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Ausfwerks Design Bendicator First-Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of First Look April 2006 Manufacturer Ausfwerks Design
Subject Bendicator Item Number 16-01
Pros A cool tool to create consistent wire grab irons for armor builders Cons
MSRP (USD) $24.00


If you're an armor modeler, one of the more frustrating challenges is dealing with the grab irons, those steel rods that are welded onto turrets and hulls for crew handholds/steps and for strapping supplies to the vehicle. In real life, they're very handy, but in 1/35 scale, they can be a pain.


For example, when I was building my Tamiya T-34/85, the grab irons were attached to the sprue trees in the middle, and mine had mold lines along the edges. These parts aren't very thick to start with, so any clean-up is likely to screw things up further. The easiest solution is bending brass wire to replace the kit parts.

This introduces a new problem. How to get consistent/predictable sizes? Ausfwerks to the rescue. Their new 'Bendicator' allows you to bend those grab irons in predictable and consistent lengths. The tool comes with a look-up chart (that is a bit on the microscopic size) that will tell you which slot to stick your wire to obtain a consistent length. Their website has tutorials on how to use this unique wire bending jig.

Whether you're modeling 1/72, 1/48, 1/35 or even 1/16 scale armor, you can see that no job is too small and looks like it will tackle the Trumpeter 1/16 T-34 grab irons as well. According to the specifications, the tool can easily handle wire up to 0.03" in diameter. I can see where this would be quite handy for model railroaders wishing to replace those molded on grab irons with wire as well.

My sincere thanks to Ausfwerks for this review sample!