Some time ago I did a build of JGSDF type 73 tank transporter with trailer from Aoshima and was quite happy with the result; A link to that review can be found at the end of this review. However, some of the aspects of that kit would have benefited from additional detailing which I am not able to scratch in that scale myself. As often happens, the aftermarket solutions appear as soon as you are done with the model and similar thing occurred with my Type 73 transporter. Shortly after I thought that I finished it Tetra Model Works
announced a detail set. Impressed by what was shown on their webpage I decided to give my model a complete refurbishment and got the set.
This is my first experience with Tetra Model Works
products and I was impressed by nice packaging and colourful A4 instruction. The set includes large photo-etched fret, a length of metal chain, metal stickers for mirrors and rubber parts for mud flaps. Everything is attached to thin cardboard backing paper and placed into a re-sealable clear plastic bag. The first look made a very good impression on me and I started the assembly. As I already painted my model before I had to omit replacing some of the details like number plates of those where I already put decals, but I was able to use most of the set anyways.
The truck gets some areas refined – either new parts or replacement of plastic. When it comes to replacement the most important is inclusion of mirrors, which now appear much closer to reality when it comes to in-scale thickness and also have a realistic mirror reflection effect. Other important parts are perforated steps on the sides of the cabin and mud flaps. The latter come as rubber material with photo-etched imitation of fixators. Moreover, Tetra Model Works
adds the mud flaps to cabin; these were not replicated in the Aoshima offering. The absolute highlight here is the inclusion of head light guards that can be seen on real trucks. The assembly is flawless and all parts fit their corresponding areas without any further adjustment. The only thing that I did not dare to touch was the wipers. Tetra Model Works
provides fine photo-etched wipers but as the original kit’s windshield had them molded together I was afraid that I would ruin the clear plastic while removing the wiper imitation from windshield. Otherwise I am sure many modellers would be able to install them!
The trailer upgrade parts are addressing very important areas of the original plastic kit. Here the manufacturer offers replacement of all hooks and rings for trailer cargo fixation on the sides of the trailer. Moreover, the set includes everything necessary for proper cargo placement – chains, hooks and locks. The ramps are an absolute highlight of the kit – each ramp is made of 3 sections, each with handles and laser cut wooden deck on top. The deck has self-adhesive layer on the contact surface. These ramps can be used to show vehicle going on the trailer or just placed on the trailer as the load themselves. The options for fixation of tank or only ramps are clearly indicated in the assembly manual. Also there are 4 stoppers included. Again, some of the parts I decided not to use as it would be difficult to replace already installed nylon mesh in the rear section of the trailer at that point for me. Otherwise it is fine and realistic to scale. I wish I had it earlier.
As mentioned above the manual is a colourful A4 sheet with information on both sides. Here the parts are shown on an assembled model so that there is no confusion on how to build them. It shows several options for chains and ramps on the trailer giving the idea to modeller.
Altogether it is a brilliant set that brings the Aoshima kit to another level. The quality of photo-etched parts is exceptional and perfectly fits the original plastic. Inclusion of light guards, rubber mud flaps, cargo holding chains and detailed ramps will make it stand out while mirrors would make a showstopper. Great job from Tetra Model Works
and I am looking forward to their other products.
Please note that some of the parts were blackened in photo-etch blackener before the installation on the model to ease the painting. Also not all parts are painted at this stage as I will do that when I get a type 10 tank for the trailer.
Aoshima JGSDF type 73 tank transporter with trailer review