To compliment the previously released basic detail set for the Tamiya Cromwell Mk. IV, Aber has now released its second set of details for the kit. This time the replacement photo-etch parts are for replacing the kit molded on fenders.
The set comes in the typical Aber packaging with the single photo-etch fret well protected by a solid 1/8th inch of cardboard backing and encased in a small plastic bag topped by a black cardboard header. The etching on the set is very clean with all parts having extremely small attachment points that will be easily cleaned up. The fenders have nice bending relief lines in them to aid in the bending of these. The bolt strips included for the inside edge of the fenders have a delicate bolt detail on them that will make them pop on the finished kit. The fender braces that are include look a lot better than the kit pieces and will definitely stand out in the end. Aber even includes the plates that bolt together the fenders underneath. Now that is detail!
The set has options for creating front fenders for the Mk. IV, Charioteer and the Comet or for the Mk. I and Centaur. There are different parts that are used for the different fender versions so some parts will be left over on the fret after construction.
Since this set is a replacement set for the fenders and on the Tamiya kit the fenders are molded integral to the upper hull, some major surgery will be required to fit these to the hull. Take some time and be careful when cutting the hull away as not to damage any other details on the hull. After removing the kit fenders, it looks like the Aber fenders will be a drop in replacement. They will definitely enhance the kit and will allow the builder to accurately depict battle damage to the fenders.
The instructions are printed on a single side of a sheet of A4 size paper. They are printed well and are clear to follow. Aber uses a series of codes on the instructions with the codes explained on the back of the packaging, so read all packaging before starting to understand these various codes. My only problem with the instructions is a lack of explanation on where exactly to cut the Tamiya upper hull to replace with the etched parts. Although the cut portion is relatively clear, another diagram from a different angle would have been a nice inclusion on the instructions.
Overall this is a nicely done set of fenders to replace the kit ones. They will undoubtedly enhance the base kit. Experienced modelers will enjoy this set and be able to tackle the surgery needed on the base kit. As with any photoetch sets a photoetch bending tool will give the best results.
Matt McLean reviews the second set of Photo-etch for the Tamiya Cromwell.