by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Some of us love the challenge of tiny photo-etched pieces, and some of us, well, not so much. I am in the “not so much crowd.” Some photo-etch has been known to induce nightmares; don't be ashamed, admit it.
Jenny Ryan of Jenny's Tanks and Things and Passion Models of Japan have collaborated to come up with a couple of sets of German tool clamps for on-board equipment that should help alleviate a lot of the nightmares that putting together tool clamps can sometimes cause.
I received a set of both the “early type” (set P35-075) and the “late type” (P35-076), and decided to give them a whirl. They were pretty much everything that they were advertised to be. It took me about 30-35 minutes to finish the one clamp, and I would guess that the next one would go even quicker. And so on. They were actually pretty easy to do.
what you get
Each set provides enough material to construct 16 full tool clamps as well as 10 complete latches and hasps for box lids. Plus as an added bonus, the early set comes with a number of hand tools: pliers, wrenches, etc. The later style set comes with bonus goodies like wristwatches, comb, scissors, razors and the like.
Rather than try to explain just what I did, I am going to quote from Jenny Ryan herself as to how the process works:
"...I had an idea, shared it with my friend Manabu San from Passion models. We have refined the design and thus the Jenny clamp was born. The pins on the left hand side are 3mm longer with a fold line at the correct size; the pins on the right hand side are about half this length, also with the fold line. Assembly is straightforward: fold the base as usual, fold the latch as normal, but leave it slightly ajar. Insert the left hand base pin into the latch, fold the pin over making this side captive; do the same with the top part, then align the other side which can also be bent upwards. There is no way that the catch can come apart. Now Very Happy. It is designed so that the clamp can be added to the vehicle, the tools and vehicle can then be painted separately, making tool detailing easier and not leaving a void in the cam around and under the tool position. The tool is then added to the vehicle, a small drop of superglue and close the catch. Now trim the excess pin length with Zuron scissors and maybe just a small dot of paint on any shiny bits!"
There you have it from Jenny herself.
I found in constructing the clamp that the right side pins worked better if trimmed a bit more than they are, but be careful— not too much. You can check out my photos to the right covering the steps I went through and what it looked like along the way.
All in all, with the good number of clamps and stoppers that can be built from each set, plus the extra goodies, these sets of photo-etch are great value for the money. Beyond that, however, is the easy method of building the clamps. If you are looking to dress up your next panzer with some really nice, and reasonably priced photo-etch, then you can't go wrong with either of these sets. Highly recommended!