Tristar has followed up their excellent Panzer IV series with the release of the Pz.38(t). An equally good kit, it has some very nice detail added, like the fully detailed main and co-ax gun in the turret. But unfortunately as so often happens, no other detail is included, which leaves a very empty space. This set from Eduard is crammed full of detail for the turret, fighting compartment and drivers station, and if you combine this set with the Exterior set (no. 35 914), the results will look superb.
what’s in the bag?
This comprehensive set comprises of three frets of Photo-etched brass, a clear piece of acetate with printed dials and three pages of instructions. The parts are packaged in a clear, re-sealable envelope and sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, which are very effective at avoiding any damage to the fragile contents.
a closer look
The instructions ‘start’ with the firewall, which is a very busy affair. The ventilation hatches have good rivet detail, there is a delicate item resembling a switch box, a non-descript scare (junction)box, two storage boxes strapped to the firewall, and a tiny little light fitting. The floor plate is a ‘staggered links’type affair, and should look very attractive when painted and suitably weathered.
Looking forward to the drivers and radio-operators position, the set provides foot pedals for brake, throttle and clutch, as well as a handbrake lever and bracket. As usual an etched instrument panel is there, with the dials printed on clear acetate film to be mounted behind the panel. After applying a drop of clear varnish or such as a lens, these are very convincing. The set also includes two seat mounts, complete with notches for the lateral seat adjustment, but no seats. As there are no seats provided in the Tristar kit either, you’ll have to scratch build these. Also missing (both Eduard and Tristar) is any equipment for the steering. Eduard do provide a radio, complete with a very nice mounting bracket.
Next up are the ammunition containers, which are beautiful. Three 3.7 cm ammo cases are stored in perforated steel boxes, and another three in very fragile brackets, secured with straps. The cases can be constructed opened up, and the separate carry handles and latches really set them off. There are four smaller ammo boxes, presumably for the MG rounds, also secured in perforated metal boxes.
The only addition to the interior of the turret is some storage for the turret bustle, in the shape of a three drawer cabinet, and another eight (ready)ammo storage cases. All these are however constructed ‘solid’ with no option to display them opened up.
The Tristar kit has some nice features, amongst which are the very well moulded hatches, with excellent inside detail. The inclusion of a fully detailed breech and co-ax MG make opening up the hatches a tempting option. That is however as far as Tristar has gone with the interior detail, leaving a bare void. This Photo-etch set from Eduard fills most of that void, and will look superb through the opened hatches. There is no driveline detail in either the Tristar or Eduard set (but Eduard do include the drive shaft cover that goes between the firewall and gearbox), but unless you open the transmission inspection cover in the front glacis, that detail is not that easy to see.
The quality is as we have come to expect from Eduard, thin brass, easy to work with, un-complicated with clever fold lines etched in to aid bending. The instructions are very clear, and as all the parts are additional detail, rather than replacement, there is no need to remove or modify any of the plastic kit parts. In all this is a relatively simple set to use, and as such would be suitable for those with little experience working with Photo-etch.
My thanks to Eduard for this review sample.
The Tristar Pz.38 kit is nice, but the lack of interior detail really lets it down if you open the hatches. This easy to work with Photo-etch set provides a great interior, with superb ammo-storage.