by: Bill Cross [ ]
One of the areas where Germany held a distinct technological edge at the start of WW 2 was in optics. The Carl Zeiss optical company had been in Jena since 1846 making microscopes, and the company often led the world in lenses used in binoculars, etc. Zeiss, for example, developed some of the first coated lenses that gave better resolution and reduced the "flare" that is normally caused by strong light when it's magnified.
The Wehrmacht as a result used a variety of spotter scopes and aiming devices, both for command units and even individual tanks and the like - think of the "scissor scopes" used in most StuGs. And in fact, one of the more iconic items seen in dioramas and as styrene accessories are these binocular scopes used by artillery spotters and field commanders, too. Now Plus Models has released a set of German optics in resin.
what you get
Inside the usual Plus Model end-opening box you will find:
11 sprues of gray resin
1 fret of PE
a length of copper wire
1 page of instructions
This is a "good news, bad news" release. The good news is that the resin casting is superb, with crisp edges, no flash and excellent detail. The bad news is that the length of copper wire provided doesn't really allow for an accurate rendering of the spindly, telescoping leg extensions that are major components of the scopes' tripods. You will be much better off employing a length of brass rounds (I would suggest .20mm).
What's worse, the documentation is poor, so you don't know how much of either the wire or the brass rounds to cut off. There is no guide for painting other than the box art, with no shout-outs for particular colors. Use your best guess.
This is one of those offerings that could have been so much better with a little more effort by Plus Model.
Thanks to Plus Model for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here when ordering.