by: Darren Baker [ ]
The release of the HobbyBoss Puma has been well received, and it is for the most part a very well done model, but injection moulding does mean some allowances have to be made. Legend Productions has taken a look at this model and seen some openings for them to satisfy the discerning modeller’s desire of accuracy and detail. Legend Productions has so far released two products for the HobbyBoss Puma, the first was in the form of accessories such as the rear stowage basket, this offering takes the next step of adding the details that were missed, refining the detail that was provided or just adding finesse to the model.
Considering the relatively small size of the end opening box used by Legend Productions for this product, there is a surprising number of parts inside. Inside you will find;
3 photo etch frets
Clear plastic film
A length of chain
A length of wire
3 brass rods of different sizes
Examining the contents of this offering from Legend Productions I am for the most part pleased with what I see. The resin parts are the usual very high quality I have come to expect from Legend Productions, there are no faults or issues such as air bubbles present anywhere on the resin, I did however find one of the resin parts had been broken and as the part was not in the bag I believe this occurred during packing. The photo etched parts are well defined and of a thickness that will be easy to work with.
I will start by saying that there are items here that I was not expecting and some parts that I expected to find, but are not included. I was surprised to see so many parts supplied for the rear deck stowage basket; I am surprised as it removes the need for the main piece of the earlier release from Legend Productions to a large extent and allows the modeller to decide how they want the load to look. I personally prefer the moulded basket offering in the previous release, mainly due to how much easier than the kit parts it is to use.
There will be quite a lot of detail to remove from the model for replacement with photo etch detail, most of the detail that falls under that category are hanging loops for stowage and tools. There is a length of chain that needs to be used for securing the eyes of the tow cable. While on the subject of tow cables I really do not like the string included with the set for the tow cable; I have spoken to Legend Productions about this and they are trying to source an alternate material for the purpose.
Another area where I was surprised is the weapons stations; Legend Productions has gone to a lot of effort to supply extremely well detailed weapons stations, but has not provided the weapons for the stations. The weapons feed and the use of clear plastic sheet does lift the look of these areas. The access hatches included in the set are very nice with good crisp detail and the handle detail present, the padding is particularly well represented and its securing points.
Moving on the hull sides, the track guards and mud guards have been provided with photo etch wave pattern panels and guards, I am torn on this as while I like them due to the more realistic scale I find it hard to replicate realistic movement. The track guard hanging brackets are comprehensively replaced by this set and are of course better from the realistic thickness stand point. I would like to see clear lenses provided where appropriate in this product.
Having looked over this with the intention of using it as part of the previous set I am a little surprised by some aspects, primarily this surprise relates to the engine deck stowage basket and the effort put into it in this set when considering the previous offering. The more I look at this set and think about the previous offering, the more I think further sets for the Puma are still to come, I am expecting to see a weapons set and a partial interior due to the large hatches.
You may think I have been overly critical of this product and that I am not happy, that could not be more wrong. I am very happy with what is offered in this set; the only thing I am not keen on is the twine for the cable, and that I expected to see the machine guns in this set to go with the weapons stations.