Here are some more photos showing the application of the PE. Without it, this kit is boring and lifeless, but the detailing really brings it to life. The tool box is a nice touch IMO:
The "carpet monster" ate this metal backing plate to the MG periscope, so I scratched it:
Speaking of the MG:
I did think about adding an AM PE MG but can't find one that suits my tastes. There are many turned brass barrels, but mostly they are intended for ball-mount MGs, not fully-exposed ones, so adding a nice barrel to this limited detailed-MG would look assinine IMO. Purchasing a full AM MG crossed my mind, but they're probably as expensive as the base kit (ABER's own 35L070 is almost $21 at LuckyModel and not even in-stock, so its price might be much higher by now).
The jack wooden block looks a lot better with the PE straps and butterfly wing nut thumbscrew:
The driver's vision port and PE grab handles:
More grab handles. The plastic ones supplied with the kit were out-of-scale, so these are brass wire. Still a bit big for my tastes, but smaller diameter wire is so very hard to work with, even when using a wire bending device:
The gunner's hatches are from the kit, but improved with ABER hinges:
One of the details that separates the Early from the Mid- to Late-Hetzer is the exhaust system. The early one is an L-shaped contrivance that runs down the back of the vehicle to the muffler, which has a heat exchanger cover:
The kit-supplied jack is awful, but ABER doesn't make it easier by asking you to rework parts that barely have any definition to begin with. It's my one gribe with ABER PE sets, where the most-dreaded word in the instruction sheet is the Polish drut
("wire"). ABER usually specifies a metric wire diameter when most wire in the US is sold in gauges.
Here is the overall effect: