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  1. Morning all....decided to kick off another project in this lockdown world at present.....the Panther D from the Kursk Offensive July '43. Picked this up off Ebay for £32. Came with RB's turned barrel, some part PE set and a set of Panther II skirts. Might get to use them one day day as they look similar to the Panther G type. This Panther by Dragon is a very clean and simple kit. Nice clean crisp moulding.....but needs some help with some basic PE.....so three sets on the way. Three PE set's.......PEA071 for the tool box specific to some Panthers at Kursk. ET Model Panther D set and I still have to locate the side skirts with specific brackets..... And finaly the tracks.....early set for this type of Panther... Hopefully, once the PE skirts arrive I can post some progress..... see you all later and stay safe... Regards Simon
  2. Diorama Sets, Leaves and Netting ET Models 1:35 Normally associated with brass etched sets for armoured kits ET Models have now released four sets of what can only be described as diorama material. Three of the sets provide different leaves, Type 1 look like a large Fern fronds, Type 2 are fan like Palm fronds and Type 3 look like Oak leaves. Now whilst the Fern and Palm fronds are individual items, the Oak leaves are on lengths of wire, as well as having individual leaves. Each set has two identical sheets and when folded to shape and painted up could be quite effective whether using them as part of a tree or wrapped in camouflage netting, which is where the last set comes into play. Containing one large sheet of netting this set is to be used in conjunction with the leaves to provide camouflage for European or Pacific dioramas. Alternatively the Palm and Fern fronds could be used to make up all sorts of things, such as a hut roof or bedding mat to name just two. Netting J35-009 Type 1 J35-010 Type2 J35-011 Type 3 J35-012 Conclusion I’ve not had a chance to look at sets like these before and whilst initially I wasn’t convinced of their usefulness, I can now see how they can be incorporated into a diorama with or without the netting. Some careful detail painting will be required, but the possibilities are really only restricted by the modellers imagination. Recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  3. Stug III Ausf G Early/Late ET Models 1:35 These five sets are for the Dragon Smart Kits with two sets for each of the Early and Late versions along with the fender set which is universal. There doesn’t seem to be any crossover between the sets so the modeller can add as much or as little extra detail to the kit as they see fit. As usual each set is contained in a thick poly bag with a card header and the instructions on the standard green A4 sheets. They are pretty clear and concise, but careful reading will reap rewards when it comes to fitting the sub assemblies to their respective positions. Some kit detail will need to be removed before adding the etched parts, plus brass and styrene rod will be required from the modellers own stock. Basic Set Early Version. (Early, EA35-225), (Late, E35-226) Although titled a basic set, these far from it, with lots of beautifully relief etched brass and a length of brass wire. Each set contains three sheets of relief etched brass, each of differing sizes. The vast majority of parts are the same for each set with only one or two differences. As usual a lot of the parts contained on the sheets are used to replace the many clamps and brackets for the pioneer tools, fire extinguisher, track fittings, and storage box straps. The gunners cupola is completely replaced with new brass parts and includes the raised plate, hatch, and hatch fixtures and fittings. The early set differs with the inclusion of the machine gun shield for the commanders hatch which is also provided with new hinges and locking mechanism. The smoke dischargers are provided with new brackets whilst the headlights are improved with new brackets and support mounts. The various intakes are fitted with new mesh parts, along with new plates for the exhaust. On the rear deck there is a new storage box and a new framework and its supports. Basic Early Basic Late Schurzen (Early E35-227), (Late E35-228) Due to the differences between the two styles of Schurzen the Early set contains two sheets of brass whilst the late set only includes one sheet. The two part set provides all the parts to make up the two large side screens that fit along the side, covering the return rollers and the corresponding track along with the four parts that make up the shield along the upper section of the fighting compartment. Naturally all the requisite hangers and brackets are also provided. The same goes for the Late set, only the four upper panels are not included, just eh large side panels. Shurzen Early Shurzen Late Fenders (E35-107) This two sheet set can be used for either versions of the Dragon kit and contains two complete fender braces, the fender decks and their associated fixings and fixtures including mudguards front and rear. The detail on the fender decks is really well done with the anti-slip tread looking great. Conclusion ET really know how to make superb detail sets for the modern modeller. These are well up to their usual standards, and whilst not meant for absolute novice modellers they aren’t so difficult as to preclude those with even only a modicum of experience. It’s just a matter of choosing your Stug III version and adding the brass. Highly recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  4. Diorama Sets, Camouflage Netting ET Models 1:35 Continuing with the additions to their diorama line of products, ET Model have now released two new styles of camouflage netting. Each sheet comes in their standard poly sleeve with a cardboard header. Both sheets are made up of very thin brass sheet which will aid in the making them look cloth like material once slightly scrunched up. Type 1 has large rounded perforations whilst the Type 2 has much smaller rounded perforations. Each can be used in conjunction with the separate leaves found in the previously released sets reviewed HERE Conclusion Having never used these types of netting before I can’t really say how well they work, but their thinness should be an advantage in getting them to look pretty realistic. They could certainly be a useful alternative to using medical bandages. Highly recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  5. Citroen 11CV Staff Car Detail Set E35-229 ET Models 1:35 The Tamiya kit of the Citroen 11CV Staff Car has been out for nearly six years, and its only now that ET Models have released a small, but useful detail set for it. The nicely produced single sheet of relief etched brass contains the prominent grille with the Citroen logo and surround joined at one edge, so that when folded give a nice 3D representation of the real thing. Also included are a pair of mudflaps that are situated behind the front wheels, the front number plate, rear number plate, for which you will have to carefully remove the light off the kits part and glue to the etched part. The kits rear view mirror and windscreen wipers are also replaced with etch. Conclusion Whilst small, this set adds enough parts to give a lift to the standard kit, particularly the grille and logo. Simple to use, with no major folds required, so would be of use to all but the most novice of modellers. Highly recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  6. Diorama Sets, Leaves and Sunflowers ET Models 1:35 ET Models have now released another pair of sets of what can only be described as diorama material. Each set has two sheets of etched brass, leaves type A are identical, whilst the sunflower set has different sheets providing various sizes of flower to be affixed to the top of each plant. The leaves set can be used for foliage in a diorama of as camouflage on military vehicles, whereas the sunflowers are more limited in their use, but will look good painted up in a farm or garden setting. Conclusion I’ve not had a chance to use sets like these before and whilst initially I wasn’t convinced of their usefulness, I can now see how they can be incorporated into a diorama. Some careful detail painting will be required, but the possibilities are really only restricted by the modellers imagination. Recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  7. Russian T-80B E35-212 and T-80BV E35-213 ET Models 1:35 The number of Russian MBT’s released or due to be released by Trumpeter is quite amazing. To cater for those modellers who just love to add extra detail, ET Models seems to be keeping up with the relentless release schedule with these two sets for the T-80B and T-80BV kits. Contained in the now standard poly sleeve with card header, and with the instructions on the green A4 sheets, the two sets share all but one sheet of etch, along with the resin replacements for the smoke dischargers. As with many of ET sets the modeller is required to remove some of the kits details before using the etched parts. But with these kits there are very few bits that need removal, as it’s mostly adding detail rather taking any away. The build begins with the assembly of the numerous straps and buckles for use around the hull and turret. The support brackets for the snorkel are completely replaced with etched parts along with the restraining straps as are the similar items for the external fuel drums. The infra red lamp to the right of the main gun barrel is fitted with a new lens cover, hinged bracket and support mounts. The turret storage bins and spare ammunition case are completely replaced with super detailed etched items. There are loads of new parts for the barrel of the main gun, such as the retaining rings and strengthening bars that run along