Tamiya’s StuG. III Ausf. B (kit no. 35281) is what can be described as a ‘typical Tamiya kit: excellent fit, mostly accurate and largely complete. But in common with virtually every plastic injection moulded kit the finer detail leaves room for improvement. This set from Eduard provides detail in large heaps, and will greatly enhance the finished model. This set (35 836) covers the exterior detail, Eduard also have a set for the interior (35 875), which is covered in a separate review. A link to this review can be found below.
what’s in the bag?
A clear plastic envelope contains 2 frets of Photo-etch and four pages of instructions. The fragile frets are sandwiched between two pieces of card to avoid damage or bending during shipment.
a closer look
The set consists of a total of 182 parts, with very fine detail and definition. Special mention has to go to the air intake covers, the mesh is beautiful, the layered, woven structure has to be viewed through a magnifying glass to be really appreciated.
The replacement clamps for all the tools are a big improvement over the moulded on kit affairs, and Eduard’s way of designing the clamps in one piece makes them easy to use. The stowage brackets for the jack are a welcome, and necessary, addition, but need careful folding. Study the instructions carefully. Brackets feature heavily in this set, adding much needed surface detail to the Tamiya kit. There are replacements for both front and rear mudguards, which include the spring loaded retaining hooks.
Most of the detail in this set centres around the rear and engine deck of the vehicle, with replacement brackets for the aerial trough and hatch lock handles to replace the solid moulded kit handles.
The tow cables supplied with the kit are a real throw back to the 70’s, and the brackets in the Eduard set will add not only much better detail, they also give you the option of not stowing the cable, but have it draped over the vehicle, ready for quick use whilst still having the brackets on the engine deck.
Oddly enough there is no rear convoy light included, but instead there are a new bracket for the kit light, plus two ‘spring loaded’ latches, which would hold the flap in either up (rear light) or down (convoy position) position.
Tamiya’s stowage box on the right front mudguard is a typical injection molded item, which leaves little scope for damage or to display opened up. The Eduard replacement is a big improvement, with a separate lid and latches, and very nice brackets to mount the box to the mudguard. The set also includes a replacement jack block, and although the surface has a wood grain etched in, replacing this with a piece of (balsa) wood will look better. The separate straps and carry handle are ideal for this.
This set will greatly improve the external appearance of the StuG. and is in my opinion worth every penny. The instructions are typical for Eduard, with colour coded drawings to show which parts need to be removed and where new and replacement parts should fit. Not all the instructions are completely clear however, and those who have not worked with Photo-etch may occasionally find themselves confused, as the instructions only show ‘folded’ parts, and rarely show how the items should be folded. I would therefore not recommend this kit to those new to Photo-etch, but if you are comfortable with Photo-etch, and building the StuG. III Ausf. B, I highly recommend this set.
[StuG. III Ausf. B interior
Thanks to Eduard
for this review sample