by: Roman [ ]
Being mostly interested in 1/35 armor models I did a number of Bronco’s and Tamiya’s quarterscale kits during the last year. I was so used to plenty of aftermarket solutions available for 1/35th scale modellers that it was surprising to see how limited the choice is when it comes to 1/48th scale. Few manufacturers, limited range and quite high price per set and amount of material when you compare to 1/35th scale offerings. Of course when you have a set dedicated to particular vehicle you can use it all, but what if you don’t need the full set on your model? What if the idea of manufacturer doesn’t match your references? What if you want to have a set that can be used for several models? What if the items are oversized? Sadly, but these were my impressions from the market. I had to re-sculpt sandbags, add tie-downs, fix not properly casted rope elements and moreover, it took me ages to clean up some of the delicate elements from casting blocks and then polishing the resin.
So, when I got the information that Value Gear Details were transferring their knowledge of 1/35th scale to 1/48th scale I felt happy. This small company lead by Steve Munsell is specialized in making generic accessorizes that fit any model of any time period. What is offered to quarter scale fans is 4 sets – 3 sets of tents, tarps and crates together with a separate set of crates only.
All 4 sets are packaged in ziploc plastic bags stapled to a cardboard backer together with an informations sheet on resin handling, usage of CA glue, adjusting shape of resin items, painting sequence suggestion (good idea) and even paint striping precautions! I have to admit I’ve never seen a manufacturer of resin products giving such basic and at the same time very vital information. For example I never thought that brake fluid that some modellers use to strip the paints from styrene would eat the resin.
Tents, Tarps & Crates Set #1 includes 16 crates and 11 rolls, together 27 parts. To be more precise these are 2 long rectangular crates, 3 medium sized rectangular crates, 9 wide crates and 2 small rectangular crates; 5 single rolls with tie-downs, 1 double blanket, and 5 double rolls/tents with tie-downs. The casting quality is excellent and no clean-up is required (similar to other sets). There are no casting defects or missing parts of the tie-down straps. The detail on them is really down to scale (see how it looks on the back of Staghound) and folds are nicely done.
Tents, Tarps & Crates Set #2 includes 16 crates and 11 rolls, together 27 parts. 1 huge crate, 7 long rectangular crates with different height, 2 medium sized long rectangular crates, 4 medium sized wide rectangular crates and 2 small crates; 7 single rolls of different length, 3 double rolls and 1 roll on the blanket. Again, great detail when it comes to wood texture, folds, straps and tie-downs.
Finally, Tents, Tarps & Crates Set #3 also has 27 parts included: 16 single tarps/rolls of different sizes, 6 double rolls and 5 rolls on crates. As with 2 previous sets no clean-up is needed and the detail is as sharp as it is possible for 1/48 (and even better!). Personally, I like that set most (out of sets #1-3) as the combination of rolls on crates looks as an absolute winner. And only 4 items were sufficient to cover the whole engine deck of Staghound.
Another item is Crates Set #1 that contains 32 crates of different sizes - these are the same that are included in Tents, Tarps & Crates Set #1-2, just combined together. Definitely the crates would be a great addition to diorama or next to airplane models, from WW1 to modern times.
Overall, I think these are excellent sets that after some planning could be arranged nicely on any kind of model. No removal from casting blocks is required and that means that after washing them in soap water you can start painting with desired type of paints (maybe even using the recommended sequence from attached info sheet which looks very simple and convenient). As previously mentioned, set #3 is my personal favorite as I don’t put many crates on my models, but given the relatively low price all of them together would be a nice addition to your box of accessories.
p.s. Images of painted sets are taken from Value Gear Details webpage. Please visit it for further info, pricing and tips.