Late last year Voyager Model
released a 35th scale 2 in 1 brass photo-etch upgrade set for use in either one of Dragon’s VK45.02 (P) H (Hintin – turret to the rear) 6657 or Cyber-Hobby’s V (Vorne – turret to the front) 6613 model kits. The set is really for the failed Porsche prototypes that ultimately led to the famed Kingtiger. Both model kits already include a single multi-piece brass photo-etch fret with just enough thin-to-scale detailed parts to compliment these kits and satisfy the average modeler. But if you’re seeking to add that extra eye-popping ‘bling to the thing’ then stop and look no further. Let’s take a close peak at what’s inside that little orange and black box . . .
Voyager Model is perhaps one of the only manufactures of brass photo-etch sets to package their product in a small box, reminiscent of the sliding matchstick containers. Although you can’t see the brass etched frets or brass, copper, steel, plastic and resin parts, that are also included with many of their sets, and are inside the box, they are well protected from most any kind of damage, this is especially good if you're like me and order most of your stuff on the 'net and have it arriving through the mail.
One of the first things you see when you open the box are the neatly folded assembly instructions, my example came with five black and white sections of clearly printed instructions on three 8-1/4” width by 11-3/4” length sheets. Three photo-etch brass frets, containing most of the parts in the set, came sealed in a clear plastic bag at the bottom of the box. Also inside the sealed plastic bag was a smaller zip locked bag with brass, copper, steel and plastic parts. Here’s the parts break down:
1 X .004” (0.1016 mm) thick brass photo-etch fret containing approximately 139 pieces.
Not mentioned on the instructions is an embossed image on this fret (circled in the photograph) to be used as a guide for fabricating the four hinge pins for the mud flaps. These need to be made from .016” (0.40 mm) diameter wire. This wire is not included in the set so you’ll have to source out your own, I would recommend using brass or semi-soft steel wire.
1 X .004” (0.1016 mm) thick brass photo-etch fret containing approximately 134 pieces.
1 X .0025” (0.0635 mm) thick brass photo-etch fret containing 18 pieces.
1 X Turned brass pistol port plug.
4 X Tiny steel springs for the hinged fenders.
1 X .020” (0.5 mm) diameter X 19.5” (50 cm) length of strand copper wire for the tow cables.
1 X .012” (0.30 mm) diameter X 3” (8 cm) length of steel wire.
1 X .040” (1.0 cm) diameter X 2” (5 cm) length of plastic rod.
1 X .020” (0.5 mm) diameter X 2” (5 cm) length of plastic rod.
With this set you can detail the inside of the loader’s, spent cartridge and rear escape hatches on the turret if you plan on leaving them posed in the open position on your build. The parts for the rear escape hatch are perhaps the most accurately made pieces that I’ve seen to date. These will definitely enhance the realism in that area. The exhaust ventilator can also be brought up to a more accurate to scale representation with wing nuts and the scale thickness flanges. The sight wires and the sight vane block for the commander are also included. The commander’s side view port with a weld seam can also be added if the modeler should want this feature on their build.
Just as a Note:
Roughly sixteen turrets for the VK45.01 (P2) V were produced with this view port and those were excesses to the Tiger II on the original contract with the new turret bodies ordered form Krupp, for the three VK45.02 (P) V on the second order, this view port would not have been added to these later turrets. However the VK45.01 (P2) H was never produced and only appeared on paper as a proposal so you could build that either as the proposed vehicle with the view port or without as a ‘what if’ this vehicle, now a VK45.02 (P) H, had gone into series production?
For me this is where this photo-etch set really comes in handy. Parts for all of the tools and stowed items on the chassis are there. The missing rear taillight, reflector and tow pin for the tow pintle from either of the model kits can now be rendered from both photo-etch and plastic rod. Parts and brackets are included for the 20-ton jack, jack block, fire extinguisher, exhaust pipes and headlamps.
The engine and radiator compartment screens are thin and to scale allowing the viewer to be able to see below them at details that the kit supplied thicker made photo-etch screens hide. The screens, included for either kit, are the only items in the set that are unique to either of the model kits.
The real beauty of this set is the scale thickness multi-section front to rear track guards, braces and workable hinged mud flaps and springs. With the exception of the mud flaps these feature finely detailed tread pattern on both sides of all of the track guard sections. As they are quite thin these track guards are a real plus when it comes to creating realistic damage on them. The down side is that there are no instructions included on how to remove the molded on track guards from the kit, this should be obvious to the more seasoned modeler equipped with the tools to get that job done.
The soft twisted strand copper wire tow cables will help the modeler to easier render the bends and to hold the shape for a more realistic look. Although I don’t have any experience with using the kit supplied metal tow cables these cables look far more realistic in comparison and match closely to photographs of the real cables as used on the larger German tanks.
Well thought out photo-etch set. One of the few photo-etch sets where the modeler will find use for almost all of the parts in this set for the kit. There are only enough parts in the set to upgrade one model kit. This set is aimed at the modeler with some photo-etch experience due in part to the tools, mediums and methods required for bending and attaching the parts and having to remove large molded on kit parts in order to replace them with the sets multi-piece parts.
A review of the Cyber-Hobby kit can be found Here on Armorama