past few years, with “slide molds” that can reduce significantly “flash” and seam lines, and render small details with crisp edges and definition. But resin casting remains the standard for detail, and a new set of Late War tools for German AFVs proves this once again. The set also gives modelers a chance to up the detailing on their kits without going crazy with added “fiddly bits.”
The set includes:
15 resin pieces
1 fret of PE
Color instruction sheet
The cover shows two fire extinguishers and two shovels, but in both cases, you get different PE parts to make one of two options.
It is often said that a few well-placed details will make even an ordinary kit stand out. This set definitely underlines that point, as it improves the items that are often the most prominent on the exterior of tanks and other AFVs. These include the shovel, sledge hammer, jack, block and bolt cutters. New styrene technology has certainly improved these, but can’t yet compete with resin. The set goes resin casting one better by rendering some of the parts in brass, including the lift end of the jack and the shovel blades. No plastic can offer the same scale thinness.
Even in the case of well-cast styrene tools, however, there is still the matter of attaching them to the vehicle. Plastic attachment points are just plain clunky, and some of the PE frets included with today’s kits have greatly simplified tool clips. The clips in this set are both accurate and include all manner of thumbscrews and latches.
The instructions are basic, but clear, with the brass parts shown in a greenish yellow. Bend edges are shown on larger pieces, though the latches will require you to fold them according to fit. Those who are uncomfortable with “fiddly bits” won’t feel much better with these tiny details.
One good bit of news: the PE fret has extra parts in case the “rug monster” eats up a few latches. You will still do well to have a PE folding device like The Small Shop’s “The Bug
,” which I highly recommend. This is a good set for anyone who has wanted to try photo-etched brass but didn't want to deal with too many parts or invest a lot in an AM upgrade. You’re only dealing with around a dozen items instead of an entire tank's worth.
For those who want to improve the detailing on their German tanks and soft skins without investing $25 on a full PE set, this is a good compromise. Hardcore tread heads naturally will want more detailing, though the quality of the resin casting might make this a good supplement for one of the large PE sets that ask you to improve on the styrene tools instead of replacing them outright.
Thanks to Alliance Model Works for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.