Review - Meng Styrene Detail Parts Sets

Product Review: Meng Styrene Accessory Sets: SPS-008; Nuts and Bolts Set C; over 1,200 parts; Price US$8.95 SPS-009; Nuts and Bolts Set D; over 1,200 parts; Price US$8.95

Advantages: nicely molded styrene nuts and bolts on plates of stryene, huge number for the price

Disadvantages: must be removed by either fine razor saw or razor blade

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all larger scale (1/35 and bigger) modelers

There is a common disease that affects many modelers after a few years - t he dreaded AMS. AMS of course stands for Advanced Modeler's Syndrome, where you are suddenly hit with a compulsion to do everything from the ground up with as much detail as possible.

One of those things is usually replacing nuts, bolts and rivets with more properly shaped parts, or adding them where the model manufacturer has been remiss. But it is either not easy or not cheap. Styrene sets run from $2 t o $4 for a set of 100 to 200 items, all in one size and shape, and they are usually molded on sprues. The idea is to cut off the part with the sprue, drill a hole, and then install the new part. But this can be tedious and pr one to error if the drill misses its mark.

There are also resin ones, which require the use of ACC, but if bumped or not set when touched they move around and can "grab" in the wrong spot.

There are also brass ones, and even miniature nuts and bolts but these ten d to only be of great use for larger scale items (1/20 and larger).

The old standbys up to this time have been either using a punch and die, s uch as the tried and true Historex Agents one, or using Plastruct styrene h ex rod and a NWSL "Chopper" to make bolt heads. But these have their limita tions - the former when you need hundreds of bolt heads, the latter when yo u are trying to get the right thickness and size.

These four new sets from Meng may solve many problems. They are A - nut an d bolt, bolt head; B - nut/bolt/washer, bolt and washer; C - hex nuts and A llen head bolts; D - crown bolts and rivets.

Each one comes in the same format. A set of nine plates are molded into on e sheet with "snap off" grooves between them, and each plate is double side d with about 70 items on each side. I picked up Sets C and D and found that each one comes in three sizes: 1.3mm, 1.5mm, and 1.7mm; in 1/35 scale that equals 45mm/1 3/4", 52.5mm/2", and 59.5mm/2 1/4", all of which are pretty good size bolts and nuts for detailing vehicles.

Meng has done a nice job with the snap-off plates, as you can use a fine r azor saw to remove the parts from the plate and since nothing is more than two deep with one on either side of the plate all of them are accessible. I t does require care in removing them to both get a level cut and also not t o have them sacrificed to the carpet monster!

Overall this a great idea, and given the huge number of parts on each card very economical.

Cookie Sewell

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