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In-Box Review
135
Tents & Tarps Set #2
Tents & Tarps Set 2
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]

introduction

It's a fact of warfare that you can't have too much canvas.

Whether it's tents or tarps, soldiers like shelter from the elements, and need to protect their gear and vehicles from the wet lest it rust or freeze in cold weather. And while Legend and Black Dog among others have done well supplying us with sets of stowed gear for specific AFVs, their stuff is often shaped to the particular vehicle's dimensions and angles, and is not easily-adapted to other situations. There are sets of backpacks and rifles, but not the general crap that soldiers need in the field like tents and tarpaulins. We've really needed a generic set of stowage, and now Value Gear, a new company in Ireland, has stepped in and offers a large and growing line of canvas items for on-vehicle or in-diorama settings.

what you get

Inside a Ziploc baggie are 16 cream-colored resin pieces.

the review

As pointed out above, there is no lack of stowage out there, usually in the form of resin AM sets. Korea's Legend and the Czech Republic's Black Dog have created a light industry in the category. But their sets are primarily intended for specific vehicles, with the stowage usually molded-together into large groupings, and shaped for the bends and corners of the designated vehicle.

Simultaneously, there has been an explosion of soft skins in the hobby, though usually they come "straight from the factory" with nothing in their cargo holds. So you either end up cannibalizing stuff from a leftover conversion/upgrade set or scrounging through your spares box. Scratchbuilding stowage is challenging because of the difficulties in converting tissue paper to simulated canvas.

Now Value Gear is "gearing up" for an entire line of generic stowage sets, including 18 "tents & tarps" sets like this one, as well as some covered crates, pots & pans, etc. The gear is just that: generic. Unless you have in mind something specific to a particular army or time period, these items will work well on a Tiger in the mud or an M1A1 Abrams in Fallujah. After all, armies have been living in tents probably since the Romans or before, so these items could work in a variety of periods and for both sides.

The molding is crisp and tight, with no apparent air bubbles. However, these are new items, and I only hope Value Gear will renew their molds frequently and not fall into the trap that some other makers have of allowing molds to get age out without replacement with the resulting bubbles and smudged detailing.

The detailing here is outstanding (see close-up photos at right), including belts and ties to hold the items together or onto a vehicle, and even a few tent poles. I'd like to see a set of items without belts and ties that might be placed in the back of a truck, for example, and Value Gear has a long line ahead to include variations.

The gear won't work on a sharp angle or anything but a flat surface, though some softening in hot water and a little care with a hobby knife might allow some of the items to be adapted that way. As always when using resin, be sure to avoid inhaling the dust when removing the gear from the very small pour plugs at the bottom. You pretty much just remove the base, paint and stow.

Shipping is quite reasonable (free within Ireland, and 1.65 for 1-2 sets and 3.3 for 3-4 sets. Value Gear accepts PayPal and has an eBay storefront.

conclusion

If you look at photos of AFVs from almost any war since 1900, you will see lots and lots of gear piled up, especially on trucks and transport vehicles. But surprisingly, there is little out on the market that recreates these items for generic builds. This set and the others like it play to that deficit very nicely. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Value Gear for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering from them.
SUMMARY
Highs: Useful for most armies in post-1900 settings. A large assortment for a reasonable price. Good, crisp molding.
Lows: Must be ordered directly from manufacturer, but the cost is reasonable.
Verdict: An excellent addition to any build or diorama.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: Set #2
  Suggested Retail: 8
  PUBLISHED: May 11, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 92.52%

Our Thanks to Value Gear!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2019 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Bill, great review. Looking like a very promising line of AM Stowage. Thanks Kevin
MAY 11, 2012 - 11:00 AM
Thanks, Kevin, these are the kinds of products that turn any build into a better one. You can't have too much of this in your spares box IMO.
MAY 11, 2012 - 11:23 AM
You can now order the first 5 sets of Universal/Generic Tents and Tarps directly from my site via paypal. or ebay if you prefer just search value gear. LINK The euro is down so anyone in the USA $11.93 is the converted price with shipping! 99% of the time I ship next day! Shipping to the USA is about 5-7 days Shipping to Europe is 2-5 days Thanks for all the kind words from all who have seen and tried my new resin stowage... And thank you to Armorama for having such a great site for all of us to find each other and discuss fun stuff... So far I have had orders from USA, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the UK... A ton from the UK, they must be building a huge plastic army... thanks steve
MAY 31, 2012 - 09:17 AM
Steve, glad to hear you're doing well, this is a real service to us modellers. Looking forward to your entire line, as I think it will up the realism factor for many of us to another level.
JUN 01, 2012 - 09:04 AM
   

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