the top. Each ring is quite a complex assembly and includes the catches at each end of the ring, each of which has be carefully folded. With the main barrel done, it’s on to the machine gun, which is fitted with new sights front and rear, plus new searchlight details. The most complex part is that of the rear mounted exhaust, which consists of a series of horizontal and vertical louvers which have to be interleaved to form the completed part. The rest of the set is comprised of smaller details, such as the headlamp guards, intake grilles, hinges for the side skirts, clamps and brackets for the headlamps, catches for the towing cleats, grab handles for the turret and engine deck, the multipart aerial mount, onto which the resin aerial base is attached, whilst the resin smoke launchers are fitted in place of the kit items. The T-80BV set also includes the defensive reactive armour boxes, of which there are around 39 consisting of two types. These are either mounted direct, as per the turret roof, or to various types of framework, depending on their positioning. There is also a rather unusual item, which looks like a windscreen for in front of the drivers position, complete with acetate sheet to represent the glass. This item is shown in the build, but not where it’s fitted, so you will need to do some research. T-80B T-80BV Conclusion These two sets are up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect from ET Models. But my goodness they are going to be fiddly in some areas. The usual advice is to take care and take a large slug of patience when folding and bending the parts into shape. At the end though you will have one, or in this case two, very highly detailed T-80 tanks in your collection. Highly recommended Review Sample courtesy of
  8. Russian JS-4 Heavy Tank Detail Set – E35-216 ET Models 1:35 The Trumpeter JS=4 kit, reviewed HERE has only just been released, and there is already a detail set out for it. The kit is already pretty well detailed, but having said that there are some modellers for whom there is always room for improvement. The set is packed in the usual thick poly bag with a stapled cardboard header card. The three main etched sheets are taped to two sheets of black card, in one small zip lock bag there are another two smaller sheets. The instructions are printed on the usual green paper, in this case, on two sheets of double sided A4. As with many of ET sets the modeller is required to remove some of the kits details before using the etched parts. They will also need to supply some styrene rod for use as handles, hinge pins and other parts. With this kit there isn’t that much to remove with only the fronts of the track guards cut away. There are a fair few small catches and brackets that need assembling first, before the bigger stuff is constructed. This set provides a couple of replacement storage bins, each with separate handles, hinges and catches. The storage lockers that aren’t replaced are given extra details, such as the hinges, catches and handles. The external fuel tanks are also completely replaced including the support brackets, straps, locks and catches. The tanks themselves will require some careful rolling into shape and will probably best to be soldered to prevent them coming apart. The end caps are then fitted and the assemblies attached to the mounting cradles. There are four of the large tanks that fit on the rear of the track guards, and two of the smaller tanks that are mounted on the rear of the tank between the tracks. The pioneer tools receive new clamps and will require styrene rod to construct the shafts, although I’m not sure these are really required, it’s up to the modeller how far they go. The AA machine gun is given a good going over, with a complete replacement ammunition case, which is highly detailed, along with a length of ammunition belt, new handles, sights, fore and aft, spent case chute and cocking handle. The rest of the set provides additional detail to the upper hull and turret, including those front track guards that were removed earlier. These are really quire complex and will require the modeller to fashion a spring out of fine wire for that extra effect. The track guards also receive extra strengthening straps, whilst the turret receives extra storage straps, brackets and tool clamps. The engine deck has a complete set of engine grille mesh segments provided to replace the slightly thick items in the kit. Conclusion Whilst this is an excellent set I feel that unless you are a complete detail junkie it’s a little over extensive. The kit parts are more than adequate for the most part and this set is replacing them for replacements sake. Although even if the extra detail that isn’t included in the kit is used it will help lift the standard model to a higher level of detail that styrene alone cannot match, but it will take a careful and patient hand in achieving that detail. Recommended. Available from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  9. Russian T-90 MBT with Cast Turret 1:35 Detail Set, ET Models Trumpeter has released a number of different versions of their T-90 but this new set from ET Models is for theT-90 with cast turret. The set comes packaged in their standard poly sleeve with card header, with six of the large sheets of relief etched brass taped to individual black card, and with the smaller sheets held within smaller zip lock bags. This set also includes six replacement resin smoke discharger tubes, resin aerial base and a length of copper wire. As is usual with these types of add-ons the kit needs to be modified to accept the brass replacements. This means the removal of all the straps, handles, catches, and other moulded fittings, and is best done before the build proper is started. With the kit parts prepped, it’s on with the fiddly task of assembling the numerous straps and buckles, of which there are nine different types. With the straps done it’s on the main hull and the fitting of the various angle beams, glacis plate upright, mounting plates, mudguard fixings, hinges, for which the modeller is required to provide 0.3mm rod. The two fuel drums attached to the rear are provided with new supports and straps, along with other items attached to the rear of the vehicle. Each engine deck grille has a new mesh cover fitted and there are loads of smaller items such as hooks, hinged panels right down to the wingnut fasteners for the headlamp housings. The turret is fitted out with new catches for the external lockers, new supports and spare machine gun ammunition cases, new surrounds and shields for the various sensors and sights. The machine gun also receives new sights, whilst the main gun barrel is fitted with new ultra detailed straps and strengthening rods. The resin aerial base is fitted on top of several fixing rings and each of the kit smoke launchers are replaced by the more typical resin units provided in this set. Conclusion The Trumpeter T-90 is already a really nice kit and these enhancements will really truly be the icing on the cake. Be prepared for some fine bending and fiddly fitting, as a lot of the parts in the set are very small. You will need some sort of ocular enhancement and a pair of very fine tweezers or a suitable picking up tool. Highly recommend. Review Sample courtesy of
  10. JGSDF Type 10 MBT for Tamiya 1:35 Detail Set, ET Models This new set from ET Models is for the rather nice Tamiya JGSDF Type 10 MBT. The set comes packaged in their standard poly sleeve with card header, with the larger of the five sheets of relief etched brass taped to individual black card, and with the smaller sheets held within smaller zip lock bags. The instructions, on the distinctive green paper are very clear and concise and should be held up as a example of how to do it to other manufacturers. As is usual with these types of add-ons the kit needs to be modified to accept the brass replacements. This means the removal of all the handles, hooks, etc, and is best done before the build proper is started. Once the relevant plastic parts have been removed, the instructions start with the modification of the 50cal machine gun. This includes a completely new cartridge case support, case, including a length of belt to be fed into the gun, new gun handles, fore and rear sights, cocking lever, perforated barrel cover and details for the spent cartridge basket. This is followed by the construction of two new storage boxes and lifting eye assembly which are then fitted to the top of the rear intake grilles. Both the commanders and gunners hatches receive new inner plates, locking handles and chains. There are many grab handles, brackets and clamps, all of which are made up of multiple parts building up to very realistic assemblies that need to be carefully placed into position all over the vehicle. The instructions then concentrate on the various tools carried on the vehicle. Each receives one or more new brackets or clamps. One neat bit of additional detail is a new mic boom for the figure included in the kit, which looks like it could be fun bending into shape. The engine deck grille mounting points are then folded and fitted into position as are the lower skirt panels fitted on either side plus those fore and aft. The mesh grilles, each sized for their individual positions are then fitted. The set also includes the mesh inserts for both the side and rear turret baskets and really do look the business. The catches for the rear basket door are also included. The wire included in the set can now be painted up and fitted to the brackets on the rear intake grilles. Conclusion This is another excellent and comprehensive set from ET Models. Tamiya has produced a very nice kit of the Type 10 and this set will really enhance the finished model and could even help make it a competition winner. If you only want to add a lower level of detailo then the engine and basket mesh can be bought as a separate set. The level of detail that ET have included in this set will require the modeller to have at least a magnifier or optivisor type set up and a very steady hand, not to mention quite a bit of patience. Highly recommend. Review Sample courtesy of
