This set is specifically designed for use with the 1/35 Dragon Smart Kits of the StuG IV, which I would assume to mean the early, mid and late production variants. The set is packaged in a plastic sleeve, with one large fret taped to a piece of black card stock and a small fret and 4 springs in a small zip lock bag. Each fret is protected by a thin plastic film on both sides. Instructions consist of a single sheet of green paper printed front and back.
The StuG IV came in to being as an expedient means to replace the lost production of the heavily damaged Alkett factory which produced the StuG III. The superstructure from the StuG IIIG was fitted to the chassis of the Pz.Kpfw. IV, and an armored cab for the driver was added to the front left of the hull. Side skirts or schurzen were often added for additional protection. This set provides complete photo etch fenders assemblies to replace the kit plastic fender pieces.
The instructions are simple, clear and easy to follow. Assembly begins with the rear hinged fender flaps H1/H21. The flaps must be folded to shape including the fender lip and hinge halves. The bolt detail must be pressed out as shown. The other half of the hinges features tabs that must be rolled to form the hinges which are then attached to the fender flaps with wire hinge pins. Four pins must be formed using 0.5mm wire (not included) with one end folded under to form a handle. The total length of the pins should be 13.5mm long, so I would recommend making the handle part first, then measure and trim the pin end to get the exact length. You will use two of the pins now, save the other two for later when you attach the front fender flaps. You will also need to make 2 pins from 0.4mm ABS rod (not included) cut into 1.5mm lengths which are then attached to the fenders as shown along with two PE bracket pieces on both the inside and outside of the fender flap. The pins will be where one end of the springs will attach during the final assembly.
The main fenders begin with fender pieces H19 and H7 for the left and right fenders. Be careful when removing them from the fret as the inner openings in the fender frame have other parts nested inside. Bolt details must be carefully pressed out and the sides folded down. Angled support brackets with mounting hardware attach to the underside. Fender parts H3 and H2 with the diamond plate surfaces are attached to the folded fender frames you just completed. Brackets are attached to the fenders along with 1 pin each made from 0.4mm ABS rod (not included) cut 1.5mm long. A long flat bracket G1/G2 attaches as shown. Hinged panels attach in place towards the rear of the fender assemblies along with a folded bracket and securing latches.
The front fender flaps are made from flap parts H39/H40 which will require the length along the hinged side to be carefully rolled to form the hinge. Fender flap frames H28/H25 must have the bolt details pressed out, sides folded down and brackets attached, all of which gets attached to the flap covers H39/H40. Lengths of 0.5mm ABS rod cut to form reinforcing strips on the inside of the fender side. Dry fit and trim to length. Tabs attach to the front fender flaps and the whole flap assembly is attached to the fenders using the 2 pins you saved when making the rear fender flaps. Small metal springs attaché to the sides of each fender piece hooked onto the ABS rod pins attached where shown.
This is a great set from ET Model which will greatly enhance the appearance of your Dragon StuG IV Smart Kit. The PE assemblies have a much better realistic scale thickness compared to the kit plastic parts. Better yet, this set is compatible with the ET Model set EA35-079 Schurzen for StuG IV. Experience with folding and gluing photo etch parts will be essential when putting together this set. Fortunately the instructions are clear and easy to understand so just take your time and go step by step. I highly recommend this set if you want to enhance your StuG IV with these gorgeous fenders. As you can see from the photographs they sure look great!
Review sample graciously provided by ET Model http://www.etmodeller.com
ET Model is based in Shanghai China and produces aftermarket photo etch and resin detail and upgrade sets.
Scott Espin – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com