Eduard 1/35 Stryker Slat Armor Set First Look
|Date of Review||September 2007||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Stryker Slat Armor Set||Scale||1/35|
|Pros||First and only way to get realistic Slat Armor on your Stryker||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$54.95|
When I first looked at the Trumpeter Stryker earlier this year (look here), I mentioned in that review that it would be difficult to render slat armor in styrene. Even with thin strips of Evergreen, it just wouldn't look quite right. The best way to go is photo-etch.
Well Eduard has stepped up to this challenge with this interesting Slat Armor Set. At first glance, this project is going to take some serious photo-etch handling skills to assemble. Let's take a close look.
The detail set is provided on two large sheets of photo-etch and a third smaller fret. With all of this photo-etch, you might think there are some details for the hull too, but not so. Aside for mounting beams for the slat armor, this set is all about replicating that mesh armor.
If the instructions are any indicator of a set's complexity, this one has eleven pages to show you how to assemble and place each slat armor panel. In a nutshell, there are to types of four types of parts provided here, horizontal slat sections, vertical slat sections (and both are slotted to make assembly easier), mounting frames, and box beams.
Most of the work appears to be centered around the box beams as these must be folded out of the flat photo-etched sheets, and there are lots of them. This means you're going to need a serious photo-etch bending tool. If you have one of those 'plastic' photo-etch tools, give it away. Those may hold a square edge for a little while but mine started giving me rounded corners all-too-soon. I'm back to using a metal photo-etch tool as this does give you square corners. With these small box beams, rounded corners will really render a round pipe instead.
There is another possibility here. Since most of the bending will be the box beams, don't use them for anything more that templates. This is a good place to use Evergreen styrene as you can get strips of the right size and cyano the slat sections to the styrene strips. When you're done, you can cement the slat arrays to the hull. Another option might be K&S brass shapes cut to proper lengths. You get the idea, you might be able to substitute another material for having to fold the box beams. If you do opt to use the photo-etch for the box beams, this is also a good opportunity to use your resistance soldering tools to assemble the slats rather than cyano. If you're not familiar with resistance soldering, visit one of the better model railroad shops in your area and talk to them.
The instructions clearly show you how and where everything goes together. Plan on taking your time and plan on taking some time to get all of this together as this is not a project for an evening or a weekend (unless you're really experienced and have the right tools).
When you're done however, your Trumpeter Stryker will look like none others at the model contest. If you remember how striking the Verlinden photo-etch Zelda armor really set off the Tamiya M113 APC, this set will really make the Trumpeter kit stand out.
While there are a few minor detail issues with the Trumpeter kit, I enjoyed building mine (look here) and with the recent release of the AFV Club M151 Remote Weapons Station, the biggest annoyance on the Trumpeter kit can be remedied.
This set is definitely recommended for the experienced modeler!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!