by: Pat McGrath [ ]
introductionAs a self confessed Slobbering Sherman Freak Iím always on the look out for new aftermarket bits and pieces to upgrade convert and improve my models so when Teacher asked me to review this set I jumped at the chance!
Whatís in the box The kit comes in a strong cardboard box with a photo of a made up bogie on the front. A zip lock bag contains all the parts cast in cream-colored resin. Each bogie is made up of seven different parts. Casting plugs on each part are big and quite heavily cast. The instructions come on a in the form of colour photos the first numbering the parts and the other three showing a built up bogie from three different angles with numbers indicating which parts go where.
I decided the only way to review it was to build the bogies. Removal of the casting plugs was very tedious. I used a razor saw and a modelling knife but I could see where a grinding tool would be helpful. No indication is given as to what manufacturerís wheels and return rollers should be used. Italeri wheels and a Tamiya return roller proved the best fit for the axle stubs on the suspension arms and the return roller mounting.
Parts fitThe actual fit of all the parts together is not great. The front return roller mount is too short and if glued to the top of the bogie the roller would slant towards the front. I left a gap and glued the mount to the roller itself. There is a sizeable gap between the location points on the suspension arms which are held together only by gluing the wheels in place. If you disregard the instructions, part six, which is indicated as the return roller axle (but doesnít fit) fits between the two suspension arms, there is even a location hole for it, and the spring assembly sits in place on top of it. It does however make the main part of the bogie sit too high so maybe Iím wrong. With the wheels in place the suspension arms are a very tight fit into the bogie.
dimensionsMy callipers are not digital so measurements are accurate to within half a millimetre. The height of the bogie main housing measures out at 10 mm which is approx .5 mm short. For me thatís acceptable. The real problem is the depth of the bogie which is approximately 1.5-2mm too shallow this will put the wheels out of line with the idler and sprocket wheels.
DetailThe detail is soft with a lack of definition particularly on the bolt heads.
in ConclusionAlthough I think some modellers get too caught up in measurements and I would not think of myself as a rivet counter this set just doesnít measure up for me. With a lot of work this set could be made more accurate but for me the whole point of aftermarket resin sets is that offer a shortcut through all that work. The problems with fit of parts, soft detail, excessive clean up and dimensional accuracy combined means that I canít in all honesty recommend this set.
My thanks to Ian Sadler for sending me his Lee/Grant suspension photofile.