A quick look a this photo etch set from Eduard for the Academy M3 Lee, a companion set for the M3 Lee Interior set here.
The M3 Lee from Academy was generally well received, despite some shortcomings, not entirely improved by the Eduard exterior set, most noticeably in the area of the rear tool boxes. The kit does provide a rudimentary interior consisting of transmission, seats, patterned floor in places, and steering linkages etc., but as alway, nothing that can't be improved upon with a spot of in-scale photo etch!
The set is supplied as two decent-sized photo etch frets. The usual Eduard instructions are supplied, calling out clearly where to cut, fill or replace. In this case the instructions run to four sides.
The first things we're offered replacements for, are the two small floor plates beneath each seat. The ones in the kit are a bit atrocious, but remember little of this will be visible once the kit is built, even if all the hatches are left fully open. There are numerous hinges for various storage boxes and ammo containers suppled, and new seat belts for the driver and co-driver, which aren't supplied at all in the kit, and these do look nice.
Various bits and pieces for the radio, and new brackets for the two gas cylinders are also supplied as well as a new barrel and sight for the four .30 Cal's, although forming the barrels from flat photo etch is not an easy task, although if you manage it they will look superb. Plenty of annealing will be the order of the day!
Moving to the sidewalls of the fighting compartment, we are given all new ammunition racks, which form relatively easy and the clips so formed fit the ammunition supplied in the kit beautifully, and look so much better than the scalloped examples supplied in the Academy kit. There are various boxes, clips and brackets for the sidewall, as well as a new face for the radio, and various bits and pieces to spruce up the gunner's seat.
If you do choose to install this set, the likelihood is that all the hatches will be left open so that you can see a bit of it. Therefore, all the hatches receive new handles and locks, and there are also new housings for the vision blocks on the hatches. There are a full compliment of ammunition brackets again for the turret basket, along with more restraining belts for the gunner's and commander's seats, and even a complete new turret floor with fittings.
Lastly, moving up into the turret itself, there are quite a few parts to detail this up, including ammunition racks again, various levers and brackets for detailing the sidewalls, and cupola, an ammunition box fitted to the 37mm gun with belt that goes over the top to the .30 cal, and assorted brackets and fittings!
A useful set from Eduard that improves on some of the more basic parts supplied in the Academy kit such as the ammunition racks, and supplies other parts not in the kit, such as seat belts and various brackets. Considering the limited visibility once the kit is completed, it does make the inside look busy once installed. Recommended.
My thanks to Eduard
for the review sample.