Enclosed in the pack are eight PE frets of excellent quality finely etched parts that have nice relief on the details and excellent weave effect on the radiator grills with the parts having the usual engraved lines to help with the bending process and a PE bending tool such as the Etch Mate or Hold & Fold will also come in handy using the set.
The frets vary in thickness from 0.15mm, 0.25mm to 0.50mm to give better definition to some of the approximately 540 parts plus two lengths of ABS rod, a length of brass wire for the steel tow rope and a length of plastic tube plus a six page instruction sheet
The largest parts in the set are the engine deck intake screens which are made up of four parts each with the vertical sides and upper frame plus the grills and top mesh and these simply replace the kit screens with the resulting etched screens having good detail definition. The two raised intakes on the forward engine deck also have nicely etched side screens with securing clips and securing bolts from short sections of plastic rod.
On the rear hull plate are new mud flaps and many small fittings and the two exhaust grills while at the front are also new mud flaps and fittings on the glacis as well as new mountings for the side warning lights (you have to add additional wire guards yourself here also) and all the pioneer tools have new mounting plates and tool clips which are virtually the same as the WWII type tool clips. These clips and mountings are quite comprehensive and in many cases are multi-part along with small mounting studs cut from the .3mm rod provided.
Along with these mountings are additional fittings and grab handles for the rear engine deck although some of these would look better in three dimensional wire than the two dimensional etched parts, this being the case with some parts in most etched sets.
On the rear turret top all the moulded on hinges and storage box latches are
replaced with etched parts which require you to remove the plastic detail first
which shouldn’t be a problem.
The turret rear has the large mounting brackets, cable reel and other small fittings as well as the mesh for the two large storage boxes at the rear corners of the turret but strangely these are not shown in the instructions except for a small note in Chinese listing the part numbers that make up the boxes, but it shouldn’t be too hard to work out where the parts go. You will have to watch the outside mesh as these need to be bent in two places for the corner curves and care will be needed to get the curves in the right places.
The comprehensive main panoramic sight is virtually rebuilt with etched parts and should look impressive when completed while the loader’s MG race is replaced with an etched part and another multi-part assembly for the MG mount. The large mounting for the left front of the turret for the training gun fire simulator is also quite a comprehensive multi-part assembly.
The instructions are in the form of exploded view drawings that clearly show the assembly of the multi-part assemblies and the placement of most other parts that should make using the etched parts fairly easy. There are some images of the kit with major parts in place which will help in seeing where they go.
Overall this is a comprehensive set that will add many of the finer details to the Tamiya kit, there is some minor surgery needed for some of the new parts but again nothing that should be too difficult. The many tool clips, rear intake grills and screens and turret top panoramic sight are the standout details and this set is also ready made for the new Leopard 2A6 from Tamiya.
See the Voyager Models website for additional details and images of the etched parts on the Tamiya kit.
Check out www.panzer-modell.de for an excellent walkaround on the Leopard 2A6 which is basically the same as the 2A5 except with the longer calibre gun. A full walkaround on the Leopard 2A5 will be available shortly and there is also a good in-action series of the Leopard 2A5 in Kosovo which shows the markings and stowage of these vehicles on active service.
Thanks to Voyager Models for the review sample.
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Page Created 25 February 2004