  11. German Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf A/B/C detail updates 1:35 ET Models These two new releases from ET Models are for the Tamiya Panzer II. The kit is a very nice kit in its own right, but could be transformed by the use of these sets. [E35-185] Comprising of three sheets of relief etched brass, plus a resin shielded headlight and resin smoke discharger tubes, showing that this set is not as basic as the name on the header card suggests. Contained in the standard poly sleeve with the sheets taped to black card for protection with the instructions on the ubiquitous green A4 paper there is a wealth of detail to be added to the kit. The instructions are, as usual very clear and easy to read, with the very useful addition of diagrams of the kits hull and turret showing where all the sub-assemblies go. There are a number of kit details that need to be removed first before adding being replaced by etched parts and it may be an idea to remove all the areas mentioned in the instructions before starting the build. The modeller will also need to provide styrene or brass rod for certain parts. Construction starts with the assembly of nine hand clamps and brackets before assembling the complex locking mechanism on the interior of the drivers hatch which will need to be left open to appreciate the work. The pioneer tools all receive new brackets and clamps as well as a new shovel blade. There is some more complex cage work for the left hand rear tool box and jack clamps along with clasps and hinges for the storage boxes. The grille on the right hand side rear of the engine deck is made up of separate frames and shutter bars which will look great when fitted. There are another couple of hatches on the engine deck that not only have external detail, but internal mechanisms too, so it would be a shame to fit them closed. The two storage boxes on the right hand fender are also included and will take some careful folding to get them square. The light cluster on the rear bulkhead is completely replaced, but will need the centre piece made out of plastic stock by the modeller. The exhaust receives a new, finer, perforated cover and the smoke dischargers on the rear bulkhead are very nicely detailed, with new resin barrels, holder, cover, brackets and tube cover chains, the whole assembly is then fitted to the exhaust cover. The turret receives new hatch details internally and externally, strengthening beam across the turret just in front of the hatches, lifting eyes and a pair of headphones which will require stretched sprue of very fine thread for the wires. [E35-186] is for those modellers who find that the looks of the kits fenders are just too thick and bulky. Those fenders are completely replaced by etched items which not only look more to scale, but could be bent and modelled to look damaged more easily. The main fender parts are single piece items onto which all the brackets, bolt holes, supports and clamps are fitted. The front and rear mudguards will require some rod to more the basis of the hinges and also include strengthening strips and clamps for some incredibly fine detail. Conclusion Another pair of superb sets that will take the model to the next level of detail and also give the modeller a bit more of a challenge in making all the small parts and bending them to shape. As normally is the case with this type of set, patience and care are the watchwords and although some experience with PE would be beneficial it shouldn’t be insurmountable for the less experienced modeller to achieve a really good result. Highly recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  12. Russian BM-21 Grad MLRS detail updates 1:35 ET Models [E35-191] The Trumpeter 1:35 BM-21 Grad mobile rocket launcher is a great kit out of the box, but as is the want of many modellers there’s always room for extra detail. ET Models have released this set of etched brass just for such a requirement. The three sheets of brass, one large, one medium and one small are all taped to black card and contained in the standard poly packaging with card header. The instructions, on the now standard green paper, cover five sides of A4. They are very clear and concise, well laid out and easy to read giving good directions on where the individual parts go, some other manufacturers could take a leaf out of ET’s book and see how instructions should be laid out. The construction starts in the cabin with the addition of four air vents on the facia and the drivers three pedals. On the in front of the driver, on the headlining, a sun visor is added. Externally the footsteps and fuel tanks are fitted out with new brackets, supports and straps, whilst the large storage locker has new support brackets and a new handle attached. ET Models have also provided a completely new storage/ammunition box for the port side truck bed. One of the more complex assemblies of this set is for the spare wheel housing, with plenty of benign into the correct curve of the wheel, hinges, brackets and footplates which all go together to make a very accurate and realistic structure. Another large assembly is the tool locker on the right hand side of the truck bed which also incorporates the front of the rear wheel arch. This box includes internal shelving, clamps and straps on the fold down door for various tools and equipment which will have to be provided by the modeller. The rest of the parts comprise the usual small items, such as brackets and clamps for the pioneer tools, also including a new blade for the shovel. There are small mudflaps for the front wheel arches and large ones for the rears which also included their supporting structures. Also included are replacement windscreen wipers, number plates, numerous brackets and locking pins complete with chains, aerial support bracket and some unusual mountings fitted to either side of the cab, which look like light fittings but more research will be needed to decipher exactly what they are. Finally the rear bumpers, large footplate and rocket tube rear structure and forward strapping are added. [E35-053] For even more detail and also helping get rid of those vinyl tyres that many modellers don’t seem to like, ET Models have released this set of resin wheels and tyres to completely replace the kit items. All seven wheels are included in the set so even the spare gets replaced. The detail is excellent and really shows off the heavy tread these tyres have. The hub detail is well executed on both inner and outer faces. Only a small amount of clean up will be required on removing the small moulding blocks, which are also well placed on the bottom of the tyre where there is a slight bulging in contact with the ground. Other than painting these wheels are designed to fit directly into position with nothing else for the modeller to fiddle around with, making them very useful for the more novice modeller. Conclusion Two more great and very useful sets for the modeller to really go to town on this interesting and quite impressive vehicle. The etched parts shouldn’t cause any intermediate modeller, or above any headaches. Although patience and care will still be needed on some for the folding and bending, particularly the spare wheel rack and its curves. The wheel set is just so easy to add, giving excellent detail to the model and will ensure it doesn’t start collapsing as may happen with the vinyl tyres. Highly recommended Review Sample courtesy of
  13. S-65 Tractor with Cab Detail Set – E35-193 ET Models 1:35[.size] Trumpeter has recently released the second configuration of this esoteric vehicle and ET Models have followed it by releasing this update set for it. E35-139 consists of three sheets of etched brass and a small acetate sheet. The instructions are printed on ETs usual green paper, but are better laid out than some of their normal fare, with diagrams of the model and where the various brass parts are to be fitted. Some parts of the kit need to be removed before the finer brass parts can be added. As is normal for these types of upgrade sets some assemblies also require the addition of plastic rod of various sizes. The set is basically a repetition of the previous release E35-145 reviewed HERE with the exception of the open cab that is provided for the driver, since the new kit already has a cab included, so it would be rather churlish to repeat myself with what’s included. As it is, the quality is up to the usual standards and you’ll still need a fair amount of patience and care in removing the kit parts, particularly the names on the radiator housing and the fitting of the bonnet side clamps. I have used the earlier set in a build HERE so you can see how it goes to make a nicely detailed model. Conclusion This is a very nice little set and without the cab of the previous set is perhaps slightly less daunting to use. It will certainly help take the kit to the next level of detail and also remove some of the rather clunky kit items. Recommended. Review Sample courtesy of available in the UK from White Ensign Models
