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1:35 U.S. M1070 Tractor / M1000 Heavy Equipment Transporter Upgrade Sets


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1:35 U.S. M1070 Tractor / M1000 Heavy Equipment Transporter Upgrade Sets

HobbyBoss kit #85502
ET Model



Today I will look at a number of upgrade sets by ET Model for the HobbyBoss M1070 Tractor / M1000 Heavy Trailer kit (#85502). This kit has been out for over a year now, and whilst not as ground breaking as its WWII equivalent, the more I think about it, the more it bears comparison with Tamiya's Dragon Wagon. In terms of sheer size, this kit is mightily impressive but, as we know, no kit is perfect. The upgrade sets below are available if you want to avoid vinyl tyres (many people's pet hate) or perhaps add extra detail using photo-etch metal (PE); one of the sets allows you to model a slightly different version.




Weighted Road Wheels for M1070 Truck Tractor


$24.99 from LuckyModel


The vinyl tyres in the kit will undoubtedly have their detractors - not necessarily because they are poorly detailed, but simply because they are in vinyl. Whether they attract as much dust as everybody says - especially after they would be covered in primer, paint and God knows how many pigments - I don't know. These resin replacements certainly get round that problem. They also show sharper detail than the kit wheels.





The set comprises eight road wheels and one spare in pale cream resin. They are crisply cast with little or no sign of flash, and a relatively small casting block where the tyre would contact the road surface. They are described as weighted, but this is barely noticeable, and certainly not overdone when compared to contemporary photos.





I have reviewed resin wheels in the past where they have simply been cast copies of the kit parts, often repeating errors contained therein. Not so the case here: detail is definitely sharper, and there are four 'varieties' - the position of the Michelin logo / stencilling relative to casting block varies to avoid that unnatural 'samey' look. The wheels are one part castings, and if you wish to model them with the bolt covers in place, you merely use the kit parts supplied.the spare wheel, which again is a one part affair, and requires no additional kit parts, is probably the pick of the bunch.






Overall this is a really nice upgrade set which should certainly please those who have an aversion to vinyl. Even if you are indifferent to this medium, I think the ET Model tyres are crisper in detail and given the price, pretty good value.



Weighted Road Wheels for M1000 Heavy Equipment Trailer
$36.99 from LuckyModel


As with the previous set, we have a direct replacement of the the kit parts for the M1000 Heavy Equipment Trailer. The two key differences here are that these are resin tyres only - one uses the kit hubs; and secondly, the number of them - I am not sure I have ever seen a set of 42 resin tyres before!







The level of detail and quality of casting is as above - very good indeed. If you hate vinyl tyres then the trailer will probably set your teeth on edge and this alternative will be a must!






The tyres are indeed weighted but the effect is very subtle and not at all overdone. In the pictures I have seen of this rig with an Abrams tank on the back, the tyres still seem pretty normal and in no way 'pancaked', so I think ET Model have got this right.


CPK Cab for M1070 Truck Tractor
$51.99 from LuckyModel


CPK stands for Crew Protection Kit, and this set reflects attempts to upgrade crew safety in light of the threat posed by insurgent attacks and in particular IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). We have eight frets of PE, two clear perspex type parts, and five small resin pieces which, when all put together, certainly give the M1070 a much more aggressive look.







Most notably, the cab gets a new roof, side panels and windshield surround. There are new doors, with detail inside and out, and the windows in these are replaced by the chunky (even in 1/35 scale) clear parts for armoured glass. There are also spaced armour panels on either side attached to doors - these sit slightly lower than the doors themselves to provide additional protection for under the cab I imagine.





This is, for ET Model, a fairly pricey set at just over $50 - buy it in the UK and you'll pay more like $80, so personally I would always buy this stuff online from the Far East. There is a lot of PE for your money however, so I think as regards value for money it is still up there. You will need confidence and experience with PE to get the most out of this set, and preferably an ability to solder. I think some additional reference will also be useful - the instructions are clear enough, but I have seen CPK Tractors with slightly different specs (without the spaced armour panels on the door for instance), so some research may be needed. Either way, as if the base kit isn't impressive enough, the CPK version is definitely a head-turner.







The instructions are fairly clear, but quite intense - there is a lot going on over six A4 pages. There will be some quite intricate folding to make the frames for the armoured glass windows in the doors. The glass itself is to be cut from clear plastic per templates provided - I am not a fan of this at all; why can't they pre-cut it? New doors are made with detail inside and out and these are to be affixed to a new cab side panel - if you have the dexterity, the parts are provided to make working door hinges although I personally doubt anyone would (or indeed could) do this. At first glance it looks like the kit cab is completely replaced by PE panels, but on closer inspection I see the main kit framework is to be used as a base; otherwise I think this set would be beyond most modellers. Some of the panels eg the roof, are quite large indeed.








You will need your own supply of styrene rod in various gauges to complete the spaced armour panels. You should note the completed pics show the Duke antenna system - this is not provided but is available as #ER35-140; the IED detection 'arm' you see is part of this set. The crew steps and additional armour around the fuel tanks will look especially good if you can pull off the involved construction.








In summary, whilst the set is not cheap on top of an already expensive base kit, it is definitely an option if you have the budget and desire to make your M1070 just that little bit different. The only real downside that I can see is that this set is not for beginners, and even if confident with PE, probably not for the faint of heart.


Interior for M1070 Truck Tractor
$20.99 from LuckyModel


This is a smaller but still quite varied and interesting set aimed at detailing the interior of the tractor cab. We have three PE frets in the usual brass colour - one of these is purposely thicker - and another in a silver finish which is very much finer. There are also six resin parts and a piece acetate film.








Apart from the door interior panels, I think the majority of this set can be used in conjunction with the CPK set above if you really wanted to go to town. The instructions are only just over three pages. The main features here are a completely new central station between driver and crew / co-driver, replacement instrument panels (where the film comes in), and some very nifty looking seat suspension units. The latter will probably test your PE bending skills a bit, but I think they will look superb, especially if you have the opportunity to pose one or both of the can doors open.








There are also lots of other small additions like multiple ties downs, brackets for fire extinguishers etc, and also a brand new monitor screen (the frame is one of the resin parts). The only real downside I can see with this set is I am not sure how much of it would be visible if you model your tractor 'buttoned up'? Seat supports aside, the rest of this set is probably ok for beginners with photo-etch.













As with pretty much all the aftermarket material I review these days, if you buy all that which is available – or sometimes even only a fraction of that – you will end up spending significantly more than you did on the original kit. That is just the nature of the beast, and I will say that when benchmarked against their competitors, ET Model upgrades are generally very good value. The sets I have looked at here today are no different: a lot of money if you buy them all, but each in their own right worth the money in my opinion, and each adding real value to the model. One can't really ask for more than that.

Highly recommended.


With thanks to ET Model for the review samples. To purchase, click the links in the review.


Nicholas Mayhew




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