The use of Zimmerit on German tanks and StuG's during WWII was limited mostly to those vehicles manufactured from early 1943 to the Autumn of 1944. We've yet to have a major injection moulding company try to represent this on a 1/35th scale model, and therefore it's up to the individual modeller to find his own solution. One option is to use a pre-packaged solution, either resin or photo etched. This new set from Eduard offers us the later.
The set arrives in a larger than usual package from Eduard, with a two-sided instruction sheet, one very large PE fret, and one much smaller. Both in the unusual colour of brass............. for Eduard anyway.
I've recently reviewed the Eduard Zimmerit set for the StuG IV, and have to say that I was much happier with that set. This one just looks too uniform again, much like the earlier sets Eduard have produced. I don't see a problem with using photo etched Zimmerit, and think that it can look very effective..............if produced in the correct way. However, it does have limitations that other media don't have. For example, using this set it would be very difficult indeed to represent damage. It can't be applied and then chipped off to reveal the surface beneath. The edges also have to be hidden, which isn't too much of a problem, and acrylic resin can do the job. This set does however, suffer from the uniformity issue, and also one other major problem...............the MG ball mount.
Eduard have supplied the Zimmerit PE for the MG ball as a series of crescent-shaped pieces that they recommend you put on a soft surface and with the aid of a steel ball, roll into shape. I can see the difficulty here if you can't find a steel ball of the correct diameter, but even if you can.................. can you hide those edges? I wouldn't try.........but more to the point I really don't think Eduard have enough confidence either, since the instructions detail how to do it with the putty of your choice instead! And a Zimmerit tool (not supplied!)
Because of the MG ball mount, I can't really recommend this set unless you're happy with scrapping the PE for this and using putty. At least you would have a pattern to work from. I really wish that Eduard would learn from other manufacturers and include a resin part. With complex compound curves such as this, I think it's the only way it can be done effectively.
Eduard have produced another photo etched Zimmerit set, this time for the Panther Ausf G using Dragon's kit #6268 kit. They haven't managed to solve the problem of the kugelblende though!