by: Darren Baker [ ]
Legend Productions raised some very pleasing comments when they announced they were to release an engine for the AFV Club M60 in 1/35th scale. That release was quickly followed up with an AVDS 1790 Engine for the Dragon M48/M60 offerings and the item I am looking at here ĎAVDS 1790 Engine and Sling setí.
This product is packaged in a card box that opens at each end and this is also covered by a heat sealed plastic wrap that increases its strength and so protection. The contents inside the box are packed inside two Ziploc bags and consist of:
56 resin parts
2 photo etched frets
3 lengths of 0.7mm brass rod
A loop of 0.5mm wire
A length of cord
A length of rubberised wire
An instruction leaflet
I need to start this review by saying that the AVDS 1790 Engine made its way into a very large number of armoured vehicles and as such not all engines look the same. A number of alterations took place to the base engine in order to make the power pack fit the available space. I am also no expert on the Patton family of tanks, but I do have a copy of R.P. Hunnicuttís book on the Patton and this is I believe a respected publication on the subject.
An examination of the resin parts reveals no obvious issues of which I am aware. I have examined the parts by eye and I am aware that photographs can sometimes make issues such as air bubbles appear. I have taken the by eye examination over photographic as most of us look at builds with our eyes rather than a lens. There is of course some minor flash present, but this looks to be restricted to the inside of loops in parts for the most part. I particularly like the finish of the resin parts as I find it takes paint very well and provides a realistic surface texture/look.
Where resin mouldings are concerned, Legend productions seems to excel in moulding parts in such a way that problems such as distortion are all but eliminated; however I am aware that removal of these frames can be a pain in some cases.
The photo etched parts are cleanly etched and have a minimal number of connection points, that making clean up easier. The thickness of the photo etch is appropriate and will be easy to bend. The photo etched frets are of different thicknesses: the sling assembly being in a heavier gage than the parts for the power pack.
One area where I feel Legend Productions let themselves down is the instructions. The photographic approach taken can be confusing and so hard to follow by even experienced modellers, as such I feel that this approach affects the possible sales of the products generally and a switch to more conventional instructions could boost the potential market for the products. I am aware that some products are perfectly acceptable covered by the photographic approach, but I have the M88A2 Conversion set which has been shelved for the time being as I am struggling to follow the photographic instructions provided.
An examination of photographic reference material and having taken note of the comments made by those who have interacted with the real thing I can only conclude that Legend Productions has done an excellent job of replicating the AVDS 1790 power pack in all respects. One negative that is raised in relation to this product or more accurately resin products generally is shrinkage. All resin parts shrink to varying degrees until fully cured and like plastics are affected by heat, I can only speak from my experience of Legend Productions products and say I have never encountered a fit issue to date.
The lifting frame supplied with this product is well designed, but I am unable to verify its accuracy due to being unable to find reference material on it. With that said lifting frames for power packs used in the military are usually especially designed for the purpose and so I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this aspect of the product due to Legend Productions usually having reference supplied by those in the know. The twine supplied to represent the supporting cables scores poorly with me, but I do know that Legend Productions is trying to source a suitable and affordable multi core wire to replace this aspect of their models.
If you are looking for a load with which to display an engineering vehicle, such as the M88, then this power pack and lifting frame is a very nice option. The detail will add a really eye catching aspect to a suitable model or maybe even as a load on the back of a truck. Most aspects of the this offering are very pleasing and will result in a great looking product, but I do have issue with the instruction format and the twine supplied.