Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
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UM Model question
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 04:50 AM UTC
Have any Braillers built UM kits? I was just visiting Henk of Holland site and saw a very long UM kit list of some interesting subjects. However reviews and opinions are scarce. Can anyone comment on UM general quality, and compare to Dragon, Trumpeter, Revell, etc. quality - ie. fit, finesse of detail, presence of sinks and pin release marks, etc? Would anyone recommend them?
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Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 04:57 AM UTC
Did you see these ?


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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,981 posts
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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 05:44 AM UTC
The only UM kit I built was the T3 Christie tank, and it was pretty good for a sub-£10 kit. Fit was ok, all the wheels, hatches etc were separate parts, tracks were link & length, and there was a tiny bit of PE. Detail was probably comparable to Revell or Matchbox - not up to modern DML standards, but good for 80s/90s tech. Bear in mind I'm usually a 1:35 modeller, and bought the T3 because of the unusual subject, so I wasn't expecting 1:35 levels of micro detail. If it was blown up to 1:35 I'd say it was comparable to Revell of Germany kits...
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: April 29, 2014
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Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 07:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great link, Modeling Madness also has some preview/reviews of the kits.

I last built one of their kits in 2005, so it can be done. The parts look good and the issue recall seeing was a sink mark on the lamp face. The plastic is a littler softer then most brands but the detail is decent. Dragon Sherman’s is the only I can compare in scale. I would say a little below Dragon. Just looked at a second kit a bought a year ago to redo the old build. No flash, sink or pin mark issues that I saw at a quick glance. Here in the states they are pretty cheap. I would look at On the way or M2 for what you want but there is nothing I recall that would say stay away.
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 01:44 PM UTC
I've built several UM kits. Their Shermans are decent, but the level of detail isn't as sharp as some of the better Dragon kits.

Some include small PE frets.

Their main benefit is that they have a wide range of similar kits, i.e. many variants of the same subject.
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,670 posts
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 04:28 AM UTC
I built the UM M4A3 Sherman with a Dozer blade. At the same time I was building a Dragon M4A1 76(W). So I was able to compare the kits. I found the UM kit to be very detailed, with lots of optional parts, including PE, forms for bending the PE, and some nice detailing. But at the same time, there are some areas which are a little soft in detail, and you can expect some flash in some areas. Sprue gates are large in some places, making the smaller parts difficult to remove from the sprue without breaking them. Also, several of the parts sprues were made from a harder plastic, obviously to accommodate mixing parts from other Sherman variants, which is ok. However, removing smaller parts from some of these sprues required more care--I used a very sharp sprue cutter (a Fujiyama from Micro Mark, and a fine toothed saw blade chucked in my variable speed Dremel tool).

In comparison with Dragon's 1/72 M4A1 76(W), I found the UM kit easier to build, and the instructions easier to follow, and surprisingly, the fit was better in places. The PE parts in the UM kit (including suspension parts) came out much more detailed than the Dragon kit. Based on these two Sherman kits, I'd take the UM kit over the Dragon kit for detail and fidelity of scale (because of their addition of PE), but there was more clean up of parts required for the UM kit. The UM kit also came with pretty nice "Link and Length" tracks, whereas the Dragon kit came with the dreaded DS styrene tracks, which I think look a little out of scale and were difficult to fit. The Dragon kit was definitely simpler in construction, where the UM kit had more parts. I think it really comes down to what you prefer in the finished product-- more detail (UM) or easier construction (Dragon), but I can only speak for the Sherman kits.

I did need to modify the dozer blade arms on the UM kit to get them to look a little more like the real thing, as they were pretty simplistic in places. But, with care, I was also able to get the in-scale UM hydraulic cylinder to actually operate to raise and lower the blade (not that that's a big deal for some). That's the kind of "mixed" detail you can find in the UM kit.
VR, Russ
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 04:55 AM UTC
Sounds good!