by: Darren Baker [ ]
This will be the second set of stowage I have looked at from Black Dog aimed at a specific vehicle, and I was reasonably impressed by the first and so look forward to seeing what this has to offer. The set is aimed at (I believe) the Italeri LVT A4 and I know when news of this product was announced there were questions about why it was not aimed at a newer model, well I will look into that as far as the product goes.
This product is packaged in the now typically known Black Dog style of an end opening box with a picture of the unpainted product on an unpainted model. Inside the box you will find a large zip lock bag containing the resin parts, in my case this was packaged with polystyrene peanuts to help prevent damage to the resin castings.
In this set from Black Dog you get 12 resin castings, 6 of which are stacked sand bags. None of these sand bag stacks are duplicated, they are all individual with nice subtle texture and very good tie and stitch detail. The layout of the sand bags is good with natural creases and a good representation of weight in the way that sand bags lay. I do have an issue though in that I have been on a moving tracked vehicle and they bounce around a lot, now despite the weight and low centre of gravity there is nothing obvious holding them in place and I believe they would not be on the vehicle, and at the very least not where placed, meaning you will need to show how they are secured.
Also designed for the hull of the vehicle there are two lots of tarpaulins in sheet and roll form, and this is one area that Black Dog does very well with very fine tie down cord detail, very natural creases, and great undercuts where applicable. For me these tarpaulins are real stars and I would like to see sets on offer as a single purchase.
Lastly we come to four mouldings designed to be hung around the turret of the vehicle and consist of two sets of rolled tarps which again share all the high points of the ones on the hull and really do look the part. These are joined by two castings of period back packs, two American steel helmets, and an entrenching tool which I am dumbfounded as to how they managed to get it out of the mould without breaking it, let alone packaged and posted. Quality throughout this set in casting, attention to detail and general appearance is very good and should look excellent with careful painting.
So you have got your model but you want it to look lived in and possibly even loved or hated what to do? This set from Black Dog has the ability to help bring your finished model to life with careful painting and positioning. The parts are moulded to a very high standard and will look the part with the sand bags being my only area of concern due to retaining them in place on the real vehicle.
The concerns raised about why for this specific model? Well I believe that most, if not all, of the parts in this offering could easily be used on other model vehicles of this type with a little forward planning, so no issues there I hope. I did manage to find a couple of air bubbles in some parts but they were, in my samples, in places that could not be viewed once attached.