by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
SBS Model have moved away from their straight "aircraft" upgrades with their latest release- a neatly produced detail set for Italeri's popular 1:48 Kfz. 385 Tankwagen. Many of SBS's releases are updated from the highly regarded FM range whiich is now unavailable. That may be true here too, but I never had the chance to buy any of the originals so I can't say for sure.
The set arrives in an attractive cardboard carton, with the parts sealed in zip-lock bags, and comprises:
26 x grey resin parts
14 x etched brass parts
A sheet of printed film for instruments
A length of soft wire
The casting is excellent as usual with SBS's work, with no "flash" or bubbles evident, and really crisp details throughout.
The upgrade covers two areas of the Tankwagen - the cab and the side pumping equipment.
the cab Both the interior and exterior of the crew cab benefit from a number of etched items. Principally, there's a new dashboard with a printed film for the instruments that looks a lot more delicate than the kit version. The rather clunky kit pedals are replaced, and there are new windscreen wipers, mirrors and signals etc. for the exterior. Last but certainly not least, there's the all-important Opel Blitz emblem missing from the kit's radiator grill.
pumping sectionFitting the side box entails some simple surgery to remove the area highlighted red in the accompanying photo and, once this is done, the basic unit is a snug fit. (Note: This part in the sample set had taken a knock at some stage and needed a small repair to build up a damaged corner.) Into this unit go a number of stop-cocks and fuel outlets for a nicely busy look. A new resin door with detail on the inner face is provided to replace the section of the kit that you cut away.
The hoses themselves are supplied as soft wire, with resin couplings along their length. Etched brackets are provided to drape the hoses over.
The set is accompanied by a clear set of instructions. The conversion is broken down into three stages, and the nicely drawn illustrations are simple to follow. There are no painting instructions, but I imagine most of the pump equipment was painted in the overall body colour, possibly with the odd touch of bare metal.
conclusionThis is a very nice set to accompany Italeri's Tankwagen, extending the diorama possibilities and generally refining the basic kit. It's a straightforward conversion and would make an ideal introduction to working with resin and etched parts, so I'd recommending it to anyone with a modicum of experience who wants to take the next step beyond a standard kit.
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