  14. Landrover WMIK/Milan Etch Set – E35-178 ET Models 1:35 The new Landrover WMIK with Milan is a very nice kit in its own right and builds nicely on the back of the standard WMIK kit. ET Models have released this set which comes on five sheets of relief etched brass and has a small acetate sheet with the instruments printed on. The standard of etching is very high and the relief etched details look very nice indeed. As usual some of the kit details need to be removed before being replaced by brass parts, and the modeller will also need to supply their own brass or styrene rod. The instructions on ET Models trademark green A4 sheets. These are very clear and easy to read, but care and attention should still be maintained to ensure that the parts are folded correctly and fitted in the correct position. Assembly and fitment begins with the replacement of the radiator grille, removal of the wing details and their replacements fitted, along with the replacement headlight protection bars. The aerial base is folded to shape and the kit kits flexible aerial base fitted on top. There are the usual numerous straps for use in tying down the pioneer tools along with extra clamps and brackets. The drivers position receives new pedals and a new dashboard. Both front seats are enhanced with new seat belts, for both shoulders and lap. The tilt strap brackets need to be removed from the kit and replaced by brass parts whilst the canvas doors, missing from the kit are made up of rolled brass and tied off with two straps. Two ammunition boxes are provided along with their associate cradles and there are new identification screens for each side. The tail gate receives a whole new locking mechanism and brackets for the ammunition basket, which is also fitted out with new perforated sheets for the base, front and back. Still at the rear of the vehicle new bumpers are fitted along with a couple of other extraneous fixtures. New sand channels are provided and these are strapped to the vehicle sides. The front storage basket has new netting and the Milan launcher is fitted with new locking pin chains and handles for the missile tube. The spare missile box is fitted with new locks once the kit detail has been removed. Conclusion This is another nice set from ET Models, although to be fair I’m not sure whether some of the parts in the kit really need to be replaced since they were already PE. The finer details though will make for a good looking and interesting model along with the parts that HobbyBoss missed out. Unfortunately the rifle storage brackets that need to be added have been missed out on this set as well. Recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  15. US Army M1A2 SEP MBT TUSK I/II (E35-192) 1:35 ET Model The Tusk I/II from Tamiya is a beautiful kit in its own right, but, once again ET Models have found areas where it can be improved. It’s not as extensive as their Merkava sets, but there are still two large sheets, three medium sheets and eleven small sheets of relief etched brass, along with two lengths of metal wire, one small resin part, two metal aerial springs and a slab of thick clear ABS plastic. The set comes in two of the standard ET packaging of poly bags stapled together onto the card header. The main sheets are taped onto black card, whilst the smaller sheets are contained in a zip lock poly bag, as are the metal and resin parts. The instructions of twelve sides of A4 green paper. These are very clear and well laid out, particularly with reference to where the sub assemblies are fitted to the kit shown in a line diagram. They will still require careful reading before starting to assemble the etched parts, as some of the kit parts need to be altered or removed before these can be added. Plastic or brass rod of various diameters will also be required to use as directed. ET Models have also used various thicknesses of brass for the sheets, so that the small items, such as straps will be easier to fold while items such as the reactive armour brackets and thicker and therefore stronger to hold the weight of the kit parts that are attached to them. The first task is to build up three ammunition boxes for the M2 50 cal and M240 7.62mm machine guns and two further boxes for what looks like 40mm grenades, for the smoke launchers on either side of the turret. This last box is the trickiest in that the internal holders for the rounds have to be rolled into shape before fitting into the box and an internal division fitted around them. Of course if the box is to be modelled closed the holders won’t need to be used. The gunners hatch receives internal sight details and an external ring which covers the gap between the hatch and the turret armour. A large gun ring is then fitted around the completed hatch. On the forward end of the left hand turret storage box a new shelf and support brackets is fitted along with the associated straps for one of the ammunition boxes. The machine guns are detailed nest, with the commanders weapon being fitted with new barrel handle, perforated barrel hand hold, front and rear sights, cocking handle, parts of which need to be made out of plastic rod, ammunition box cradle into which one of the previously made boxes is fitted, a length of ammunition belt and two locking pins with chains attached to hold the gun to the mounting. The 7.62mm M240 is fitted onto a new pintle mounting and ring slide, perforated barrel fittings, rear sight, ammunition box cradle and ammunition belt. The M2 fitted near the front of the turret over the main gun also receives new barrel fittings, front and rear sights, a complete mounting with the pins and chains to hold the gun on, cocking handle, rear firing handles, and ammunition cradle, box and belt. The turret is then fitted with new brackets and supports to the rear, while the stowage baskets are fitted with new perforated floors, ID panels, new jerry can shelves and a new cable reel. The refrigeration unit is fitted with a new top box and several handles. On the turret sides near the front the smoke discharges are fitted with new support brackets as are the spare 40mm ammunition boxes just in front of them. Also on the turret sides the new brackets and supports for the kits reactive armour pieces are attached. Above the mantle cover another small flap is fitted to cover the gap and new flash suppressor for the co-axial machine gun is rolled to shape and fitted into position. There are several new handles fitted to the drivers hatch and other fittings, including the chains for the fuel caps, around the hull. On the rear deck all the engine hatch mesh is replaced with brass parts and the rear hull is fitted with angled exhaust plates, ID plate support bracket, and telephone box, which is a small kit on its own. The side skirts are fitted with new front and rear mudguards, whilst to the rear a new skirt piece is fitted to the rear. The front and rear angled shields for the hull reactive armour are fitted once the kit parts have been attached. Finally the armoured sections that make up the commanders and loaders protection screens and assembled. Each screen section s folded to shape and fitted with pieces of the ABS sheet, the templates for each screen is contained on the instruction sheet. The sheet is 1.5mm thick so represents well the armoured glass fitted to the screens. If you’re not confident with cutting the sheet, then the clear parts in the kit could most probably be made to fit. Engine & Turret Rack Grilles, (EA35-093). If you think this is all too much and you only want to add a little extra something to your build then ET Models have also released a small set containing just the perforated grilles for the engine deck and the floors of the turret baskets. Conclusion This is an amazing set that provides so much extra detail that it’s difficult to describe it all. ET Models certainly give the modeller their monies worth. Some may say why bother when the kit is already so good, but you can’t get the scale thickness of metal or the finesse of detail in most styrene parts no matter how good the manufacturer. If you want a highly detailed model in your collection this is the only way to go, especially as ET Models haven’t replaced kit parts that don’t need replacing which can be a concern with other manufacturers. I can’t recommend this set highly enough and will certainly be using it when my Tamiya Abrams gets on to the work bench. Review Sample courtesy of
  16. Russian T-26 Light Tank MOD 1935 (E35-183) 1:35 ET Model Trumpeters T-26 (1935) Light tank is a very nice little kit even though the suspension is a little awkward as seen in the review HERE. Whilst the kit is quite nicely detailed ET Models have released this two sheet set to replace some of the chunkier items to give a more scale thickness and appearance. Onto top of these there a host of smaller items that both delight, when fitted and frustrate, when making. The set comes in the standard ET packaging of poly bag with card header. The main sheet is taped onto black card, whilst the smaller sheet is contained in a zip lock poly bag, and the instructions of three sides of A4 green paper. These are very clear and well laid out, but they will still require careful reading before starting to assemble the etched parts, as some of the kit parts need to be altered or removed before these can be added. Plastic or brass rod of various diameters will also be required to use as directed. The first parts to be constructed are the large storage box for the right hand track guard and is made up of a single piece lower part which needs to be folded to shape and the lid which also needs the edges folded down to for an lip. To the completed box two support brackets, one at each end are attached as are the rear lid hinges, two hasp and clasps and one of two alternative lifting handles. Each of the pioneer tools receives new brackets and clamps including tiny wing nut bolts for each clamp. The next major assembly is that of the air intake grille on the rear engine deck. This is made up of the base box structure, which is quite a complex folding job, into which twelve individual slats are glued into the slots on either side. The top edges of the box are then