by: Henk Meerdink [ ]
whatís in the bag?The set consists of two frets of photo-etched brass, and 6 pages of instructions. The instructions are colour coded to indicate which kit parts need to be modified or removed, and clearly indicate where new/replacement parts need to be positioned. The two frets of Photo-etch are sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard for protection.
a closer lookHaving up till now only build 1/35 and 1/72 scale models, this scale looks a bit odd to me. The parts are not as small as I feared, and with care, and a pair of fine tipped tweezers, this should not be much more difficult than an average 1/35 scale Photo-etch set.
Comparing the Eduard and Tamiya instructions side by side immediately shows a number of issues to note. First is that the Eduard instructions are not in the same sequence as the Tamiya instructions. It would be so much easier if the Photo-etch instructions would keep pace with the kit instructions, as it is all to easy do something according to the kit instructions, only to find out later that there is a Photo-etch alternative. Second is the fact that the Photo-etch set offers you different options, but these options are not particularly clear, nor is there any explanation as to the nature of these options.
These are however minor problems, and careful study, before and during construction, should avoid any big problems. A real accuracy fault is the fact that the Photo-etch set does not address the headlight mountings. The set does provide the usual black-out cover brackets, but nothing to re-locate the head lights from the hull roof corners to new brackets in front of the hull superstructure. This was a distinctive modification of the sPzAbt 501, and has been missed by both Tamiya and Eduard.
The photo-etch does provide a lot of small detail that Tamiya has either simplified, or omitted all together. The spare track links which are mounted on the hull rear are a good example, Tamiya just glues those against the hull, without even a hint of the large brackets. Eduard does provide the brackets. Tamiya has not included the rear light either, but Eduard do provide a minuscule light armature, that together with the Photo-etch mudguards greatly improve the detail at the rear.
Other improved detail includes all the tool clamps, mounting brackets for the vehicle jack, a new toolbox complete with padlock, hinge detail and periscopes for the hatches, a replacement for the shovel as well as a replacement wire-cutter, replacement side mudguards, hinges and latches for the turret stowage box and of course mesh screens for the engine deck. The smoke candles are particularly over-scale and the Eduard replacements are a must. Eduard also provide replacements for the moulded on brackets for the tow and track cables. These are indeed tiny, and great care is needed when removing the moulded on brackets. It may be better to replace the cables with string, especially the track cable which is over-scale at any rate.
conclusionThis set has all the ingredients to turn the average Tamiya kit into a beautiful little replica of the Tiger I. The small parts, and amount and level of modifications needed to the Tamiya kit, don't make this a kit for the novice, but anybody who has worked with Photo-etch before should be able to work with this set. Highly recommended.
My thanks to Eduard for providing this review sample