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. Here I get to look at the AVDS 1790 Engine for AFV Club M60 family
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 bags with some loose metal rods. The full breakdown of parts is as follows:
58 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
1 instruction leaflet
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 have been informed by Gino Quintiliani that the engine was installed in the M48A3.
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 much more pleasing than the offering for the Dragon M48/M60, the issue I feel is that the product was designed specifically for the AFV Club kit and altered to fit the Dragon Models offering. The plastic extrusions required for the Dragon offering are no longer needed. From what I can see it looks as if this will be a very straight forward fit to the base model. The engine access panels are not included with this offering as the AFV Club hatches are perfectly acceptable.
This offering from Legend Productions looks to excel in all respects other than the instructions. The parts are clean and well moulded for resin parts, and the fit also looks to be very good and easy to achieve. Other than my concerns about following the photographic instructions, I think this offering is a stunner.