This new contender to the detail-update market, Orange Hobby of China, continues to offer brass upgrade sets for some of our favorite 1/35th scale kits. This set is recommended for Allied armor fans wishing to upgrade any number of WW2 Commonwealth vehicles. The “Quick-Firing” 75mm, a gun which was hoped would replace the paltry 6 pdr. (57 mm), was added to British Churchill tanks and later, to the Cromwell. The ever-present BESA MG barrel also provided in this set is also suitable for many Commonwealth vehicles.
This four-piece set includes a hollow barrel with separate muzzle brake and one BESA 7.92 mm machine gun barrel in machined-brass.
The fit is perfect, once the 2 part muzzle brake is cemented on, the barrel fits snugly into its hole. I didn't even have to cement mine into the gun mantlet! The light-weight hollow barrel does not droop as most metal barrels tend to. It’s without rifling detail, as rifling grooves wouldn’t be seen once the muzzle brake is installed. Adding the assembled barrel to the Tamiya kits is as simple as inserting it into the existing hole in the gun mantlet. Arming the Mk. III Churchill from AFV Club requires however, first opening the slotted mounting hole with a drill bit. This set includes one BESA machine gun barrel and a two-part muzzle brake. After only a few minutes work, my finished Tamiya Cromwell can proudly sit next to more modern kits.
The quality of these machined-brass parts rival that of more established, and more expensive after-market manufacturers. I will shortly be ordering another set to upgrade my ancient Tamiya Churchill, a very easy job. I don't own a set of calipers, so I can't speculate on how this barrel measures-up, but it is the same dimensions as the gun from Tamiya's Cromwell. Though intended to upgrade Tamiya’s Cromwell kit, I found other uses for it and the beautifully-machined BESA machine gun barrel also included: the latter providing a nice addition to my Churchill Mk. III from AFV Club. Also available from Orange Hobby's "Red Series" is the same 75mm barrel, with turned-brass ammunition (but no BESA MG barrel): Item 35052.
Highs: An affordable and easy upgrade to a number of Commonwealth AFVs.Lows: I would have liked 2 BESA machine gun barrels to be included?Verdict: Excellent!
Our Thanks to Orange Hobby! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Ted Hayward (ted_hayward) FROM: TAIPEI, TAIWAN / 台灣
From B.C., Canada. Living in Taiwan for past several years. I've been building kits for as long as memory serves -armor, aircraft, cars. Big fan of 1/16th scale armor kits. Currently serving as poster boy for working with CA adhesives in a well-ventilated area. My first kit was the positively awful ...