The standard of etching is again excellent with good relief where needed and clean crisp etching on parts such as the intake mesh and the usual engraved bending lines to make this easier where required.
One thing is this set is very similar to the recent ABER (set #35 200) and Voyager (set #PE 35112) 38(t) update sets with many of the same parts provided which could be that there are only so many details that can be added to the basically sound Tristar kits but with the addition of the resin machine guns which are offered separately by Voyager (set #ME-A092).
The main etched feature is the complete fenders with separate fender supports to replace the kit fenders. You will have to emboss out the long raised ribs which can be done using a ball point pen or similar but a consequence of this process is the fender will curl or distort as you emboss the ribs and you need to flatten the fender again which can also reduce the embossing effect.
This occurs with all parts requiring this type of embossing and annealing the fender before embossing helps a little when straightening the fender but doesn’t reduce the deforming, using a hard or soft surface to rest the part on while embossing gives similar results. This is not just with this set but all sets from any manufacturer that requires this embossing and some effort is required to get results.
But moving on the edges of the fenders have small lips that are bent using a good etched bending tool and this helps keep the fenders straight as do the separate mounting brackets and to fit to the kit you have to cut off the locating strip for the kit fenders.
As mentioned you get a replacement ZB-37 Machine Gun for the driver’s plate but the instructions don’t mention this, only the turret gun but fitting is very straightforward so this is not a problem.
The resin gun includes the inner receiver, ball mounting and outer barrel cradle with a finely machined barrel with delicate cooling fins with the flash suppressor hollowed out as well as the fine sight vane in etched metal. There is no locating hole for the barrel in the resin part so you will have to drill this but take care to get this in the right position so the barrel sits level in the cradle.
The ball is better sized than with the Voyager ZB-37 Machine Gun (set #ME-A092) but there is no sight hole above the barrel and as the ball curvature extends a little too far forward it may be difficult to add this.
At the back are alternate mesh screens for the engine intakes that provide the two different styles seen, one diamond shape and the other rectangular shape mesh and you will have to glue the mesh to the kit grills (part D1) as it is too small to fit inside the etched frame (etched part D1) but this shouldn’t be problem.
The grills located under the lip of the engine access hatches are provided as finely etched parts with the correct rectangular mesh as do the Tristar etched grills and the actual grills. So why do you need the new grills? The only difference is they have slightly finer mesh than the Tristar grills but this is hardly noticeable and if you aren’t showing the engine doors open this won’t be seen anyway with the grills fitting perfectly into the kit door recess.
The large smoke grenade rack is made up of 14 etched parts that builds into a nicely detailed box that simply replaces the kit plastic parts.
Also in etched parts is the typical perforated storage box with workable hinges for the door using thin wire (not provided) with the brackets for the jack added on top and again this simply replaces the kit box.
Other details for the hull include all the tool clips and brackets as well as a new spade head along with alternate tail light brackets and details plus the spare track rack on the glacis and the aerial mount and details for the inside of the driver’s plate visors.
For the turret there are a couple of smaller roof brackets with the main update being the replacement aluminium barrel which has the muzzle slightly drilled out to about 4mm and the co-ax machine gun with the comments on the hull MG also applying here.
As with previous 38(t) barrels determining the correct length can sometimes be a challenge if you don’t have an original to run a tape measure over and this is no different with four sets of 1:35 plans in the MBI “Praga” book, the Panzer Tracts No.21-1 Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen, the Tank Power Vol.XXI PzKpfw 38 (t) book and Ground Power Magazine #064 with all showing the barrel at different lengths?
Elsewhere in the MBI book is a scape illustration (page 77, not to scale) but showing that the exposed length of the barrel along the top is a fraction less than 1 meter which in 1:35 scale is 28.5mm.
So where does this leave the three plans? Those in the MBI book
show a barrel length of 27.0mm (short by 1.5mm) which also means the plans
don’t match information elsewhere in the book and the barrel is not the
only discrepancy here with the hull length in the plans being 2mm shorter than
the stated length of 4560mm, but that’s another story.
The Panzer Tracts plan barrel length is 30.0mm, the Tank Power plan barrel length is 29.25mm being the closest of the three at just 0.75mm longer and those in the Ground Power show 31mm for 2.5mm too long.
Back to the Lion Roar barrel, this measures at 30.0mm which given the information on page 77 of the MBI book is correct has the barrel 1.5mm too long which is not a lot but this can be rectified when fitting the barrel to the kit gun.
The length issue is helped by the fact that the base of the barrel is slightly thicker than the hole in the kit mantlet and it will not fit all the way though with a couple of millilitres exposed out the back and leaving about 29mm of the barrel exposed which is just 0.5mm more than the length inicated.
But to accommodate the internal metal barrel you have to cut a little more from gun (part B-16) than for the other barrels back to the rear of the trunnions, this is fairly easy to do but it does mean the flair of the barrel is partially hidden inside the mantlet but may not be that noticeable. The mantlet (part B-17) then slips neatly into place over the barrel with a very snug fit and the remainder of the kit is assembled as per instructions.
This set again provides many of the finer details plus the full fenders although these will need care when embossing the ribs and the rear engine intake grill adds a nice touch with the alternate mesh provided.
The barrel requires a bit of work to get the correct length and the resin/metal machine guns adds a nice touch with this set giving you most updates in the one set that are provided separately in the other sets.
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Also see the review for set #LE35080 Pz.Kpfw
See the 38(t) Subject Page for reviews of additional update sets for available 38(t) kits.
LT vz.38 P zKpfw 38(t)
TANKS & ARMOUR:
Special Museum Line No.38
Wings & Wheels Publications
PzKpfw 38(t) in action
|Ground Power Magazine
#064 - 9/1999
Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan
German Light Tank 38(t)
|Panzer Tracts No.21-1
Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen
Panzer Turrets on Concreteand Wood Stands
Thomas L Jentz and
Hilary Louis Doyle
Thanks to my credit card and for the review set.
Page created February 11, 2007