The Hetzer was a nasty little tank destroyer mounting a 75mm PAK 39 on a Pz. 38(t) chassis. There were basically two versions of it: an Early/Mid one, and a later one with a different exhaust system. Like many German AFV exhausts, the Hetzer's was a muffler with a curved pipe on the back of the vehicle. Most styrene versions involve gluing two halves of the muffler cylinder together, with the inevitable seam lines, filling and cursing.
Both Tamiya, Dragon, Eduard and Italeri all have kits in various states of availability, so Czech manufacturer CMK's decision to offer a reasonably-priced resin upgrade is welcome. The company has been branching out recently with a budget series of resin fixes they call the "Blitz Line" designed to allow modelers to fix up their kits without spending a bloody fortune.
what you get
In a poly bag from a hang tag you get a single sprue of resin with a sheet showing how to mount the three pieces.
The casting on this piece is crisp, the detailing (mounting brackets) is sharp, and my only reservation might be that the muffler may end up lost beneath the perforated screen found on many kits. That would be a shame, since CMK has included some dents in the muffler that bring a prosaic piece of equipment some needed character. You could, of course, build yours without the protective screen, but the improved exhaust pipe is probably worth the cost of the upgrade - unless you like twirling a sharp hobby knife while opening up a styrene exhaust (hoping all the while you don't poke through, both ruining the pipe and perhaps one or more of your fingers).
Painting, etc. is straightforward: a nice rust color with some rust pigment overlay.
I'm always glad to see new options that don't involve spending more on the upgrades than on the kit itself. As you can see here
, the old DML kit builds up nicely, though mine benefited from a Voyager PE set. Improving the exhaust system is a good move for any plastic kit, and the only reservation I might have on this item is its final retail price.
Thanks to CMK for providing the review sample. Please mention you saw them here on Armorama when ordering.