by: Ted Hayward [ ]
These brass photo-etched parts from Orange Hobby, China provide a more realistic alternative to the kit-supplied parts in a scale thickness, with a level of detail not possible in plastic. The brass parts also provide the option to be detailed with convincing battle damage. The many kit parts to be replaced can be seen in gray styrene (photos, RIGHT).
Included in the set:
• Misc. brackets, clasps, and shackles.
• Spare track-link brackets.
• A turned-brass fire extinguisher, with decals and PE bracket.
• Antenna mounting base.
• Turned-brass radio antenna.
• PE parts to construct a completely-new commander's cupola and hatch.
• Resin jacking block and commander's head pad.
• Securing clamps and locks for on-board tools and jack.
• 2 Crowbars.
• Machine gun shield.
• Vehicle Distance Indicator.
• Periscope and vision block armoured covers.
• Spare wheel storage rack.
• Turned-brass gun cleaning rods.
• Brass bolts -for added strength and detail.
• Rear plate flange.
• Shovel head.
• Various PE chains.
• Tail reflectors.
Though the Dragon kit included a minimal interior, no interior detail parts are included in this set.
Hoping for a PE bending machine for the past few Christmases, I have so far managed to construct these sets from Orange Hobby with duck-bill tweezers and a straight-edged metal ruler. Aside from CA adhesive and a sharp blade, one only needs keen dexterity. Anyone with a little experience with PE parts will have no trouble assembling this set. Be warned, however: there is an abundance of tiny and very fiddly parts to be installed -a number of which I spent time searching for on hands and knees!
The cupola assembly, also available as a separate set, is a weekend project in itself. Once complete, it will be the highlight of your finished Stug. Two points to be aware of: Assembly of the cupola will take careful planning, as well as a method for rolling flat strips of brass into cylindrical shapes. Also, adding the PE gunner's periscope aperture is pre-ceded by first removing the moulded-on kit detail from the fighting compartment roof. The instructions follow the usual color CAD illustrated format, but will take some careful studying. A nice feature of these sets is that all parts are identified on their frets.
The result of all this hard work will be a show-winning Stug. IV, but adding all of the update sets now available from Orange Hobby will certainly be more time-consuming than building the kit itself. As well as adding a level of detail unparalleled in styrene, the addition of a PE set from Orange Hobby offers a unique and challenging build project for those tired of styrene kits.
Stand-out features of this set for Dragon's Stug. IV (item 6520) include exquisite resin parts and separate bolts in brass. Adding these details to my Stug. has given me the motivation to complete a lengthily build. I'm very much forward to adding the other PE sets also available from Orange Hobby to my Stug. IV:
Spaced Armor for Stug. IV (Simple System): Item G35-044-98
Armoured Skirt for Stug. IV: (Item G35-043-98)
Fenders for Stug. IV: (Item G35-045-68).