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Mike

Somua Update Set (36322 for Tamiya) 1:35

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Somua Update Set (36322 for Tamiya)
1:35 Eduard


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Tamiya's recent release is a little gem of a kit, and this Photo-Etch (PE) brass set is designed to build upon their work, upping the detail to a level that styrene injection just can't compete with. Arriving in their usual flat pack with card insert protecting the PE and the instructions, it consists of one large sheet of PE brass that is full of parts, some tiny and some quite large.

The first items that receive attention are the front and rear fenders, which are moulded into the kit hull. These are removed carefully and replaced by PE parts that have their ends curved over to mimic the originals, whilst offering a very much more scale thickness, which you can distress if you see the need. The new fenders are equipped with replacement light and horn housings, which are again closer to scale thickness than the kit parts. The moulded-in stowage bin handles are shaved off next to be traded for tiny replicas, which have infinitesimal upstands folded in. Brackets, handles, and stays are added around the hull, with some additional parts added to the mud-shedding fairings under the sponsons, one important one being a tongue of metal that scrapes the mud from between the teeth of the drive-sprocket.

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Prominent vertical stowage boxes line the starboard side of the hull, and these have their moulded-in straps swapped out for more realistic PE straps with buckles, plus the two hangers that suspend them from the rail on which they sit. At the rear are an arrangement of tail-pipe brackets, plus rear running-lights, brackets and an aft stowage "shelf" above the replacement light cluster.


Conclusion
In terms of scope, it doesn't have many areas that it improves, but what it does is remove a great deal of the surfaces that would "give the game away" by being over-thick due to the limitations of injection moulding. The finer detail also goes a long way to improve realism.

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of
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