First off I must point out that the photo of the completed model on Trumpeter's box top is in fact their 1/35 offering and does not represent what
is found in the 1/72 boxing. This deceptive practice, as also seen in their 1/72 M1117 Guardian, is really misleading and quite dishonest in my opinion.
The model itself goes together fairly well, with the exception of the upper and lower turret halves which have a bit of a mismatch. Dealing with
the resulting seam becomes problematic, as any local sanding and filling also obliterates the nicely subtle cast effect on the turret surfaces,
as well as parts of the prominent weld seam. I ended up using a technique to reapply the cast texture, and recreated the weld seam using stretched
spruce, scored with a hobby knife and blended with copious quantities of liquid cement.
I borrowed a few missing detail parts not included with the kit, from a PST KV series kit, including tow cable ends, cable stowage tension fittings,
and loaders hatch, and used some twisted copper wire from Eureka XXL for tow cables. These are a few of the aforementioned items shown on the box art,
but not actually included in the kit.
I had initially wanted to use the white 57 markings, but a test fit of the number and text decal showed them to be a bit too large and did not line
up well on the turret. I ended up using the white 61 markings. The decals did not appear to have much If any adhesive backing, as even after drying
for 10 minutes on the surface, they could still be easily moved around. Ultimately, applying some Microset/Microsoft decal solutions and an overcoat of clear
gloss, fixed them in place.
The one piece track/inner road wheel design is actually pretty clever in my opinion. It imparts a nice realistic track sag and removes the need for
the fitting and gluing of traditional one piece tracks, while maintaining the separation of the outer road wheels which can be easily added toward
the end of the build. Unfortunately, possibly due to moulding limitations, there is little if any detail on the inner surface of the track, and while
the outer surface is better detailed, the moulding is not very crisp. There may be a resin track option from a well known Eastern European aftermarket
producer, but all Canadian customers have been somewhat black listed by them, so it's not really an option for me. Perhaps one of the other up and
coming quality aftermarket suppliers like Gas Hans may release something in the future for this kit.
The only other peculiarity of the kit is an odd, vague facet across the entire width of the engine deck. I'm not sure if this is an accurate representation
or a moulding/tooling issue, but if not accurate, under a coat of clear matt, it's barely perceptible.
Otherwise, the fit of the small number of remaining parts is pretty good.
In conclusion, I guess from an ease of build and general moulding quality perspective, this kit has an upper hand when compared with the PST
KV series offerings. I'll leave it to modeller's discretion as to whether they feel the continued deceptive marketing practices of this
manufacturer, make Trumpeter worthy of their continued patronage. I for one, am seriously rethinking this. "Caveat emptor!"
Review sample purchased by the author.
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