The Tristar kit of the Pz.38(t) Ausf. E/F (kit # 35020) is a great kit, but can be improved upon with this well thought out Photo-etch set from Eduard. Some detail, like the mudguards, are better to scale in PE, whilst other details, such as the smoke candle racks, are missed by the Tristar kit altogether. Tristar do include a small fret with some Photo-etch detail in their kit, and Eduard has not duplicated those parts, apart from some of the tool mounting brackets.
whatís in the bag?
The set consists of two frets of Photo-etch brass, and 4 pages of clear instructions. The frets are sandwiched between the usual two pieces of card, to protect them from any damage.
a closer look
The first thing that became clear when inspecting the instructions is that this set is rather clever. It does not seek to add complicated detail just for details sake, the items provided are all for parts which on the plastic kit are either over-scale, or omited altogether. The plastic mudguards are replaced with Photo-etch ones, and together with the fine brackets are a big improvement. The thin Photo-etch can also be given some convincing minor collision damage which is almost impossible to achieve with the plastic mudguards, unless you spend time thining them etc.
The pioneer brackets on this vehicle are a mixture, some securing the tools with a belt buckle strap, whilst others are the more familiar clamp type. The later appear to be tools added by the Germans after they took the Pz.38(t) in use. The Eduard Photo-etch parts are thinner, and better detailed, than the Photo-etch parts included by Tristar. Another good item is the perforated grouser storagebox, which is an essential replacement for the hidiously overscale plastic injection part. The Jack storage mounts on top of this box are not forgotten.
As mentioned earlier, the Eduard set includes two very distictive smoke launcher racks which where often used on light tanks in the earlier part of the war. The Photo-etch parts need some bending skills, as they are both small and fidely, but the results are definitely worth the effort. These will really finish off this model.
There is a host of other small brackets, licht fittings, hinges etc that add that little bit of extra detail, but the small retaining chains included are really to flat to be a asset. A final item to highlight would be no. 54, which is a bracket mounted (number)plate, which is a bit of a puzzle. Tanks did of course not carry number plates, being identified by either turret noís or chassis no. As this is an addition, rather than a replacement for a kit item, and no explanation is given for itís use by Eduard, it will need a lot of checking of references to determine itís use.
This set on itís own will greatly improve the Pz.38(t), and if you combine it with Eduardís set for the interior (set # 35 914) you have all the ingredients for a superbly detailed model of the Pz.38(t) Ausf. E/F as used by the German Army. The Photo-etch is easy to work with, and the instructions are clear and as usual colour coded, which makes it easy to work out where parts are placed, and which plastic parts need to be removed/modified. None of the alterations to the plastic kit are difficult, so this should not present any problems for modellers with some experience in the use of hobby knife and filler.
Pz.38(t) interior detail set
My thanks go to Eduard
for providing this review sample.