First Look Review
Pfalz D.III Detail Set
  • TM_Pfalz_Etch_1

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Tom's Modelworks have released a comprehensive photo-etched upgrade set for Roden's recent 1/32 scale Pfalz DIII. Set #515 comprises 2 brass frets containing 121 parts which add extra detail to both the interior and exterior of the model.

For the interior there is a set of seat-harness buckles along with templates to cut the straps from paper or metal foil. The cockpit is further detailed with new triggers for the control column along with a stay. Enevitably, the real centre of attention is the twin Spandaus, which come in for a major makeover with new perforated cooling jackets, plus a number of small brackets and handles which will enhance the appearance of the basic plastic guns considerably - a total of 11 parts per gun.

Externally, the kit's top-wing radiator is completely replaced both above and below the wing with a new multi-part metal version with finely reproduced grills and frames. The rest of the etched parts consist of new access panels, strut attachment points, rigging tensioners, control cable attachments and even tiny eyelets for the cable runs.

I particularly like the fact that the parts are produced in brass (rather than the steel seen so frequently) - I find it more forgiving and easier to work with, and it's relative softness is particularly useful in getting items like access panels to conform to fuselage contours.

I've never seen a Tom's Modelworks set before and I was impressed by the instructions which give a written description of each part and how to fit it, along with a silhouette of the part itself to avoid any confusion. The instructions are further enhanced by a number of detailed sketches of the type found in maintenance manuals for a full-sized aircraft, plus scrap diagrams marking the positions of the various access panels etc. There are one or two minor typos, but it's refreshing to find a set of "old fashioned" instructions with notes that seem to be very much written by a modeller for other modellers. Non-English speakers will obviously not get the benefit of the notes, but the numbered diagrams should still be sufficient to avoid problems.

Tom's Modelworks' set is well priced and timed perfectly to match the release of a kit which has captured modellers' imagination and should prove a valuable upgrade set for experienced modellers looking to add or enhance the areas which Roden missed. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Looking to take Roden's excellent Pfalz D.III to the next level in detail? Then Tom's Modelworks could well have just the photo-etched set you're looking for...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 515
  Suggested Retail: $12.00
  PUBLISHED: Aug 09, 2007

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


I have used Tom's Modelworks PE for years. It is part of my building process to include as much of his detail pieces as I can. You can't go wrong adding detail to a build if its in scale. Tom's PE is just that . . ."in scale." Even the parts you might think are "two dimensional" can be filled out with half round rods or sections of flat sheet plastic like you get from Evergreen. That way everything fits. It is all about keeping detail pieces in scale.
AUG 09, 2007 - 05:07 PM
If you have ordered parts from Tom's it may take a bit longer. I hear he is just going on vacation.
AUG 22, 2007 - 12:25 PM

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  • TM_Pfalz_Etch_2
  • TM_Pfalz_Instructions_11
  • TM_Pfalz_Instructions_2