This is a complete hollow shell with separate roof and front panel and again is perfectly cast without any warpage or blemishes and features very subtle weld seam details and roof flush bolt details. The fit of the roof was perfect except for some minor trimming required along the front to mate with the turret front panel (a bit less than .05mm) but obviously test fitting will determine what if any trimming is needed.
When removing the casting block from the turret front (part 7) you have to carefully trim the excess resin from the inside of the part level with the rest of the part so this will fit to the turret snugly.
The turret roof features the bolt flanges around the cupola opening to secure the cupola and these correspond to the flanges on the bottom of the multi-part split hatch cupola which is the same as that in set #MP 35-126.
The inner Tamiya gun mantlet parts (C5, C6 and C11) fit directly inside the resin turret front panel to which is attached the new mantlet and short barrelled 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 with separate aerial deflector which is a very delicate piece of casting and will require care when removing the excess casting resin. If you wish to use the Tamiya gun breech, modifications will be required by cutting of the long barrel from the breech/barrel halves (parts C20, C21) and fitting this to the rear of Tamiya part C11.
The turret front panel also features the correct two vision ports for the Ausf.F with separate armoured covers which can be positioned open on the brackets included with the resin covers, if you wish to show the covers closed simple cut off the brackets.
The inner side doors hinges (Tamiya parts C27) fit precisely inside the hatch openings on the resin turret with the Tamiya kit doors (parts G10, G11, G12 and G13) then fitting to the hinges as they do with the Tamiya kit and can obviously be assembled open or closed.
Other smaller resin details include delicate rain guards above the side doors, the top of the ventilator and the small lifting hooks on the upper turret walls.
Other Tamiya parts used on the resin turret are the co-ax machine gun (part C4) and the rear turret bin assembly while the fit of the resin turret ring to the Tamiya upper hull cut-out is very good with only very minor movement forward and back but none sideways which is more than acceptable.
Overall the turret is a superb assembly and almost a kit in itself with excellent
details and very good fit of resin to resin and resin to plastic parts.
The hull receives many resin parts, some of which replace the Tamiya parts without modification while others will require some minor surgery to the kit.
Two direct replacements are the rear hull upper and lower panels with the lower panel having separate resin idler mountings and new engine muffler which incorporates the supporting brackets and weld seam on the muffler. This panel includes the small detail changes applicable to the Ausf.F as well as the row of bolts on the underside of the panel.
The upper rear panel also has the armoured smoke grenade cluster as a separate part and includes the bolt heads along the lower flange. The smoke grenade cluster has delicate mounting brackets and extra care will be needed when removing the casting block as it is between the brackets and is very easy to damage in the process.
The fit of the rear panels to the Tamiya hull is excellent with virtually no trimming needed, but again test fitting before gluing will determine if any is needed.
The engine deck receives new resin engine compartment doors with Ausf.F style cooling panels as well as a new centre hull ‘T’ panel which requires you to remove the left engine door and ‘T’ panel from the Tamiya hull. The new ‘T’ panel is basically the same as the Tamiya part but includes a row of recessed screw heads along the rear edge and it is your choice if you remove only the left engine door or the whole deck? The resin “T” part also had some warping that will require straightening with warm water before use and by removing only the left engine door and keeping the kit “T” panel in place will keep the integrity of the engine deck intact and make attaching the new upper rear panel easier as the extra work for the addition of just a row of screw heads may not be worth it, but it’s good to have that choice.
The fit of the resin engine bay doors to the Tamiya hull is very good with only some minor trimming needed which again will make life easier if the kit “T” panel is left intact.
The driver’s and co-driver’s hatches are replaced with resin items that incorporate the signal ports flaps applicable to the Ausf.F and these fit well to the Tamiya hatch and hinge openings for a straight replacement.
At the hull front is a new glacis plate with a bullet splash guard below the superstructure front panel and the locating hole for Tamiya part B43 filled as this is not used in the Ausf.F. The fit of the kit Tamiya transmission inspection doors (parts A12) is good but not as precise as other doors and this along with only minor improvements may again make life easier if the kit glacis is left intact with the modifications added as per the resin part, but again this is up to you?
The lower front armour panel is also replaced with the resin item and this has additional bolt heads on the side fillets and weld seam detail while the fit to the Tamiya hull is spot on making this again a simple replacement for the kit part.
The two Ausf.F style final drive housings are provided in resin with alternate bolted fillets for the early and later style and again these simply replace the kit items.
Other smaller items provided include the left side fold up crew step and the front Ausf.F style head lights, NOTEK light and ‘S’ brackets on the left fender.
The instructions are a small sheet with colour photos of the parts layout and of the resin parts called out by number in place on the Tamiya kit making it easy to see where they go, this is perfectly adequate as there are no real problem areas during construction.
This is a superb conversion set with highly detailed parts to incorporate all the alterations needed to make an accurate Ausf.F with the good fit of parts making the work needed much easier. The quality of the donor Tamiya kit will obviously help with the final result while the detail on the resin parts is equal to and in most cases better with a couple of areas where you can choose to use the full resin parts or just modified the kit parts to make life a little easier.
The work required should be well within the skills of most modellers who would consider a resin conversion resulting in a very attractive Ausf.F but some experience working with resin would help.
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Page created 6 September 2004