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US tanks and vehicles rear light
for 5 vehicles

Elefant 35081
1/35 scale

The Elefant Corporation set is designed to replace poorly represented US taillights in many older kits. The same style taillights were used in WW2 vehicles and are still in use in some vehicles today! Modern kits usually include good enough scale replicas of taillights, sometimes even molded in clear styrene (not really necessary in this case), but there are exceptions and there are always older kits, where these parts could be improved with an aftermarket product.

Is the Elefant set the product to use? Well, to be honest I’m not sure…

In the set we get as many as 5 sets (i.e. total 10 light units) of taillights, to improve 5 vehicle models. The parts are 3D printed and we receive original printouts, not resin copies. While I did not receive the final packaging – my samples arrived together with a couple of other sets packed in a single blister pack – I assume that you also receive the parts in similar pack if you buy them. I mention it, because all 10 light in my sets have separated from their base blocks – something that probably could have been avoided if a bit of cushioning had been provided inside the blister pack. Luckily all light broke off cleanly exactly where you are supposed to cut them off anyway, so it only made the cleanup easier, but it illustrates how fragile the 3D printed resin is…

If you look at parts in big magnification you can see faint 3D printing process lines, but they are too small to be visible after painting. The overall shape of lights seems to be very accurate.

Unfortunately, something went wrong in the 3D printing process when it came to reproducing the most important detail in those parts: the actual brake light lens and blackout light slits. All those details seem to be too small, too thin and too faintly reproduced on the surface of the part… I suspect that it is the result of not optimal positioning of the part for printing. If you look at the image on the instruction sheet, you can see that the original CAD drawing, which I assume was used to print the parts themselves too, had very well defined details in it. But what we get in the set looks quite different. I tried to put some black wash and paint on the parts and as you can see in the photos, the result isn’t exactly correct – black slits are too narrow and particularly the blackout brake light slit was quite difficult to paint, as the recess is not defined well enough. The red standard brake light seems to be a bit too small – but it looks fine in instructions image, so I suspect it’s the result of printing process too.

It is possible that the parts can be easily improved by simply changing the printing orientation and future releases could be much better, but I cannot honestly recommend the parts in the form in which I received them.

Many thanks to Vladimir Ziska of Elefant Corporation for the review sample!

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