Alliance Model Works is a USA based company that is building up a nice selection of after market add-on accessories for several different scales and genres of plastic models. Their sets consist of photo etch and resin parts and in their 1/35 armour sets decals and stencils for spraying markings are included, all for very reasonable prices. They also have a nice series of 1/350 scale photo etch sets designed for IJN World War II vessels, so when I was offered the opportunity of taking a closer look at two of their sets I gladly accepted.
The catapult set consists of a sheet of photo etch parts, four resin parts and an extensive instruction sheet, enabling you to build two rocket-driven catapults and two aircraft trolleys. The resin parts depict the rocket tubes and catapult base. The photo etch is encased in two sheets of tacky plastic to prevent any parts defecting to the carpet monster, (after removing a part you can replace the plastic cover in its original position to protect the other pieces). The metal would appear to be some sort of brass and the pieces are some of the most delicate I have seen in 1/350 scale. Engraving is beautifully done, (check out the top plate of the catapult). The instruction sheet is clearly drawn and printed and shows you exactly how to use the pieces included; sounds simple but a lot of companies flunk this simple test so compliments to Alliance Model Works on this very important part of the sets.
As always the proof of the pudding is in the eating so I decided to see how the quality of the etch is when you start removing pieces from the fret. I lined up my trusty craft knife with a new blade and of course my “Hold and Fold” and went for one of the trolley cradles. I was pleasantly surprised when the knife smoothly went through the minute metal tabs holding the parts. The difference in the photo etch sheets used by the different companies is amazing, ranging from rock hard, knife tip breaking sheets to over soft and very bendy sheets that disintegrate as soon as you bend the parts once. Alliance Model Works have got things right here too, using an easy cutting, flexible photo etch sheet that stands up to a bit of bending to get the right shape without falling apart. In this case I didn’t even need the “Hold and Fold” to bend the trolley into shape.
Highs: Good ValueLows:Verdict: Very nice set and well worth picking up.
Our Thanks to Alliance Modelworks! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.