|ET MODEL - Kübelwagen Type 82 Detail Set|
A look at a new detail set from ET Model for the venerable Tamiya kit!
Kübelwagen Type 82 Detail Set
Manufacturer: ET Model
Material: Photo-etched brass, Resin & Metal
Serial Number: E35-129
ET Model from China has a rapidly expanding catalogue of photo-etched and detail sets for a wide variety of kits in varying scales, together with a very prolific release schedule. This set is intended to provide (almost) everything you need to super detail the Tamiya kit of the German Kübelwagen Type 82.
The set is supplied in the standard ET Model transparent wallet, stapled to a cardboard header. Inside, the two photo-etched brass frets are taped to a piece of strong black cardboard, plus there are two small ziploc bags, one holding a small cream-coloured resin part, the other containing three lengths of brass rod. The A4-sized instructions run to five sides of exploded line drawings.
I have to admit to having used several photo-etched sets for the Tamiya kit over the years, from various manufacturers. Almost without exception I have found them to be largely over-complicated, given the size of the vehicle, and in one specific area, always unacceptable. More of that later, so I was looking forward to reviewing this set from ET Model to see if they had addressed these areas.
First off we're given new clamps for the spade etc., on the side of the vehicle, which is to be expected. They're of the three-part type favoured by other photo-etch manufacturers, and although fiddly can be made to work, which certainly makes painting a lot easier since the tools can be left off until after painting is complete. We're also given a nee shovel blade to replace the kit one. Moving inside the vehicle, we're also instructed at this point to replace the two fixing straps around the fuel tank that sit's under the dash on the passenger's side of the cab. This necessitates the removal of the kit items that are moulded in situ.
Construction then moves to fixing and detailing the steering mechanism whereby the wheels can be made steerable or positionable. This is one the areas that totally defeated me in another set from another well-known manufacturer. I ended up opting for non-steering wheels! Examining the method ET Model has used, it actually does look easier than I remember. Of course, part of that may be due to my having a lot more experience now, but even allowing for that fact, the way they have designed the parts to be installed, which relies more on the use of fine plastic rod than parts having to be soldered together, does convince me that it's possible to make a good job of it with even a minimum of photo-etched experience. I don't think I would attempt it without some experience though!
There are new foot pedal faces for the drivers area, and new triangular plates to replace the kit moulded item between the sills and front fenders. A characteristic of this vehicle were the wooden duckboards inside, which are provided as moulded into the floor pan in the Tamiya kit. Although it would take some care and some time, ET Model has provided replacements in photo-etch. They even have a very fine woodgrain etched into their surface...something I'm not that sure of, but there's little doubt that as separate parts they provide much greater detail. If you look closely that is, since they're not that visible on the finished model.
Moving to the back of the vehicle, we're offered some new brackets for the inside left wall of the engine compartment, and inside surface of the engine cover itself. The cover is provided as a complete replacement, as is the entire engine housing, which consists of a frame, plus two separate hinged covers. These covers both have the long piano-type hinge that may prove troublesome to some modellers. Although it's nice to have both sets of hinges working of course, it is possible to cut the hinge flaps a little shorter and just cement them shut. Whichever road you decide to go down, the detail is far superior to the original Tamiya part. Where necessary all the ventilation slits etc., are etched open, and separate parts used to represent ribbing etc. Note that you'll have to supply your own rod for making up the piano hinges, and the rod supplied in the set is too large a diameter and intended for a different purpose. All the fixtures and fitting on the rear of the vehicle are supplied in the ET Model set, such as rear convoy light, number plate, rear light, reflector, starting crank cover, tie-downs fro along the top edge of the engine compartment etc.
For the right front fender we're supplied with a jerry can bracket. Although this doesn't feature in the Tamiya kit, there are enough period photographs to show that this arrangement existed, especially on the version as used in North Africa. Back inside the vehicle, there are new details provided to secure the two front seats, whcih require a fair amount of chopping of the kit parts, there's also a new dashboard fascia provided as photo-etch with a clear acetate insert. There's also a complete storage box provided with a working hasp for under the rear seat, and a complete set of door handles provided. Although these are 'flat' as photo-etch is, I've used them in the past and given them a more three-dimensional appearance by dripping some watery superglue onto them and allowing it to dry, so they're ok 'as is', but can be improved even more should you wish to.
Now we come to the area I've never been happy with in any aftermarket detail set for this vehicle from any manufacturer. The four rifle clamps attached to the cross member in front of the rear seat. I've always found the photo-etched replacements to be either too simplified or over complicated and impossible to make as indicated, and usually resort to using bits and making my own. As you can see from the solitary picture of them below, I therefore had to try! They came out a little wonky, and not as precise looking as I wanted, but since I had hurried them for this review, and intend having another go later, I don't see that as a problem, and at the very least I can see what's involved in building them, and how they're likely to look once installed. I have to say I'm very happy with them. ET Model have done a great job of designing something quite close to how they looked, and not too difficult to construct, being mainly a job of folding.
Moving forwards, the complete folding windscreen assembly is replaced too, the main structure of which is provided as one part that is folded over an acetate sheet, which is not supplied but most modellers will be able to lay their hands on an unused overhead acetate etc. Various fittings to fix to the windscreen are also supplied, such as rear view mirrors, side indicators, wipers, and of course the brackets that allow the windscreen itself to be raised or lowered. We even get the small catches that are fixed to the hood and hold the windscreen securely down when lowered. We're even supplied with a windscreen heater, that consists of a photo-etched double frame that folds in two and sandwiches a small acetate sheet that has horizontal markings on it. It's of the half-screen type, rather than the full length one that was sometimes fitted.
The small resin part that is included consists of a full Notek light for the front of the vehicle, and there's also a photo-etched base provided.
Lastly, as you can probably tell from the ET Model photographs shown below, there is also a full folding frame provided for the vehicle hood. Or at least the materials are provided to make one. This is where the brass rod that is supplied in the set will come in handy! If you look at the instructions for how to construct this, it looks hellishly complicated. It isn't. Although it could be if you used the method that the instructions suggest. They provide a 1:1 template to bend each of the three brass rods to. As long as these are bent to exactly the correct shape and size, then using plastic rod and a heated screwdriver it should virtually fall together. Well....you know what I mean! I've attempted one of these from a different manufacture a while ago, and believe me it was a lot more complicated. This one doesn't look like it will prove too difficult, and the result should be a fully working hood frame that you can then cover in the material of your choice, or just leave 'as is'.
To purchase this sort of set, with the amount of useable detail we're offered, would reasonably be expected to cost a lot more than it actually does. That word 'useable' is significant. There's not much here in the way of fret fillers, and that windscreen and foldable frame are the bees knees!
My thanks to ET MODEL for the review sample.