folded over to cover the ends of the slats. Four bolt heads are then fitted to each edge and three plastic/brass rods passed through the three holes on each side under the slats. One of the most awkward assemblies within this set is that of the new exhaust. The main body needs to be rolled to shape with only the small overlapping seams being glued or, preferably, soldered. The internal end pieces are then fitted and the three support struts/straps attached to their specific locations. Whilst it may be awkward the effect should be a much better looking exhaust particularly as the etched part has a nice knurled like texture more indicative of the real item. Another awkward assembly is that for the two replacement track guards, where each end needs to be rolled to the shape matching that of the folded sides. Once achieved however, the completed guards are a great improvement over the kit parts in that they provide a much better scale thickness. Once the guards have been rolled and folded to shape they are fitted out with a compliment of strengtheners, support struts and fitting straps. To the left rear section of the engine decking there is another air intake and this is completely replaced with etched items, including new grilles and intake housing. Next to the slatted intake a new jack support and clamp fitting is provided, but the instructions give details of how to make a new shaped bottle jack to fit. With all the main assemblies built up they can be fitted to the model leaving just the new drivers hatches, turret hatch hinges, turret rear hatch hinges, fighting light lens covers and driving light housing hinges to be fitted to complete the build. Conclusion This is another superb set that, considering the size of the model is pretty comprehensive. Covering almost all the tank these parts will give a much improved detail and scale appearance to the completed model. There are some specialist folding and rolling tools that would make the work on the parts much easier, but I’m sure there are modellers that can find ingenious ways to do the same work if they’re not too keen of the extra expense. Highly recommended. Review Sample courtesy of
  17. Russian GAZ Tiger Etch Sets 1:35 ET Model The Meng GAZ Tiger armoured utility vehicle was another very pleasant surprise that they like to give us modellers. The kit, reviewed HERE, is already well detailed but ET Models have now released two sets for it, one for the interior and one for the exterior. As with their other sets, these come in the standard ET packaging of poly bag with card header. The main sheets are taped onto black card, whilst the smaller sheets are contained in a zip lock poly bag, and the instructions of 41/2 sides of A4 are on green paper. These are very clear and well laid out, but they will still require careful reading before starting to assemble the etched parts, as some of the kit parts need to be altered or removed before these can be added. Where holes need to be cut or drilled there are clear measurements to help the modeller get it right. Plastic or brass rod of various diameters will also be required to use as directed. Exterior Set (E35-184). The first operation before cutting any etch out of the sheets is the removal of all the window hinges, rear bumpers, front clamps and GAZ logo and the windscreen wipers. These are all replaced with etched parts the hinges being the trickiest with the two hinge parts being bent to shape then joined by a short length of plastic or brass rod depending on your preference. Other items to be replaced include the tow cable for which a length of wire is included in the set and the fourteen clamps that hold the cable to the side of the vehicle. The tow cable eye pieces need to be removed from the kit part to be joined onto the ends of the metal wire. The windscreen wipers have new wipers and their associated motor covers. The rear bumpers look like they will be rather challenging to bend to shape but ET have provided a scale drawing of how it should look to help the modeller. The items that go to completely replace the kit parts include a new shovel blade, and saw with their clamps, new clamps for the axe, replacement number plates, front and rear mud guards, underbody armoured panels, a new pintle for the machine gun, which also receives a new ammunition box, lid, holder and a length of ammunition belt. Also included in the set is a pair of round ammunition containers that presumably are to be randomly placed within the vehicle should the modeller not wish to buy the interior set. Interior Set (E35-195). This set is quite a bit larger than the above set, mainly due to the detail that is already in the kit interior. The set contains all new replacement parts for the main vertical ammunition rack for the rectangular ammunition cases. This is quite a complex assembly and is made up of the four sides plus four shelves along with a small container on the top and the flask holder on the side. To each shelve two piece straps are added which will look very effective in situ. There are three horizontal ammunition racks, which hold the either the circular or rectangular cases. These are each made up of a folded main rack piece, into which four angles dividers are fitted. To the completed racks each divided section is fitted with a four piece strap. Two of these racks sit on the rear wheel arches whilst the third is fitted with an extra angled part underneath so that it sits correctly on the box on the left hand side just in front of the wheel arch. Fitted to the rear of the vehicle on the left hand side near the doors is another large rack. This is made up of an open fronted frame that’s folded to shape, then fitted with a vertical divider and a single shelf. This rack is fitted with four more rectangular ammunition boxes, whilst two support brackets fitted to the side away from the door with associated straps is for a very large ammunition box. With the main racks built up and fitted there are two smaller stowage racks for the light anti-tank rocket launchers and these are fitted to the hull sides just above the windows. There are three racks are included in the set for the storage of six launchers. The rest of the interior parts make up new blinds for each window, new pedals for the driver, window latches and openers, new locks for the rear doors and new grilles for the radiator, oil cooler and intake on the right hand side of the front wing. To populate some of the racking there parts for six circular ammunition cans, four very large rectangular boxes and four standard sized rectangular cans. If required the kit parts could be used to fill any empty spaces in the racks with the etched parts closest to the doors. Conclusion This is another great set from ET Models, even though some may question whether it’s really need after Meng had done such a great job on the kit. Well that’s up to the individual, but I feel that these sets raise the bar and provided lots of little touches that will make the model stand out from the crowd. Particularly if the doors are to be posed open to show off all the fiddly work that is required to get the best from the sets. Recommended Review Sample courtesy of
  18. Etched set for German Jagdpanzer 38(T) Hetzer 1:35 ET Models E35-128 The Jagdpanzer 38(t) (Sd.Kfz. 138/2), later known as Hetzer ("baiter"), was a German light tank destroyer of the Second World War based on a modified Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis. The project was inspired by the Romanian "Mareşal" tank destroyer. The Jagdpanzer 38(t) was intended to be more cost-effective than the much more ambitious Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger designs of the same period. Using a proven chassis, it avoided the mechanical problems of the larger armoured vehicles. It was better armoured than the thinly armoured earlier Panzerjäger Marder and Nashorn with a sloped armour front plate of 60 mm sloped back at 60 degrees from the vertical (equivalent in protection to about 120 mm), carried a reasonably powerful 75mm gun, was mechanically reliable, small and easily concealed. It was also cheap to build. Yet another set in the ever increasing range of detail sets from ET Models, this one is for the Tamiya JagdPanzer 38(t) Hetzer. Packaged in the usual manner of a card headed thick poly sleeve, in which there are two medium sized sheets of relief etched brass taped to a black backing sheet. One small brass sheet and one small etched nickel sheet are contained inside a small poly zip lock bag. In another small zip lock bag there are four end pieces for the towing cable and a length of silver coloured twisted wire to make up the cables themselves. The construction begins with the front and rear mud flaps and foot plates. These come as flat pieces of brass and will therefore need a ballpoint pen run down each indented line, giving them a 3D effect of the treadplate. To the finished plates the strengthening ribs and brackets are fitted before the assemblies are fixed to the kit hull. As with preceding sets from ET there are numerous new straps and clamps for the engineering tools, jack, spare track links and the tow cable storage rack. There are also new brackets for the exhaust and silencer, headlights and aerial base. A replacement engine intake surround and grille are fitted to the rear of the hull, whilst a storage box with clasp is attached to the left hand footplate. Grab handles are provided for fitting all round the upper sides of the hull and steps for the rear hull. The curved periscope is replaced with a new brass item with attachment. The commanders hatch is provided with new internal and external hinges and locking mechanism, whilst the machine gun has new shields and a new sight. To finish off the set provides new side skirts with their respective hangers