by: Darren Baker [ ]
Legend Productions raised some very pleasing comments when they announced they were to release an engine for the AFV Club M60 in 1/35th scale. That release was quickly followed up with an AVDS 1790 Engine for the Dragon M48/M60 offerings and that is the item I am looking at here.
This product is packaged in a flip top opening cardboard box that is sealed with a heat shrink plastic cover. The contents inside are packed in two Ziploc plastic bag with some loose metal rods. The full breakdown of parts is as follows:
89 resin parts
1 photo etched fret
3 lengths of 0.7mm brass rod
1 length of 2mm brass rod
A loop of 0.5mm wire
A length of 0.5mm rubberised wire
A length of 1mm rubberised wire
2 instruction leaflets
I need to start this review by saying that the AVDS 1790 Engine made its way into a very large number of armoured vehicles and as such not all engines look the same. A number of alterations took place to the base engine in order to make the power pack fit the available space. I am also no expert on the Patton family of tanks, but I do have a copy of R.P. Hunnicuttís book on the Patton and this is I believe a respected publication on the subject and is the title that I am using as reference. Looking at this title in relation to the specific engine supplied it appears to me that this power pack was not fitted to the M48 as provided in this product, it was fitted into M60 tanks along with alternate set ups of the same engine. I am willing to accept an element of error in my statement on the M48 and urge anyone who knows better than I to speak up. I will not try to shoot you down.
An examination of the resin parts reveals no obvious issues of which I am aware. I have examined the parts by eye and I am aware that photographs can sometimes make issues such as air bubbles appear. I have taken the by eye examination over photographic as most of us look at builds with our eyes rather than a lens. There is of course some minor flash present, but this looks to be restricted to the inside of openings in parts for the most part. I particularly like the finish of the resin parts as I find it takes paint very well and provides a realistic surface texture/look.
Where resin mouldings are concerned, Legend productions seems to excel in moulding parts in such a way that problems such as distortion are all but eliminated; however I am aware that removal of these frames can be a pain in some cases. I know it can be very difficult you remove quite large resin casting structures without damaging the detail you want to retain, but you also need to consider that it is these structures that prevent the part you want from distorting out of shape and making your life far more difficult.
The photo etched parts are cleanly etched and have a minimal number of connection points, that making clean up easier. The thickness of the photo etch is appropriate and will be easy to bend due to the bend guidelines. I will add that the number of parts that need to be bent are very minimal, 2 parts in this case it appears and those bends are not complicated.
One area where I feel Legend Productions let themselves down is the instructions. The photographic approach taken can be confusing and so hard to follow by even experienced modellers, as such I feel that this approach affects the possible sales of the products generally and a switch to more conventional instructions could boost the potential market for the products. I am aware that some products are perfectly acceptable covered by the photographic approach, but I have the M88A2 Conversion set which has been shelved for the time being as I am struggling to follow the photographic instructions provided.
An examination of photographic reference material and having taken note of the comments made by those who have interacted with the real thing I can only conclude that Legend Productions has done an excellent job of replicating the AVDS 1790 power pack in all respects. One negative that is raised in relation to this product or more accurately resin products generally is shrinkage. All resin parts shrink to varying degrees until fully cured and like plastics are affected by heat, I can only speak from my experience of Legend Productions products and say I have never encountered a fit issue to date. Another negative comment made relates to the lack of a heat shroud; I have been unable to locate an image of this element, but I believe that if you are going to add an engine to your model of this quality then hiding it again is not going to be your goal.
Moving onto the internal elements of the engine bay, and I have to say that the fit requirements here are not as pleasing as the AFV Club M60 offering. There is some plastic extrusions required that are not included with this product, unfortunately no sizes are mentioned and so make this task more difficult to complete than it need be. Legend Productions also clearly state that filler is required and I praise them for their honesty in that respect. I have come to the conclusion that many of the alterations, nips and tucks that are required are due to the issues raised previously with the Dragon Models offering of the M60; I understand that the M60 star ship is worse than the M60 Patton. The M48 tanks from Dragon seem to be reasonably accurate and so while I have no evidence that this power pack was fitted to the M48, but if it is accurate it should be a good fit for the most part.
Included with this offering are the access panels for the engine deck, these include all of the top deck and rear access doors. These have good detail on both faces and so is a great addition to this offering.
I really like the level of detail provided with this offering from Legend Productions as it will add to the look of a finished model with it fitted or waiting to be fitted. When it comes to fitment to the Dragon Model offerings there is more work required on the part of the modeller to make this look right, but the result still looks to be pleasing. As many of you will know by now I do have issues with the photographic instructions and would prefer a more conventional approach, but this assembly can be followed fairly well in this case. I was unable to find evidence of its use in the M48 tank, but that does not mean it didn't happen.