Eduard Challenger II Desert version,
1/35-scale photo-etched brass (35743)
by Frank V. De Sisto
This set is specifically designed for the new Tamiya kit, so those considering
using it on the Trumpeter kit should use the earlier set Eduard markets
for that specific kit. This particular set contains three frets and five
pages of instructions, in the usual clear Eduard style.
With the exception of the included louvered CIP panels, the remainder
of this set should prove quite easy to use. The CIP panels have many folds;
the frames, in particular will prove to be a bit of a challenge since
there are two small folds that have to be made on all four sides, prior
to fitting the panels themselves.
The remainder of the set consists of various detailed frames for periscopes
and other optical devices, which include wiper blades. Various stowage
containers get new hinge, clamp and lock details, while the IR suppressing
exhaust shrouds receive several small detail parts.
A completely new tool box is also provided as is a cable reel and its
mounts. Tools, tow cables, fire extinguishers and spare track blocks get
new mounting hardware, and there are new straps and brackets to mount
the external fuel drums. These last items are designed to be used with
styrene rod, which is not included.
The various hatches get new handles, hasps and straps, while the fuel
filler caps get extra details as well. The loader’s 7.62mm MG receives
new sights, pintle, ammo box (with belted ammo) and cradle. The main gun’s
travel lock also gets new locking detail parts.
The engine deck can be dressed up with new screens for the forward-most
set of grills, as well as various handles for the different doors. These
last are, of course, flat and are best replaced with fine wire. There
are quite a few smaller detail parts for the fenders, side skirts, hull
and turret. The handle-like object attached to some of the appliqué
armor modules are also replaced by flat items, but I’d stick with
what the kit provides.
In closing, this set is a bit complex due to the inclusion of the CIP
panels, so it may not be for the novice. Otherwise, there’s lots
of good stuff here.
Product images are used by permission of Eduard. Eduard products are
available at retail and mail order shops and directly from the manufacturer
at: www.eduard.cz. Visit their web
site for additional images of reviewed items.