Finally had a chance to have a crack at the new Tamiya one over the last week or so. While its got the typical trademark Tamiya ease of assembly, perfect styrene and crisp detail it was a tiny bit disappointing for a 2012 kit given what they could have achieved with just a tiny bit more thought and effort. Don't get me wrong I still think its a very nice kit on many levels and the good things speak for themselves in the pics - the tracks are a work of art for link and length etc., but a few short-comings that irked me were;
- the lack of tread plate pattern on the edges of the fenders where they bend at 90 degrees - very obvious and virtually necessitating p-e ones
- the lack of the 2 roof scopes under the hinged flaps - how hard would that have been to include? Or conversely why bother moulding them separate and not supply them?
- the same boob DML made with the sledge hammer bracket moulding the top as solid not open meaning the sledge could never be removed in real life
- ejector pin marks on the inside faces of all the hatches. Surely this can be eliminated these days?? The other parts don't seem to have them so why put them on difficult to remove pieces
- ejector pin marks on one side of the U-hooks
Anyway the plan is to do it up as this one getting a pull through from 3.653 with the Miniart figures below;
K-H Munch in his 653 Album calls it out as '332' but from the other pics the fender damage isn't the same so I'm not 100% on the ID at this stage without further pics...
About 90% built;
Stage 1 was getting all the bits that needed zimmeriting ready then gooping on some Tamiya putty and combing it out with the 0.7mm rake using masking tape for the high water line;
The kit rain gutters looked a bit anemic and lacked the often seen bend at the end so redid them with some Plastruct L Angle;
Decided on one of the stunning RB Barrels but this brass flange on it while fitting into the sleeve perfectly will then require some mods elsewhere to fit;
More annoying ejectors to be filled on the rear of the shield too;
The ball needs to be drilled out to take the back end;
...and this peg be cut down by 5mm to make up for the brass flange now inside the sleeve which would stop it mating;
Now a perfect fit apart from this odd join line that needs puttying up;
Now looking the biz with the main gun in;
The RHS front section of fender is off so the brackets needed to be added but as the are mould to the kit parts in areas a few new ones had to be made from some U-Channel;
I then used Royal Models p-e fender set I had handy which although designed for the DML kit is easy enough to coerce into fitting Tamiya's;
with a bit of battle-damage added;
Good comparo of the missing treadplate on the kit part's edge;
Small spring added too for better effect along with 2 frag or bullet holes;
Minor detailing on the roof;
Torn headpad on CO's hatch from foil and putty;
Just rear toolbox and sledge to go as well as tarps and aerial now;
Jack in as well as tow pin and chain;
Spare track added to nose and Aber MG barrel;
Fortnight's break at Euro then back for more...
Jim, I'm always amazed on the small details that Tamiya misses or ignores in their newer kits.
Still looks great and look forward to see the crew punching the gun tube.