In-Box Review
Photoetch Dashboards
Coloured Photoetch Dashboards for vehicles
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by: Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]


The two traditional ways to represent the dashboard of a vehicle are using decals for the whole area or painting the moulded detail.
Decals are easy to use but they are flat, and look so. On the other hand, hand painting such small details is not easy at all and is impossible to get a similar definition.

Yahu models comes with a very interesting alternative, using coloured photoetch. The system is well known for aircraft modellers, who have benefit from these parts for their cockpits for some time, and now it is available also for some armour models.

The result is amazing, much more realistic than both the decal or the paint, and marking a difference in the final result of the cabin.

The Product

Yahu Models has a large catalog of aircraft cockpits in different scales, so they are not new in this field. Recently they have stepped into the armour modelling as well, offering dashboards for a few vehicles like the British Scammell, the Soviet ZIL-131, the US Tractor CASE VAI or the Chevrolet CT15A.

Basically, they provide a photoetch plate with all the dials already painted in their colours, and often with the background dashboard ready to use as is.

Depending on the vehicle, there are different systems for optimal use. Some are just the dials that need to be cut and placed in the plastic frame from the kit, while other has a separate cover to be painted with the desired colour, and another comes ready to use.

The quality is excellent and the resolution equally impressive. In fact it has been a challenge to take the photos to show how small they are.

In several of the dials, the figures can be read so as the individual markings.

While the "printing" resolution may not be superior -but neither inferior- to a decal, the whole look is much better thanks to the three dimensional nature of the photoetch. The dials are raised and they even have the flat cover simulating the glass.

Comparing the dashboards with online walkarounds of the vehicles show that a competent research has been done: the shapes are correct, dials for temperature, fuel, pressure or speed are shown differently and in the correct places.

Analyzing the samples

I have received three samples for review, for the British Scammell, the CT15A and the Soviet ZiL-131. All of them are nicely (and accurately) represented, and have different methods of use depending on the real vehicle.

Scammell Pioneer, for either the IBG or Thunder Model kits. As the dashboard of the Scammell was black with the dials, Yahu provides two plates: a front one already painted in black and a second one with the dials. This way the bevel around the dials is shown correctly.
There is also an additional plate with (readable) text for the crane.

Chevrolet C15TA, for IBG model. Again it comes with two photoetch parts but this time the outer one has no paint, as it carried the colour of the vehicle. It is quite easy then to paint this part first, without need of masking the dials, and add them afterwards.
As a bonus, this set has also five masks for the wheels, covering the rim for easier painting of the tire.

ZiL-131, intended for ICM/Revell kit, it has three round dials, a set of four smaller ones that come together and two plates with instructions that were placed on the dashboard of the vehicle as well.
As the dials are spread on a large area, they have to be individually removed from the fret and placed on the plastic part that comes with the kit after painting it.
They are numbered and the instructions show where each one goes, same for the two plates with text.


I have been impressed with the quality and detail of these sets, with little effort they notably enhance the interior of the models.
I just hope they keep extending their range, as the open cab vehicles will specially benefit from their use.
Highs: Extreme detail. Easy to use.
Lows: None noticed
Verdict: Highly recommended for extra detail on cabin.
  Scale: 1:35
  PUBLISHED: Oct 26, 2017

Our Thanks to Yahu Models!
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.

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About Carlos Martin (varanusk)

My main interest is German vehicles and guns, and I like spending time researching the vehicle and the options for the camo once I have chosen a subject. Sometimes I go for specific and rare vehicles, of which only two or three photos are known so it takes me a lot of time to figure how everything w...

Copyright ©2021 text by Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]. All rights reserved.


On the assumption that this is quite the treat to behold, I would step out there and say that these guys need to pick it up and get as many variations of dashboards out there! This can change the face of the hobby for sure when dealing with open top vehicles!!
OCT 25, 2017 - 04:48 PM
Yeah - ya not wrong vettejack !! - i can think of loads of 1/35 Trucks and Cars that would benefit from these dash boards -- so before those other etch set firms , get on this idea , -Yahu , have got the ball , and they should be running with it and be knocking out as many 1/35 dash boards as they can ...
OCT 26, 2017 - 04:22 AM
I have some of their plane instrument panels and they are absolutely stunning
OCT 26, 2017 - 06:01 AM
Looking forward to seeing what they have to offer as I'm currently building a couple of FAMOs that could use some dash upgrading!
OCT 26, 2017 - 07:55 AM
Thank you for the review, Carlos. Great looking dashboards, the detail is unbelievably sharp, very nice and I look forward to see more sets soon. No models in my stash (yet) for the present sets, but hopefully soon. Good idea to do a FAMO set if that could be possible. Also attractive for those who don't want to buy a p/e set just for the dash as they like to scratchbuild the parts in plastic rather than use p/e
OCT 27, 2017 - 11:43 PM
Nice review Carlos! These are great little sets. I really would like to see a rapid expansion of this line. I would gladly pay for these to replace the instrument cluster in every model I build where I think it would be visible. Actually, I pay for them for every vehicle even if only I know they are there! I can always photograph it once they are in place. That's good enough for me. I also wish Eduard would reissue some of their pre-painted interior placards and even expand the line with new sets. So many model companies release kits with no interior decals. I think this is a shame, but Yahu and others always seem to step in and fill the gaps. Regards, Eric
OCT 28, 2017 - 12:29 AM
I have a couple of halftrack kits that would benefit from these (if they were available for those vehicles). I've met model builders who dislike such add-ons as they think it amounts to buying detail rather than building it, but in this case the detail is so fine that it would be all but impossible for most modelers to create. I'll be waiting for dashboards for the M3, 251 etc.
OCT 28, 2017 - 05:23 AM

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