by: Andy Renshaw [ ]
I’ve always been a fan of Voyager sets from the start when they first appeared on the market several years ago. The little orange and black boxes were deceiving, as they are always packed with loads of details. This release covering the Willys Jeep (Tamiya kit 35195) with add on armor is no exception.
In the box, you get a set of various photo-etched frets, some plastic rod, brass rod, printed acetate, and three pages of instructions. The instructions are your standard CAD line drawings calling out part numbers and construction sequence. As for the frets, you get one larger fret “A” that is the standard jeep details, a small fret “B” covering more basic jeep details, and fret “C” which covers the armored panels and radio. Also included is the small fret first seen in their M2 Half track with an assortment of straps and buckles. Do note that the M2 50cal seen on the box top is NOT included, and is available in set VBS0207. However the box top also doesn’t show everything that is included!
With the contents, the instructions walk you through detailing or replacing the following:
-- all new bonnet with T-hooks and working hinge
-- engine compartment details, fan blade, and brackets
-- new front and rear bumpers
-- new jerry can rack
-- new rifle rack and Thomson SMG holster
-- details for 30 cal machine gun, including mount, cooling jacket and ammo box
-- rebuilding and detailing front tow bar (not applicable for Armored jeep)
-- blackout light bracket
-- new rear view mirror
-- full set of tool clips, straps, etc
-- all new tilt bows and brackets
-- all new front dash with open glove box and clear gauges
-- new spare tire mount (open lattice or closed plate styles)
-- tow pintle safety chain eyelets
-- various details for interior including seat brackets, pedals, transmission hump plate, etc.
-- parts to build the fold out section of windshield
Specific to this release, you get parts for the armor panels, radio and rack, and a antenna mount.
A couple of the components excite me about this release. First the inclusion of the parts to do the fold out portion of the windshield is fantastic. Many photos show the windshield assembly up (with the tilt), but the glass portion is folded out. This is the first detail set I’ve seen address this and I’m looking forward to trying this out. Also the radio and bracket are new and I’ve not seen those anywhere else either. Having a new bonnet made from brass opens up some new detail possibilities that would have been difficult with the kit plastic hood, especially if one want to represent some battle damage or abandoned vehicle. Having the tilt bow brackets fully redone means that they can be made to operate like the real thing, thus if your looking to display the tilt partially deployed, or the bows not fully tucked back into their stowed position, you can do that with this set. Also as you may have figured out so far, this set includes much of the detail included in Voyagers basic Jeep detail set, so if you decide to forgo the armored option, there is still plenty in the box to use to dress up your standard Willys.
One note of caution, this set isn’t for the novice at photo etch. Most of the parts are quite small and will take some patience and care to assemble correctly. There may be many modelers that use the major components and never dive into the more intricate details included in this set. However if you want to take your Tamiya kit (which is still the best 1/35 jeep on the market) to the highest level of detail, this set is for you!
Voyager continues to provide fantastic detail, this time giving the great Tamiya jeep a treatment along with some armor panels.