and brackets. Conclusion This set is quite small compared with some of the sets ET have released, but there is certainly enough here to appease most detail buffs. I think this would be a very good set for a novice PE user to get to grips with doing a full tank load, seeing as the Hetzer is only small anyway. Highly Recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  19. Etched set for American M4A3(76)W Sherman for Tasca 1:35 ET Models E35-148 The Sherman medium tank is one of the most well known tanks of World War II, if not in the history of mechanised warfare. The version that this etched set is dedicated to is the that of the Tasca M4A3(76)W that began to be introduced in 1944 and was to become one of the most popular marks of Sherman to be used by the Allied forces. Introducing a new 76mm gun and improved stowage of the main gun ammunition in the lower hull with a wet system of protection, (hence the W) it was also one of the safest Shermans built, being less likely to cook off like the earlier versions. Protected in ET Models standard card headed thick poly sleeve the set comes on six different sized sheets of relief etched brass. The instructions, on their usual green A4 sheets are clearly laid out, but it still pays to read them carefully to ensure the parts are folded the right way and fitted to the correct position on the model. Each of the sheets are of the same thickness and there doesn’t appear to any noticeable flaws in the etched parts. The instructions begin with the removal of all the kit detail parts that are to be replaced with etched items, such as the straps and clamps for the engineering tools. These include items for the spade, sledge hammer, wrecking bar, axe and pick axe head. There is some interesting folding required for each of the track guides that are fitted to the tops of the suspension mounts. The largest assembly included in the set is that of the storage rack fitted to the rear of the tanks hull. The assembly is all brass and requires no parts from the kit, thusly it is very detailed, with the rear and bottom boards attached together by three hinges. At each end there are folding stays and strengthening brackets beneath the bottom board. The whole assembly is then attached to the hull by three more hinges with the use of brass or styrene rod to act as the hinge rods. Finally there are eight handles fitted four to the back board and four to the bottom. The rack assembly can be posed either opened up and fitted out with the modellers choice of equipment or folded away. Either side of the main storage rack are the two smaller racks for the spare track link stowage. Again these will make for some interesting and precise folding to ensure each side is symmetrical. Forward and aft of the tanks sides, just above the tracks, are a pair of brackets, the forward ones have the new front mudguards attached to them. Bolted lengths of brass are attached to both sides of the lower hull between the two main brackets. Moving to the turret there are a several small brackets fitted aft of the aerial mount and forward of the commanders cupola. The periscope protection guards are folded and fitted to the gunners, drivers and co-drivers hatches. On the hull two more brackets are built up and are used for the storage of the tow cable. The M2 0.5” machine gun is very well detailed, with new firing handles, forward and rear gun sights, barrel perforated section, where it attaches to the breech housing, barrel removal handle and cocking lever mechanism. Attached to the gun is a n all new ammunition canister rack with ammunition guide, locking clamps and handles. Now the set includes enough parts to make up five ammunition boxes, each with carrying handles, and latches. If the modeller so wishes these can be posed open and there are several lengths of 50 cal ammunition belt to give an impression of a full box. Conclusion This is another superb set from ET Models. Again though it is not a huge set and there shouldn’t be to many problems with the parts, apart from those mentioned above. If the modeller has a little bit of experience and perhaps a nice folding tool then there shouldn’t be any worries with folding even the more complex items. Tasca have produce a very nice Sherman in this kit, but the etch will really bring it alive with those extra additions that injection moulds can’t deal with, particularly where scale thickness is concerned. Highly recommended Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  20. Etched set for Russian T-26 Light Tank MOD 1931 for HobbyBoss 1:35 ET Models E35-167 The T-26 tank was a Soviet light infantry tank used during many conflicts of the 1930s as well as during World War II. It was a development of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank and is widely considered one of the most successful tank designs of the 1930s. It was produced in greater numbers than any other tank of the period, with more than 11,000 manufactured. During the 1930s, the USSR developed a record number of 53 variants of the T-26, including different combat vehicles based on its chassis (flame-throwing tanks, combat engineer vehicles, remotely controlled tanks, self-propelled guns, artillery tractors, armoured carriers). Twenty-three of these were series-produced, others were experimental models. The Hobbyboss T-26 Mod1931 is a great little kit, having recently built one I couldn’t really see a need for any etch, other than that which came with the kit. But ET Models obviously don’t feel the same way as they have released this two sheet set just for this version. The larger of the two sheets is bigger than the model itself. Most of the sheet is taken up with the replacement fenders, which will need particular care when folding and bending into the correct shape. The myriad of straps and support brackets are also included. As with the other ET sets, there are a number of hinges and the like that will need the modeller to supply the correct gauge styrene or brass rod. The main storage box on the right hand side of the tank is completely replaced with a new brass item and comes complete with new hinges, catches, brackets, handles and locking clasp. Each of the tool tie downs are replaced with new brass items and this will require the removal of the kit details first. For these ET have even included the smallest details such as the wing nuts for releasing the tool clamps. On the rear deck of the tank, just aft of the turrets is a large air intake. Once again the kit part is completely replaced with a brass assembly consisting of the main surround into which the individual shutter parts are attached. Now this does make for a better look as the completed assembly is of a more scale thickness. Staying aft, there is another intake on the left hand side, just forward of the exhaust silencer, this will also need some careful bending to get the curve right and is also fitted with two grilles, The silencer is also another fun part to get right as the modeller will have to roll the flat brass part to the correct diameter before adding the end pieces and the three clamp supports. Whilst working on the engine deck, there are several grab handles and lifting handles fitted along with a couple of inspection ports. The main turret plate is fitted with extensions to either side and again the kit parts are replaced with brass bent to shape and attached to their respective positions. The drivers hatch plates are also replaced with brass and detailed with hinges, catches and internal latches, whilst the turret hatches only have external details fitted. If the model being built includes the 37mm gun in the right turret then there is a new shield provided. Conclusion Having said at the beginning of this review that I didn’t think the model required this much etch, I can see now that the scale thickness of most parts would be much improved with this set. It is surprising how much detail ET Models have included as apart from the hull and turrets there isn’t a part that hasn’t been changed or replaced. I will definitely be getting another T-26 kit to be able to compare the difference between one model with no etch and on with a complete etch makeover. Highly Recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  21. Tiger1 Mid/Late Production Engine Grilles for Dragon ET Models 1:35 EA35-078 This is another of those small sets released for those who just like to add a little bit of extra detail, or add some finesse to certain parts of their models. Designed for the Dragon Tiger 1 mid/late production, the set provides four grilles, two large for the engine deck, two medium for the rear decking. These items fit over their respective intakes. They are very thin so care should be taken when removing them from the fret and when handling, although these grilles did get dented in use so don’t worry too much if they don’t completely flat in places. Using CA or hypo GA glue there shouldn’t be a problem for any modeller to use them. Conclusion A nice and simple set to use, perfect for those who haven’t used etched parts before or those modeller who are more than happy adding just the minimum to get what they want out of a model. Recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  22. Etched set for Russian PT-76 MOD 1951 1:35 ET Models S35-014 The PT-76 has a typical tank layout: the steering compartment at the front, the combat compartment in the center and the engine compartment at the back. The tank has a three-man crew, with the commander also acting as the radio operator and gunner. This reduces his effectiveness as an observer. The commander and loader stations are located inside the turret, the commander sits on the left-hand side of the main gun and the loader sits on the right. They have a large oval shaped double hatch which opens forwards on top of