Sheets have large view exploded diagrams that are simple to follow.
I also like their full-color painting and decaling sheet that
comes separately. My kit example was well-packed, no damage,
and complete. Some minor flashing is present, and there are mold
seams and plenty of ejector pins marks to cleanup over the span
of some 291 parts.
Right off the bat,
I have to state that clean-up was considerable. Since I decided
to put something into the interior of the miniature - I had to
fill and remove a lot of ejector pin marks, and remnants of attachment
of subassemblies as I went through construction. It tripled the
amount of time it would normally take to build the kit, and it
impacted my "fun factor" rating. But, I did decide
to do this to myself, so I'm not complaining too strenuously.
I ran into a problem
properly fitting the Rear Hull Bulkhead (Part #B1) in place with
the Lower Hull and Upper Hull halves. I wound up sliding the
Rear Bulkhead downward slightly to ensure the upper edges fit
properly - leaving a 1mm gap at the bottom sides to fill with
putty, and a little lip underneath that would not be seen from
casual viewing angles.
Inside the Lower Hull,
Trumpeter made the Drive Train Tunnel too deep for the Differentials
- the "hump" is about 2mm too high inside. This prevents
the modeler from "drop-fitting" some Italeri interior
floor components into the Trumpeter model kit. On the plus side,
the basic parts aren't terribly complicated, so the modeler can
just fashion their own based on the kit parts.
The poly vinyl Tires
are nice for the medium, and can be mounted on the Hubs after
painting, but the assembly of the complicated suspension calls
for careful alignment in the end. The set of front wheels lined
up well after basic construction, the rear set of four wheels
did not in camber or in line with each other - but minor tweaking
can rectify this. Thankfully, you can leave the wheels off the
hull throughout the modeling of an interior, so as to lessen
the chance of damaging your work through the process.
I started the miniature
late 2005 - and got to this stage before putting away. The interior
of the Upper Hull called for the most cutting away of the interior
braces Trumpeter cast to keep the piece rigid - and both hull
halves suffer from ejector pin marks galore. This was the first
time I used Tamiya White Putty as a filler - but I never sanded
the excess away like shown in the photo of the Upper Hull. I
was thrilled to find that when I attacked it this evening, it
feathered out nicely and was easy to sand down - like I had only
put it down yesterday. I wasn't too sure I liked Tamiya White
Putty, but I'm sold now. I can't believe I could sand it smooth
after close to six years!