by: Jeff [ ]
Well the kit is not bad at all, so far. The way the layout of the parts is done is way different, and square sprues, are a first for me. My first thoughts was that in my opinion way too many parts, But on the plus side all of them appear to be crisp and new, as a new kit this is the way it should be.
I should that a bunch of seam lines do need to be removed, in this kit and I do mean a bunch, but any modeller should be able to handle that easily. The attachments points are far too large in my opinion as I have seen thinner ones on 1/6 scale stuff. The tracks need to be changed as I see it, as these are not what i expect in this day and age and so I would not call High Tech. If they had done a set like Dragon they would be way ahead. I still think this kit is one link short, but I have seen some built where they look to be okay. My results may be due to the fact that I did not use the included jig proper; however I still think a set of DS type of tracks would save time, well just be better.
The fit of some of the parts is not as good as it should be; angles on what should be straight parts and others do not close up properly. I fixed a bunch of these issues and left some alone as getting this kit built and finished looked like I was going to miss my deadline. Going back to the track issue I did order a set of AFV Club tracks, even though a pain they went on with just slight sag. As we should all know the really small and delicate pins on AFV Club tracks means that they should not be put them under tension.
More on the attachment problem of some parts. Some are made with heavy points of attachment, which in turn means that no matter what you do to release the part it breaks. To articulate my point the little handles, the ones that go on the rear top deck, the instructions ask for two to be used and Takom supply 10, 5 on each A sprue. After a good look at how best to remove these parts I made a start, as soon as any pressure applied all five broke straight thru the middle. Due to this issue on the other sprue a different approach was called for, this also lead to breaking them all one at time. With no parts left I finally made the parts using copper wire and thin lead sheet, which looks better then the model ones anyway.
So for me as far as I am concerned I am finished with it now. My final assessment of the model is that it is not to bad a model, for what it is. On the downside there are a lot of seams that need to be taken care of. As a newer model the seams should not be a problem one would have to deal with. I must admit that even though most parts are heavy on attachment points, the railings for the turret came off easy if one thought about it looked like the best way to do it. My final Opinion is that this is a nice kit ,as to subject it lacks a few things, like tracks, and smaller attachment points on the sprues.