the turret. The driver sits in the center of the front of the hull and has a one piece hatch that opens to the right, with three vision blocks and periscopes located beneath the main gun at the top of the sloping glacis plate. Under the driver's seat there is an emergency hatch which can be used by all crew members. At night the center periscope is swapped for a TVN-28 night vision device which gives the driver clear vision up to 60 meters. Its main armament consists of a 76.2 mm D-56T series rifled tank gun which has an effective range of approximately 1,500 meters and a rate of fire of six to eight rounds per minute. This gun is 42 calibres long. The PT-76 carries 40 rounds for its gun. A typical ammunition load consists of 24 x OF-350 Frag-HE, 4 x sub-calibre AP-T, 4 x AP-T and 8 x BK-350M HEAT rounds. The gun is mounted in an oval dish-type circular truncated cone turret with flat sloping sides which is mounted over the second, third, and fourth pair of road wheels. All PT-76s have a fume extractor for the main gun at the rear of the turret. The 7.62 mm SGMT coaxial medium machine gun comes with 1,000 rounds. This weapon has a maximum effective range of 1,000 meters in daylight while the vehicle is stationary, 400 to 500 meters in daylight while the vehicle is on the move and 600 meters at night. Maximum range is 1,500 meters. It can be fired in 2 to 10 round bursts and has a practical rate of fire of 250 rounds per minute and a cyclic rate of fire of 650 rounds per minute. From 1967 the machine gun was replaced with PKT of the same calibre. The commander/gunner has a cupola on the left side of the double hatch. The cupola has the TPKU-2B observation device and two TNP day periscopes and can be rotated 360 degrees by hand. The commander also has a 4X optical sight mounted to the left of the main armament and a TShK-66 sight/rangefinder. The loader has the MK-4 observation device mounted on the turret's roof in front of the hatch. S35-014 The Trumpeter PT-76 is one of their older releases, so it’s surprising that there haven’t been that many aftermarket items released for it. So finally ET Models have turned their attentions into designing a detail set for it. Now, this set is a in their value range and is made up of the details set E35-080 and the Fender set E35-082. Together there are six sheets of relief etched brass, a resin aerial base and a turned metal barrel for the 7.92mm machine gun. Four of the brass sheets are taped to the standard issue black card, whilst the two smallest sheets, aerial base and barrel are held in a separate zip lock poly bag. The instructions, on their green paper are for the most part very clear, but there are a couple of sub-assemblies that aren’t shown where they fit on the model so check with the kit instructions and make your own mind up on where they go. One of them I can only presume that they are the water jet outlets which will only be needed if the outlet doors are positioned open. The first parts to be built up are the various brackets and clamps, plus a new spade blade, tie downs for the spade, pick axe and spare shackles. There are new clips to be attached to the towing hooks, the two outlets mentioned above and ten new grab handles. The spare fuel cans on the rear decking are fitted with new handles, filler cap and tie down straps whilst each of the engine bay doors are fitted with new lifting handles. The engine intake grilles are replaced with new ones from the set and the exhaust vanes are replaced with new brass ones with their upper and lower locating plates. Up front on the drivers hatch cupola the three kit periscopes are removed and replaced by brass units. To the rear, the fire extinguisher has a new clamps and hull mounts. Returning to the bow, the lights are fitted with new catches and mounts, whilst their protective cages are completely replaced with very fine brass items and fitted with new hinges and locking plates, complete with separate wing nuts. The bows spray guard is completely replaced by a brass unit, and is made up of the front plate, the rear strengthening lattice, three lower hinges and the two side arms which raise or lower the guard as required. There a number of scratch built parts also required, such as side mounting blocks and styrene or brass pins. The turret has quite a few new parts added. Most notably new hatch hinges, periscopes for the commanders cupola, a complex searchlight mount, spare track clamps, a secondary rotatable periscope fitted just behind the searchlight, the turned brass machine gun barrel replaces the kit item and the aerial base. The kits aerial will need some care to remove, as it within a curved indented mount on the turret. If the turrets hatch is to be posed open, then the interior latches and handle are also provided as is the protective ring around the shell port at the rear of the turret. The main communication aerial around the turret is fitted with ne supports and there are several grab handles around the base of the turret. Finally the main gun is fitted with a clamp, like a large jubilee clip where it meets the mantle. Fender set (E35-082) This single sheet set has exactly what it says on the card. The two fenders are each fitted with their respective supports, and strengthening beams. The forward and rear mudguards are then bent to shape and glued into position. Construction looks to be fairly simple, but will make for a much better scale thickness on the model. Conclusion This is a very nice set, and with not too many really small items, should be fairly easy to use, The only real problem are I can see is the removal of the kits aerial, so I would say that is optional if the modeller doesn’t feel up to the job or doesn’t have the right tools it won’t make too much difference. With a bit of care when bending the various parts, some good tweezers and a bit of patience, this set will really enhance the model taking it to another level of realism. Highly recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  23. Etched set for 2S6M Tunguska (Panda Models) 1:35 ET Models E35-169 Development of the 9K22 anti-aircraft system began on 8 June 1970. At the request of the Soviet Ministry of Defence, the KBP Instrument Design Bureau in Tula, under the guidance of the appointed Chief Designer AG Shipunov, started work on a 30–mm anti-aircraft system as a replacement for the 23–mm ZSU-23-4. The project, code-named "Tunguska," was undertaken to improve on observed shortcoming of the ZSU-23-4 (short range and no early warning) and a counter to new ground attack aircraft in development such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II which was designed to be highly resistant to 23 mm cannons. Studies were conducted and demonstrated that a 30 mm cannon would require two-to-three times fewer shells to destroy a given target than the 23 mm cannon of the ZSU-23-4, and that firing at a MiG-17 (or similarly at, in case of war, NATO's Hawker Hunter or Fiat G.91) flying at 300 m/s, with an identical mass of 30 mm projectiles would result in a kill probability of 1.5 times greater than with 23 mm projectiles. An increase in the maximum engagement altitude, from 2,000 to 4,000 m and increased effectiveness when engaging lightly armoured ground targets were also cited] The initial requirements set for the system were to achieve twice the performance in terms of range, altitude and combat effectiveness than the ZSU-23-4, additionally the system should have a reaction time no greater than 10 seconds] Due to the similarities in fire control of artillery and missiles it was decided that Tunguska would be a combined gun and missile system. By combining guns and missiles, the system is more effective than the ZSU-23-4, engaging targets at long-range with missiles, and shorter range targets with guns. In addition to KBP as the primary contractor other members of the Soviet military industrial complex were involved in the project, the chassis were developed at the Minsk tractor factory, the radio equipment at the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Factory Ulyanovsk, central computer at NIEMI ('Antey'), guidance and navigational systems by VNII "Signal" and optics were developed by the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association LOMO. However development was slowed between 1975 and 1977 after the introduction of the 9K33 Osa missile system, which seemed to fill the same requirement but with greater missile performance. After some considerable debate it was felt that a purely missile based system would not be as effective at dealing with very low flying attack helicopters attacking at short range with no warning as had been proven so successful in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Since the reaction time of a gun system is around 8–10 seconds, compared to the reaction time of missile-based system, approximately 30 seconds, development was restarted. The initial designs were completed in 1973 with pilot production completed in 1976 at the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Factory. System testing and trials were conducted between September 1980 and December 1981 on the Donguzskom range. It was officially accepted into service on 8 September 1982 and the initial version designated 2K22/2S6, with four missiles in the ready to fire position (two on each side). The Tunguska entered into limited service from 1984 when the first batteries were delivered to the army. After a limited production run of the original 9K22, an improved version designated 2K22M/2S6M entered service in 1990. The 2K22M featured several improvements with eight ready-to-fire missiles (four on each side) as well as modifications to the fire control programs, missiles and the general reliability of the system. Tunguska underwent further improvement