by: Darren Baker [ ]
When Revell of Germany released a new model of the M48A2GA2 and M48A2/A2C in 1/35th scale, they were quite well received by many modellers as an affordable offering of the two tanks. The models from the box are pretty fair kits, but there is room for improvement. Legend Productions has taken up that task. In this review I get to look at the M48A2/A2C Detailing Set.
The product is supplied in the usual card carton that Legend Productions use. The packaging inside the box has insured that the contents have arrived in good condition. Inside the box you will find;
A bag of resin parts
2 photo etched frets
Several brass rods
A length of twine
A length of brass wire
One thing I have noted with all products from Legend Productions is that I have yet to see moulding faults or defects in the castings, that is also the case with this offering. The only issue I have with moulding from Legend Productions is that large castings have a tendency to have very large casting blocks that can be very difficult to remove and they require a lot of clean up. There is a plus point to these large casting blocks, and that is that it prevents distortion of the mouldings and so saves the modeller a lot of work with hot water trying to get things back into shape.
The photo etched items in this set will lift the models detail quite a bit, for me this is perhaps the greatest benefit of the set to most modellers. The brass rods in the set are there to replace the bars on the stowage rack on the rear of the turret and the bars that run around the sides of the turret. The brass wire looks to have been supplied to make the springs for the gunners hatch; I rather like this inclusion which should look quite convincing.
The string or twine supplied in this product from Legend Productions is perhaps the one inclusion I donít really like. I have been a fan of metal cable for the track cables ever since I found this as a possibility. I always felt that twine just does not cut it as wire cable despite how much easier it is to get into place on a model, it also has a tendency to look furry once painted or coloured..
The brass rod is an aspect I like of this set, but I would have liked Legend Productions to have supplied line drawings for shaping and cutting the rods. You can of course use the model parts as a guide for shaping the rods, but I still think line drawings would have been better. The photo etched brackets for attaching the rods to the turret will make this a big improvement to a prominent element of the model.
The rear engine vent detail is another area where Legend Productions has offered some great detail. The plate itself is a resin moulding that I believe will fit the model with ease. The photo etched vanes that are then attached add a great deal of finesse and are again an area of the model that will be noticed.
The photo etched track guard supports are well represented in this offering, but I cannot make my mind up if it is a better scale representation or not. The brush guards are a big improvement over the kit offerings as they are a much better match scale wise. The photo etched chains for the caps of the smoke grenade launchers are very fine and will require great care while applying them. Legend Productions has supplied resin smoke grenade launchers and these offer crisper detail.
I am sure most of you will not be surprised to learn that most, if not all of the differences are refined to the turrets of the two sets; I should make very clear that it does not detract in any way from either offering. The mantlet for this offering requires some pretty major surgery to the kit turret, basically removing the front quarter of the turret; definitely a case of measure two or three times and cut once. I will say I like the detail on the Legend Productions turret front, but the textures of the resin part and the kit turret are so different it will be very hard to hide the joint between the two. The cupola gun mount looks good and with careful painting it will lift the model.
The resin gun mantlet will add a nice level of detail to this set, but the join will be hard to hide due to the differences in the finished texture of the plastic and resin parts. The rest of the resin parts are also a plus, but it is the photo etch and brass parts that are the big stars of this offering for me. I feel this way as other than the mantlet, these will be the improvements that catch the eye of anyone looking at model. The product as a whole will lift the Revell of Germany offering to a good level. The twine or string provided is for me the only real disappointment in this offering by Legend Productions and I hope that they consider adding metal cable in future.