Last year seen one of Tamiya's infrequent 1/35th scale releases in the form of the Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. B. The kit was widely praised..............and also widely panned for it's poor fit in places. As with all 1/35th injection moulded kits though, the limitations of the moulding process mean that there are lot's of parts hat could be better represented by the use of photo-etch. Aber to the rescue!
As with all Aber sets, this is definitely not one for the beginner. It's a real challenge to use all of the set usually, and this one will be no different. Included are 3 frets of photo etch, one large one, and two much smaller ones.
One look at the complicated Aber instructions contained on two sides will give you some indication of the complexity of this set. Aber really pack the parts on there frets.......there is no spare room whatsoever! Not only that, but Aber parts are notoriously small, which means you'll need a good magnifying lens!
So what do you actually get in the set? Well, first off the main gun assembly gets some attention. Aber provide a cover for the gun, which looks fine, except of course, that's it's photo etch, and I was always under the impression that gun covers were fabric based?
There is an absolute plethora of small fittings, fixtures, brackets, and replacements to be fitted to the outside of the vehicle. Nearly all of them are tiny, and will no doubt look absolutely amazing once they're all fitted. New horn, mudguard brackets, tool clamps (early), light brackets, inside for the Notek light, brackets for the antennae trough, extinguisher bracket, working hinged headlight covers, (Tamiya provide etched ones that don't work), the list goes on and on. Without an extensive reference library on the StuG III it's impossible to say whether or not all these tiny details are correct, so I'll assume Aber have done their homework, and if they haven't there are those of you that will correct them I've no doubt!
Aber provide two very nice engine grills, and although Tamiya themselves provide these, I have to say that the Aber ones look far better! They have a much finer pattern, and don't contain the cut-outs that Tamiya engineered into theirs for the antennae trough brackets.
It's impossible for me to list all the parts that Aber supply, so I can only recommend careful study of the photographs. The most extensively re-worked part of the Tamiya kit is the smoke candle rack, but this requires extensive thinning of the Tamiya supplied part, and then the assembly itself looks complicated.
This set is typically Aber, in that if you do somehow manage to use it all, you'll have a show stopper! Having said that, if you don't have experience of photo etch, then this probably isn't the set you should start with unless you're incredibly patient! Highly recommended.
My thanks to Aber for the review sample.
An incredibly complicated set of photo etched parts from Aber that if all used will result in a show stopper, replacing or improving as it does, nearly everything on the outside of the vehicle. Not one for the photo etch beginner!