As modelers we are always testing the limits of detail on our models. Many years ago, it was acceptable to have stowage that was placed on models strictly with glue with no regard to how they were attached in reality, with “floating packs” and such being fairly common on models. After a while, using tape, paper or some other material to replicate straps became expected in the modeling community. Now we are taking it a step further and replicating the actual ratchets, clips, and buckles used with those straps!
Soldiers always have lots of gear, especially mounted ones where they can collect additional supplies, comforts, and “liberated” items on their vehicle. Strapping all this stuff down so it doesn’t come loose is an art of its own. Many of the systems used on modern equipment are not only meant to be strong, but also quickly released if needed in a hurry. Ratchet straps, quick release clips, and other various items are all used. For modelers replicating these small items could be very time consuming, or cumbersome even in 1/35 scale.
A new company, CSM Designs, mastered up by Armorama member Cory Sutton, has produced a set of some various clips and ratchet sets. Coming in a medium size zip bag, you get a good size photo-etch fret, some plastic rod, and two full pages of instructions. No backing card is needed as the folded instructions are stiff enough to keep the PE from becoming bent. With these parts you can make 10 ratchets, 10 spring clips, 10 pinch clips, and 30 hook ends! Now, at first, eyeing the small parts on the PE fret even I was a little intimidated with the prospect of assembling these; however that fear was completely unfounded!
The PE parts are easily cut from the fret, as the tabs have half the metal etched away. Also the fold lines are very neatly etched and make folding up the parts a breeze. Once cut free from the fret, just use two pairs of tweezers (or a good set of needle nose pliers); one set to hold the part and the other to make the necessary bends. Once bent the parts fit perfectly!
On the ratchet buckle, the supplied rod fits perfectly through the holes, though you will be on your own to find appropriate size wire for the smaller “handle” side. The female end of the spring clip can be started with tweezers; however I found it useful to bend it over the back edge of a razor blade, as the thickness of the blade is about the same as the space within the clip. Once assembled, use your favorite strap medium to feed some straps through the clip or buckle. Time wise, it took me less than an hour to assemble the three items I did.
Get some! If you want to add that last level of detail that would make somebody look a bit closer at your model, then these are for you! For the cost, you get plenty for many projects. I already have a few builds from the past lined up to use them on, plus can count at least three more on the bench I will utilize the CSM buckles to tie down the equipment!
To order, contact Cory at:
and mention you saw these reviewed right here on Armorama!
Highs: Great detail and fairly easy assembly.Lows: Need to provide own wire for smaller holes, one style of ratchet represented.Verdict: Fantastic set to add some high level of detail to your modern vehicles.
About Andy Renshaw (skyhawk) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
I started modeling around 8 years old when my dad bought me a Monogram 1/48 A-7. We built that together, and after that he turned me loose. Along with armor and figures, I also enjoy building aircraft and trains (model railroading), and tend to cycle between the genres.
Recently married, I have...