I’ve been one of the many aftermarket junkies for years now, and like most, when I find a photo etch company whose product I really like, I usually stick with them. Being the stubborn modeler, they worked for me, so why change? Orange Hobby is one of the newest producers of photo etch in the business. When I first heard of them, my reaction was usual, “another photo etch company huh? They look rather like Voyager, Lion Roar, etc.” Bill Cross urged me to do the review on this set, and WOW, I’m glad I accepted the challenge. They really pack these sets full of goodies: not only photo etch , there’s brass and resin parts to boot , even decals! So, like a movie trailer, lets have a look and see what’s in store.
Orange Hobby has released this set to deck out Dragons new Jagdpanzer IV L/70 Smart Kit, previously reviewed by me (click here
to read that review).
Orange Hobby has provided a nearly complete detail set. I say nearly complete, because there are a few other sets available separately. The fenders, barrel, and side armor all can be purchased individually at your desire. I would like to have seen the barrel included in this set, which would have made it complete in my book. The fenders set would be for those who may want damaged or bent fenders, since the Dragon kit offerings are very nice on their own. And then the side armor (Schürzen
) would not have been seen on all Jagdpanzers, making it an optional set.
So what do you get?
4 Frets of photo etched brass
2 turned brass antennas (3 would have been even better)
6 turned brass rods for the gun barrel cleaner (all with proper details)
16 brass tubing sections of various sizes
1 turned brass rod for the gun clamp hinge point
2 turned pre-bent brass tubes for the exhaust pipes
1 turned brass fire extinguisher
20 very tiny brass bolts
1 resin jack block
1 sheet of decals for Fire extinguisher (6 Tetra labels)
1 short length copper wire
4 page instruction sheets
The parts quality and detail are among the finest I've seen. The inclusion of many added goodies, like the antennas and fire extinguisher, is really nice, and a welcome sight versus their competitors. One unusual thing about the photo etch: each section on the frets is labeled and organized. For example, the shovel parts are all located in one section and labeled ‘Shovel’. Same goes for the other assemblies, all sectioned off with their labels. This is a great feature, relieving you of having to search for that one tiny part in a sea of other parts.
The tiny little bolts I have yet to mess with. I’m sure I will get well acquainted with them when I begin the build. I do like that option, though. The usual photo etch bolt heads to me were always a pain, and undersized. And using hex-shaped styrene rod wasn’t much easier either, and hard to get a ‘flat head’ as well. Scale Hardware does carry micro socket wrenches; their smallest is made for hex bolts down to .5mm. I measured the bolts provided in this set, and while I cannot get an exact measurement less than 1mm, the bolt heads in this set are less than that. Perhaps this would be a remedy for tweezers and the flying bolts problem.
The Tetra label decals are also a nice feature. Not only that, but they give you six in all, leaving you extras for other models.
One issue I’d like to point out are the parts for the exhaust mufflers (Flamentöter
). While the exhaust pipes come as preformed brass tubing, their cylinder covers only come as photo-etched parts. Yet, their website, and the instructions show preformed parts for this as G35-063-48, intended for the Pz. IV Ausf. J Late set, which would have been a nice addition with this set.
I’ve already read in a few other reviews about the instructions being either hard to read, or having errors. While I have yet to find any errors on this set, (we’ll know later in the build review), the instructions are quite busy. I cannot stress this enough… read, study and plan through these steps before you begin. The instructions are not the best when it comes to the steps. While the sections and parts are clear, the pages are crammed with steps that are in no particular order, making it rather difficult to figure out where to begin, and in what order to go.
In the end, this set alone will turn an already nice kit into an even better one. If by chance you have the older released kit from Dragon of the Jagdpanzer IV L/70, I don’t see why this set couldn’t be used for that as well.
Other options offered by Orange Hobby for the Dragon kit include:
• G35-063-48 Vertical Exhaust Pipe (Pz. IV Ausf. J late)
• G35-064-48 75mm PaK 42 L/70 barrel
• G35-062-68 armored skirt for Jagdpanzer IV L/70(V)
• G35-061-98 fenders for Jagdpanzer IV L/70(V)