by: Darren Baker [ ]
Plus Model the Czech manufacturer of resin goodness has sent Armorama some offerings for review. On this occasion one of the offering is a US 300 gallon fuel tank made entirely from resin and offered in 1/35th scale with some nice decal detail included. I would like to say here that I see no reason why this should specifically be an American item as fuel tanks such as this are in the UK even if usually now square and being made of a plastic at least on the outside.
This offering from Plus Model is supplied in a card box with a good quality print on it covering the product. Inside there is a bubble wrap pocket with a second sealed plastic bag inside containing the resin parts for the item, the decal sheet is inside the bubble wrap pocket and further protected by its own sealed plastic sleeve. This approach is reasonable but has not prevented damage in this case, damage that in this case was repairable, but I would urge Plus Model to consider going down the same route as the likes of ICM where packaging is concerned. Also loose inside the carton is a small piece of paper covering construction, an aspect I approve of regardless of the simplicity of the model.
Looking at the model parts I was disappointed to find two of the feet for the container broken; fortunately the broken pieces were inside the packaging and a small amount of work remedied these broken parts due to the clean nature of the breaks and some CA glue. More disappointingly for me is the absence of the filler pipe; this is quite a prominent structure on the tank and while it should not be overly difficult to scratch build, it is a part that should not be missing from the box. The pour plug that contains all of the parts that are mounted on the top of the tank look to be in good order and that including the part that has broken free.
The large pour plug on the cylinder will require care when removing to avoid damage to the moulding, that is unless you plan on placing this area against a structure and making it a hidden aspect. The base supports are supplied as concrete castings and are straight forward to use as the pour plug attaches on the underside and so hidden. If you wish you could make these look to be wooden by rubbing the surface with rough sandpaper. The feet of the cylinder are the parts that were broken and I have taken images of these after reattaching the broken parts.
The parts along the top of the tank cover a mix of purposes. The breather is present along with the float that indicates how much is in the tank. There are what I believe to be are inspection caps that enable the integrity of the tank to be checked periodically. There are others but I do not know what these are supposed to represent. The decals provided are very well done and should meet with the approval of all modellers. The text is obviously in English which restricts where it can be used and in the belief that these were used at least across Europe some European worded decals would have been a nice inclusion. It needs to be pointed out that this is an observation not a complaint of the product.
This is a nicely tackled subject which has been well tackled and I approve of the fact that Plus Model has included both decals and instructions. I also approve of the fact that Plus Model makes the effort to include numbered parts and so removing all of the guesswork from the build. On the negative side it would seem a common complaint about damaged parts in Plus Model offerings and as the broken parts are in the packaging this would indicate to me that the packaging needs to be looked at to prevent this occurring. A missing part upset me as it is an important element and I may contact them for a replacement part to see what their customer service is like. In all other respects I am happy with the product.