announced the release of their German Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant Tank Destroyer back in June last year it was quickly followed up by the after market companies. Voyager Model
released their offering for the Tamiya
kit In September of last year and is the subject of this review.
This upgrade set from Voyager Model is packaged in the typical method of a card tray holding the contents taped to a card, and a slide card surround. The interesting part is the contents of this box which are:
- 3 brass photo etched frets
- 1 steel photo etched fret
- A length of copper coiled wire
- 3 cream resin pieces
- 2 springs
- 2 brass tubes
- 1 brass rod
- 1 aluminium rod
- 1 very fine metal rod
- 4 pistol port covers
- 3 A4 pages of instructions
This is one of those aftermarket sets that is going to test people who opt to use it and I suspect that no-one will use all of the included parts. The instructions start with the mudguards down each side of the body, and this is a surprisingly complex design. The four main panels are easy enough to work with but there are over 40 photo etched pieces to do each and then there are springs and wires to add as well. I will be honest I love seeing detail as much as the next person, but sometimes I think we are being punished with some of these photo etched sets
The next area covered are the drivers and radio operators hatches. Both of the hatches are supplied with workable hinges and support arm, the support arms are provided with springs to hold the support arms in position and are also supplied with latches for securing the hatches when closed. One of the oddities that I found in this offering are the periscopes for the drivers hatch being made of photo etched parts with an open panel at each end on opposite sides for clear plastic to be added. The protective cover for the periscopes is also supplied in photo etch and is one part of the set I will definitely use.
The other items added on this page are the travel lock for the main gun, the lifting handles for the air intakes either side of the engine, and the spare track link clamps at the front of the vehicle. All of these details are very well done with the travel lock being the only part here that will challenge you.
Page 3 of the instructions covers the comanders cupola, there are so many parts here that I defy anyone but the very bravest photo etch users to tackle all of the detail here. If you take a look at the provided pictures of the instructions I have included you will see very clearly why some of this photo etched set seems a little over board, I will admit itís nice but I believe a good deal of it will not be utilised.
Page 4 starts with the tow cable brackets which are a good inclusion for this set and will improve the finished look of the model. This page also covers the pistol ports assembly which are very well detailed, and if you plan on showing the ports opened are an absolute must. The next area covered is the tube for storing the cleaning rods for the main gun; the detail looks good and should be within the ability of most to complete. The last areas covered here is the convoy light and the grill for what I believe is the extractor housing for the main fighting compartment, both of these additions should greatly improve the finished look of the model.
Page 5 is the last page of instructions and starts with a very nice tool box and the set supplies all of the brackets for the tools to be placed within. A pleasant surprise is the blade for the obligatory shovel is supplied in the set. Lastly for the vehicle is the jacking block and its mounting bracket, the mounting brackets for the jack and the shovel. That is it for the vehicle but that is not the end as Voyager model
have added some nice contents for the figure supplied with the Tamiya model. You will find shoulder boards, badges such as the iron cross, and a headset, these last inclusions are a very nice touch and are the sort of inclusions that catch the attention.
I have to admit that this up-grade set from Voyager Model
is fairly complex, as there are some incredibly small parts that will cause some frayed nerves I suspect. The detail is very good but is not for the faint hearted. A lot of the detail in the set will likely not be used by most modellers, but I will be the first to take my hat off to the modeller who does use it all. This is a good set of photo etched, resin, and metal parts will that improve the detail of the model depending on ability.