when in 2003 the Russian armed forces accepted the Tunguska-M1 or 2K22M1 into service. The M1 introduced the new 9M311-M1 missile which made a number of changes allowing the 2K22M1 to engage small targets like cruise missiles by replacing the eight-beam laser proximity fuse with a radio fuse. Additional modification afforded greater resistance to infrared countermeasures by supplementing the missile tracking flare with a pulsed IR beacon. Other improvements included an increased missile range to 10 km, improved optical tracking and accuracy, improved fire control co-ordination between components of a battery and the command post. Overall the Tunguska-M1 has a combat efficiency 1.3–1.5 times greater than the Tunguska-M] The Tunguska family was until recently a unique and highly competitive weapons system, though in 2007 the Pantsir gun and missile system entered production at KBP—a descendant of the Tunguska, the Pantsir system offers even greater performance than its predecessor. Now this is quite a comprehensive set for the Panda 2S6M Tunguska, which was a very pleasant surprise when it was released at SMW Telford 2012. The kit itself is very well detailed and the number of the parts means that once removed it difficult to get everything back in and the lid on without bulging. ET Models have obviously identified plenty of areas on the vehicle that could benefit for a large selection of relief etched brass. The comprehensive nature of the set is shown in the fact that there are four and a half pages of instruction, printed on their standard green paper. E35-169 The set comprises of one large and three medium sized sheets, plus a resin aerial base. As per usual some of the kit details need to be removed before adding the brass parts and the modeller will have to supply their own stock of styrene or brass rod for use I the hinges etc. The instructions don’t following sheet lettering in order so I’ll describe what’s included by following the instructions. The first sub-assemblies to be built up are those for the various clamps and brackets for the various tools etc. Then it’s onto the distinctive radar dish on the rear of the turret. This receives new mounting structures and support brackets for the central transceiver box that sticks out from the centre of the dish. The rear electronics boxes also get new perforated cover plates, and mounting brackets. Next, two storage boxes are assembled completely out of brass and attached to the rear sides of the turret. The outer gun of each pair has a rather unusual structure around the muzzle, and this is built up out of three brackets and three rods then slipped over the muzzle and glued into place. The next stage of assembly concentrates on the turret with the addition of a new mount for the IR searchlight and three vision ports around the mounts hatch. To the rear of the turret a new IR detector, (or at least that’s what it looks like), is attached to the right hand side, whilst a grating is fitted in the same position on the left hand side. Under the search radar two more clamps hare fitted. The rear of the gun breeches the is what looks like an ejector port, and to the rear of the missile launchers the quite complex blast deflectors are added. Right at the rear of the turret there are several new handle and clamps fitted to the rear access door beneath the search radar. Moving onto the hull there are new mudguards for the front fenders, lots of new clamps, brackets and hand holds fitted to the bow. The headlights get new shrouds and a large protective cover fits over each pair. There is an air conditioning intake on the right had side that receives a new mesh grille, as does the main engine intake. The main engine access door has new main hinges applied along with two small inspection hatches. The engineering tools such as the spades are fitted with new blades and clamps whilst the double handed saw is completely replaced with brass along with its associated brackets and clamps. The rear lights receive new support brackets, the rear decking has several new hand holds attached and the rear plate has what looks like folded PSP plating which is held onto the vehicle by etched chains. The rear mudguards are also fitted to the rear and two vents are fitted to the right hand side just aft of the turret. Conclusion Yet another super set from ET models. I understand there a few faults with the panda model, but with the addition of this set I think the amount of detail will hide most of them. As usual you will require some fine tools and a fair amount of patience to get the most of this set as some of the parts are tiny and yet still need folding. This set will certainly bring the best out this unusual vehicle. Highly recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  24. Weighted Road Wheels for BRDM-2 (Trumpeter) 1:35 ET Models ER35-051 This set of four resin tyres and four hubs are designed as direct replacements for the vinyl tyres I the kit, which although looking of, they do take paint that well and have been known to perish over time. The set comes in the standard carded thick poly sleeve with the tyres and hubs held in separate poly bags. The resin appears to be quite hard so they should sag over time. Each tyre has its moulding block positioned on the realistically flattened area that gives the visual effect of there being some weight to the vehicle, so will not be visible on the completed model. Although for use on the early version, the tread on the tyres looks to be accurate for both the BRDM-2 , BRDM-2UM and even the BRDM-2 with Spigot or Spandrel ATM’s, as are the hubs. The hubs moulding block is on the side of each hub. The connecting point is quite small and should be easy to remove, leaving just a small mark that a couple of swipes with a sanding stick would sort out. Since the mark is on the outside of the hub it will not be seen as it will be inside the tyre. CA or 5 minute epoxy glues should be used to connect the parts together which should also eliminate any gaps around the hub. Conclusion This set of tyres and hubs are beautifully moulded to ET Models usual standard with no sign of air bubbles or flaws. They will make a marked difference on the completed models by being easier to paint and a lot better looking than the kit tyres. They apper to be able to used on other manufacures models as well, which may be handy, Highly recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  25. Russian BTR-70 APC Early E35-160 1:35 ET Model With the release of the Trumpeter BTR-70, ET Models didn’t waste much time in getting this set out. The set comes packaged in their standard card headed thick poly sleeve, with the etched sheets taped to black card and the instructions on green A4 sheets. ET Models have included two sheets of relief etch brass, one small sheet of what looks like etched nickel, a turned brass 7.92mm machine gun barrel and resin 14.5mm machine gun barrel and aerial base. The instructions in the review pack have a faded section on page two, but you can still just make out what’s to be assembled. Other than that they are very clear and well laid out, but they will still require careful reading before starting to assemble the etched parts, as some of the kit parts need to be altered or removed before these can be added. Where holes need to be cut or drilled there are clear measurements to help the modeller get it right. Plastic or brass rod of various diameters will also be required to use as directed. The two windscreens for the driver and co-driver are also required to be hand made out of acetate sheet as, unlike other sets, they are not included in this one. Unlike the sets for the BTR-60’s this set is rather basic, in that it doesn’t come with the waterjet intake grid or the impellor and shroud, making this a much easier set to work with. That doesn’t mean it’s bereft of detail as most people won’t notice the intake and the waterjet outlet is covered by a door anyway. In fact there is nothing for the underside of the vehicle with all the detail being added to the upper hull, where it will be actually be seen. The majority of the etched parts build up into the many sub-assemblies that make up the numerous hinges, brackets, access doors and hatches, gun port covers. If the hatches are to be posed open then there are locking latches and handles for each hatch. The drivers and co-drivers windscreens and hatch covers are made up of the internal surround, handmade acetate window, external surround, windscreen wiper and outer cover with its associated hinges, when complete, and fitted to the model, these assemblies will look really good. The etched nickel parts make up the gratings for the rear storage racks, covering the kits tubular structures. The kits strengthening webs between the engine intakes are removed and replaced with etched parts and the support brackets are added forward, between each pair of intakes. The turret receives a new mantlet, optical sights, whilst the 14.5mm gun gets a new support structure and barrel brackets onto which the resin barrel can be attached. Once these are fitted, the brass 7.92mm machine gun barrel can be added. Conclusion What can I say, other than this is another great and very useful set from ET Models. Maybe not as complex or comprehensive than the sets for the other BTR’s, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact it might entice modellers new to PE to give it a try. That said, the quality and detail are still superb and will certainly make great additions to the completed model. As with the other sets, there are numerous very small parts, so good pair of pliers or tweezers are a must, as is a fair amount of patience. Recommended. Available soon from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
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