Today we look at a small radio set to match your US vehicles and your American soldier kits of choice – these resin kits from LZ Models look pretty nice – let’s have a look and see if they go together as well as they look in the pictures.
Maker: LZ Models
Kit: 1/35 US Army radio sets
Material: 20 parts of Resin
14 Photo Etch + 1 Wire + Decals included
Instructions and reference pics on CD download here
Where I got mine: LZ Models for just under 10 Euro
Today for review we have rather a tiny little kit – a set of US army radios in 1/35th scale. The packet for these is tiny (but strong) – the parts for this are small - and even the instructions come on a mini disk – but the detail of these radio sets leaves no one short changed.
Inside the pack
These three radios come in a small box 10cm L x 8cm w x 2cm deep and inside that box are three small zip-loc bags containing twenty pieces of cream resin, some wire for the cables, fourteen parts on one P/E sheet and some decals representing data plates on one sheet.
The three parts of the radio represented here are the SCR 506, SCR 510 and SCR 508 and before you get started on them there is the excellent little instruction cd with a PDF of the three radios on it. You can also download the instructions from their site HERE if you wish or do not have a cd player for your PC which is nice and often the case with new netbooks – nice thinkin!
The PDF itself is an eleven page informative sheet showing the kit pieces and what they are along with the parts constructed as well as many reference pictures of these radios in real life so you have a wealth of info. The only downside of this is that some people may want an old fashioned bit of paper instructions – I think though that these people are in the smallest of minorities if you think about the plus points of this method of instruction. To be honest there wasn’t really any pictures better on the net I could find than some of these so thanks to LZ for doing the research for us!
This set will contains all three radios shown, SCR 506, SCR 510 and SCR 508. Mast bases MP48 and MP57 are included together with 2 Phantom antennas. Some additional pieces, microphones, phones and all the mountings needed for assembly in any vehicle. They fit VERY snugly into the LZ Model’s M-29 Weasel just released a month or so ago. (Hint hint)
Let’s go through the radios in order.
The SCR 510 was used for smaller applications in usually smaller vehicles like jeeps and light utility vehicles – this radio was a small box shape with a small handle which is provided with some wire and a small cream handle in resin. This is accompanied by a base mast and Phantom antennas complete the radio.
The detail pictures in the instruction file and pictures I have seen of this radio show me that the details of this radio are right on - the three switches on the front are clearly recognizable as are the two lights on the left of the front panel and the little dial in the middle.
You can clearly see the two separate parts are moulded into one here with latches on the sides – again wire supplied in this kit will make two little latches to hold them together. You get handles for the top and bottom of the radio halves and a telephone receiver that again uses the wire for the telephone cable – All in all it’s a very nice little radio well replicated and I would say very easy to detail with its knobs and latches prominent but no too thick.
Set contains Radio set SCR 508 which was used in combat vehicles like tanks and a.p.c.’s or vehicles that were large enough to house them. These radios gave RF modulated Radio Telephone use and consisted of two parts – the transmitter (BC-604) - and a receiver (BC-603). A great source of info I found on this radio was here
With this radio you get both of these which are flawlessly reproduced in resin, not just in the positions of the items like switches knobs and gauges, you also get the A-62 phantom antennas, the cord to connect them ( the wire) and a telephone receiver as well as the resin representing the FT- 237mounting that it sits on. The resin cast has no real block to remove and you don’t even have to sharpen up the back edges.
You can even see details like the frequencies recorded on the front of the radio fascia. Amazing detail – All in all it is an excellent replica of the SCR 508 radio.
Radio set SCR 506 was also used in tanks, amphibian trucks, personnel carriers, and other vehicles to provide continuous wave and voice communication from one vehicle to another or between these vehicles and airplanes or base station, the radio itself contained a Receiver BC-652, a Radio Transmitter BC-653, and certain additional operating components. When you look at this page you can see the radio and also the vehicle mounting in action on a jeep.
Again a very accurate representation and it looked the part when painted up – on I go to the painting…
Build time 8hrs. approx.
The boxes glued together with super glue very easily – to make sure the larger radios fitted on their trays I sanded the insides of them a little t reduce the width the slightest of a fraction. The radios themselves went together with a minimum of glue and actually sat inside their trays without any glue!
When it came to the Photo Etch Sheet frames I use only the ones for the smaller Scr510 radio as I had no allied car to strap them on to. The Scr510 though has no “tray” to sit in so I included them. They bent easily without problems, the paint went on easily and I liked their ease of use.
The PE was easy to work
To paint these radios and detail them up took a few hours – and most importantly started with some undercoat. The cream resin will not take acrylics without a decant undercoat – I used Vallejo undercoat from a rattle can which is not water based and I decanted it to my airbrush – I finally stopped using it from the can as it is so darned think and would cover up some of this fine detail which I tried hard to pick out.
After quickly drying I first gave a light coat of Vallejo acrylics. An overcoat of Panzer Olive green which was the base green colour. All of the radios I found differed in colour and as always you really should go with what your eye tells you – so I went with this very green colour first .
With the first green and edges highlighted
Then a coat of darker Olive drab mixed with the beforehand used Panzer olive green – this gave a darker colour which I sprayed in the insides of the squares of the panels – making a darker shade there and keeping it light on the box edges. These edges needed a bit of over exaggeration, so I mixed in a bit of white model air to make a half shade which I shot on the edges. This gave me some nicely defined 3D looking radio boxes.
The fronts of the panels were either masked off or shot with the airbrush from above to make the black undercoat still present in the recesses like the speakers and the instrument panels. I used some silver pen and some red and white paint as shown on the reference cd pictures and I was nearly there.
The decals for the placards go on easily and stay fast. The only thing I would have done differently with these is include some circular dials. The reference pictures all show these so I used some 1/48th dials of the same type or really close looking from Airscale’s decals sheets of instrument panels – these matched the photos almost exactly and gave the missing element of detail that you need on such a small kit. I know these are not exactly right but they look like the real thing to me.
Nearly there – and the added dials made a vast improvement to my bad modelling skills
The kit just needed some silver scratches and the wire joining to the receiver handles, this was easy with superglue and if I were you I would drill little holes in them to better receive the wire. This again was a painless part of the process.
Again because I had no vehicle to mount these on to I painted and detailed the aerials up to show you how they look - to me they looked dead on accurate and I thought I should show them to you.
When looking at this set I was amazed by the accuracy when I went on to research the radios themselves and at the intelligent way LZ have reproduced them in resin, with minimal casting issues and crisp and sharp lines. They built up quickly – easily and without too much hair pulling. I had fun making them.
For accuracy – buildbillity and detail this is a radio set that is without peer in this scale – if you want these radios – these are the ones to get.
These radios are available from LZ Models now – Many thanks to them for the kit we made.