A few weeks ago, posting in a thread on the DUKW on another site, I got an e-mail from Scott Taylor, in Canada, sending me details of a new initiative on the part of he and his wife and the formation of a new After Market (AM) company - Thachweave Products
, who had started production of a set of replacement fenders for Italeri's
DUKW in 1/35th scale. The problem was essentially one of replacing the kit parts with something which would look convincing. The problem from an 'aesthetic' point of view, is that whatever else they are, rope fenders are not solid pieces and to model them convincingly, some sag will have to be incorporated into the parts. Also, due to the shape of the bow and stern, some flexibility will have to be incorporated to allow them to curve round (particularly in the case of the latter) the vehicle structure.. Therefore some way, which would incorporate these elements would have to be found....
Following on from my previous comments, the logical approach, would be some pretty careful sculpting and casting in resin to reproduce the fenders. However, Thachweave
(the company name provides the clue for the solution) have taken a totally original approach and actually WOVEN
The set: TW001 - DUKW Bumpers
consists of 6, woven bumpers along with a section of high-quality thread. There are three distinct types:
1) Shorter Bumpers with two short loops (bow)
2) Shorter bumpers with one long loop (bow)
3) Two longer bumpers (stern)
Now. I know absolutely nothing at all about the intricacies of weaving or sewing (a shirt button is a major logistical exercise for me) threfore, I have to say that the initial impression is amazing. The fenders come tightly tied and really look the part (even in their natural color) with the 'cross-hatching' which is seen on actual rope fenders. There area few (miniscule) 'loose' threads, but as the original fenders were made from pretty rough hemp rope, these threads should enhance rather than detract from the overall finish.
The set comes with the 6 fenders, an additional length of thread to replace the moulded on rope round the rear spare wheel, a superbly presented instruction sheet with a detailed, step-by-step guide as to how to work with the set. Another (smaller) sheet contains a plan-view of where to exactly position the replacements.
This is a very-well produced set which both Kim and Scott Taylor have put a lot of thought into. Many new companies have excellent products, but forget the basics of presentation - Thachweave Products
have put some VERY
serious thought into both areas - the product and its application..
Why no-one (to my knowledge) has not taken this approach before escapes me. The only thing I will comment, is that the set is, on balance rather expensive. Saying that, The work and thought which has gone into this innovative product, indicates clearly that it wasn't a '10-minute' task - which indicates to me that the manufacturer should be properly compansated for their initiative and effort. This set, attached to a well-finished model, will undoubtedly add a dimension which will be envy of many other modellers. Sometimes a little 'judicious' investment can reap enormously satisfying rewards....
VERY Highly Recommended
Acknowledgements and further details
Firstly, I would like to thank Kim and Scott of Thachweave Products
for providing Armorama
with the review sample.
Secondly, the product was only recently covered in the News Section HERE!
Finally, Thachweave Products
, do not, as yet, have a website operating although they can be contacted here: