Eduard has released a photo-etched (PE) detail set for the 1/35 Tamiya M-10 mid production tank destroyer. This set includes one PE sheet and a one page, color instruction sheet that is printed on both sides. You can fold this sheet in half to create a pamphlet. This sheet is color coded with black showing the original kit parts, blue for the PE parts and red for the parts that need to be removed for the PE to take its place. The only down side to the sheet is that does not follow the steps on the Tamiya instruction sheet. Before I started, I compared both sheets and wrote on the Eduard sheet what Tamiya step number each assembly belongs to. Then I marked the Tamiya sheet by circling the parts that were going to be replaced or where PE parts were going to be added.
There are only a few interior details – hinges, handles and a canteen holder, but most of these are hidden after assembly. The replacement straps for the ammo stored on the sponsons are a nice improvement. The kit straps are molded solid between the ammo tubes, so I just put the PE straps over the top of theses and they looked fine. A new PE step for the transmission housing is next, but then these are the only PE parts for the first 16 Tamiya instruction steps.
Since most the PE parts are on the upper hull, starting a Tamiya step 16, this PE kit really starts to add loads of detail. The add-on periscope guards are very nice, since the kit does not include them. There is a clearance issue with the gun mantle hitting the periscopes, so I had to bend them a little forward and keep the gun pointed a little upward. The template to bend the headlight guard is flat and did not work well for me, so I just bent them around the kit guards with no problems. I did the same thing for the tail lights. The mounting divots on the hull for these kit guards should be filled it with some putty. The replacement grab handles on the engine deck and hatches replace the solid fins Tamiya molded in place. The engine deck handles, part #8, are not marked on the Eduard sheet, but are next to part 9, the hatch handles.
The track cleat holders on both sides can be replaced with PE parts and they look great with small holds for the cleats to attach to. But since Tamiya molds the cleats onto the holders in the kit, you will have empty racks if you us the PE replacements. The kit front fenders must be cut off if using the PE replacements. I built one off the vehicle and it was difficult to get the angles correct. I would suggest building them on the vehicle, since they are six pieces and to get the bends at the correct angles.
The PE replacement parts for the tools add a ton of details, plus there is an added strap for each tool that the kit does not supply. It does require some careful cutting to get the molded-on mounts off the tools, but it is worth the effort. The chains for the engine deck fuel tank covers and read tow shackles are tiny, but look good mounted. The machine guns get new sights, barrel carrying handle and ammo can with mount. There are a couple lengths of 50 caliber bullets to use with the gun. The boxes inside the open turret get replaced and the PE parts have internal details, so they can be displayed open. The ammo mounting racks and straps get a total replacement too. The 28 tie downs on the turret exterior can be cut off and PE replacements installed. Tamiya molded these as small, solid fins, so the PE is a great improvement.
Overall, this photo-etched set is a great improvement over some of the soft Tamiya kit details, plus it adds some parts not in the original kit. The Tamiya kit just came out at the end of 2016, has great fit and build up easily. I had no problems bending any of the pieces, since they have bend grooves to follow. Some PE parts are very small, so a good pair of tweezers will help. I mainly used Gator’s Grip glue, but used super glue on a few very small pieces.
I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS for the opportunity to review this photo-etched set. It is a great detail compliment to a great Tamiya kit.