Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Rundown of Aftermarket Vehicle Improvements for 20mm Vehicles

Hi all,
 I know it's been a while since you heard from me, but I was busy with some other writing projects I was working on. Needless to say, those are being put to bed, after a fashion and I wanted to add another post to "500 Miles.." before May ended as I will be AFK for a good chunk of June.

 So what are aftermarket vehicle improvements? These are items that are sold separately and are often used to replace kit parts, or improve the look of said kit. These items include stowage, replacement barrels for main guns, and/or even major parts. A lot of these parts can be very, very useful for the "gypsy caravan" look of Twilight: 2000.

So, without further ado, let's get into it.

Black Dog Models

One of the many Black Dog offerings in 1/72, this set is for the Trumpeter LAV-25 kit
(Taken from the Black Dog website)

Black Dog is nothing but prolific, and of very high quality. I have personally only ever worked with their M1A1 Iraq War accessories set, but the overall quality is such that I was impressed, parts fit without much work, and the resin is odor free and of high quality. I had personally no issue with the items I have worked with, and recommend them highly to anyone and everyone working on a modern or WWII kit.

Among the more useful items one finds in the 1/72 range are: The M48 Vietnam set, the LAV-25 set, the AAVP1 sets, the M2 Bradley set, the US Modern Equipment sets, the M113 sets, (including the IDF sets (but be careful not to overuse it, some of the equipment is uniquely Israeli), the M60A1 set, the Food Supplies, Barrels, Ammo Boxes, Tentage and Bedrolls, T-54A Conversion Set, Warrior Accessories, and the M35 Gun Truck conversion set.

Keep in mind, many of these are made for specific kits, so be aware of what those kit(s) are before you purchase one of Black Dog's sets, but once you do, you'll find in my humble opinion, some of the best resin aftermarket stuff on the market.

Legend Productions

The Striker Accessories Set (taken from the Legend Productions website)
Legend is neither as prolific, nor as extensive a product line as Black Dog, but it does make some nice stuff. I have made their kits go together with a variety of vehicles I happen to have in my collection and it's stuff is often made in single pieces, which means an accessory set can often go for two or three vehicles, instead of just one. The only issue with Legend is that it does have a bit of a strong smell when you first unwrap it from the box, so it might be a good idea to let it cure for a bit on a handy surface before you put it to use.

That said, it's a line with good detail, solid items, and plenty of pieces of which to fire your imagination, the cooler I painted up as "For Beer" on one of my M1s was a Legend piece, and it took a so-so kit, and really made it pop.

RB Models

125mm L/48 D-81K barrel (taken from RB Models site)

RB Models is an outfit in Poland that makes rolled aluminum and brass barrels as replacement items for model kits. Most of what they make is for WWII in 20mm, but they also make a few modern items, such as the D-10T for the T-55, the M242 Bushmaster for the Bradley (these barrels are small, so adroit handling is a must) and the D-30 barrel for the 122mm D-30 Howitzer. It's not a large line, but it's a well made line. All of the barrels come packed in a plastic baggie and they are bit longer than they need to be, so you can drill out the gun mantlet, and properly place the barrel into the turret. I've used the barrels on a Bradley of mine, as well as several WWII vehicles, including a Panther and I recommend them without reservation.

S & S Models
One of the General Stowage packs available from S & S (taken from the S & S models site)
S & S Models has been reviewed for their vehicles before and as I said, they have some stuff that very few manufacturers in 20mm even make. Such is also the case with their stowage, as they make some very useful items, such as the unique stowage bins for Bundeswehr M113s and stowage boxes for Chieftains. The general items look as if you could get a lot out of them too, with enough for two or three vehicles per pack. Knowing what I know of S & Ss quality, I also recommend them without question, and though postage can take a bite, it's worth it for what you get.

I will do a companion article for 15mm as well as a separate article on decals soon, and I have an idea for this to be a "living post" that will be updated as new product lines and items come to my attention.



  1. Good work! Even if not a gamer, those are excellent suggestions for anyone doing small-scale armor modeling.

  2. S&S Models also make stowage items. While I am a 15mm gamer (and have some of their 15mm stowage), they are most prolific in 20mm.


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