Model Valley #004 M12 Transmission Set for Academy M12
Frank De Sisto
Contains 22 photo-etch parts, 17 resin parts and one page of instructions
with parts chart. Price: $ 21.98 USD. Available from M & Models at: www.wwa.com/mmodels.
This is the companion set to MV 0003, reviewed elsewhere on this site. In general the production values are very good and certainly the equal of most of the better resin after-market manufacturers. There were no bubbles and all detail is very crisply cast. Clean up is average for the industry, with small parts attached to easily removed blocks. Large parts have either slight
over-pours which need to be sanded off, or very large blocks which will need to be chopped off using your favorite method.
The instructions are in 3 steps and include a numbered parts chart. They are simple and clearly understood and all that is needed, provided you test fit everything, especially the final drive housing. This is why I think the leaflet provided in the Engine set should be included here as that shows where to remove plastic from the host kits upper and lower hull.
As per the Engine set, there is no color information provided, so references will be needed although the modeler can use the host kit's instructions as a guide.
A complete final drive housing is provided with most of the transmission cast on. An insert has compartment floor and sidewalls with full details molded on. There is a rear wall with drive shaft, which is not used if you have the full engine kit, as it is only detailed on the driver's compartment side (the other is detailed on both sides). To that is added the kit seats, (or the seats from
the Engine set) kit controls and transmission part. There is a new instrument panel, air circulation fan, (I think!) storage box, locker and a few other doo-dads. Finally there is the driver's side hatch with details on both sides to replace the kit hatch.
In photo-etch, the modeler is provided with a pair of headlamp brush guards and a bunch of equipment tie down points, which are ignored in the instructions. All in all, this is a nice addition that allows the modeler to spruce up the basic kit without going "all the way" (expense wise) for the engine compartment.
Highly recommended, skill level: basic. Value for money: good.
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