AEF design 1/35 Soltam query

I have this kit. I am using the old dml M51 kit as the donor kit

I dry fitted the whole kits and the base dml kit is narrow. Or the aef soltam kit is wide.

Which donor kit would be better ?


What the exact width measurements of the base DML M51 and the AEF Soltam? Is it too much to make up the difference with a strip or two of Evergreen?

I will pull the Tamiya M51 kit and measure if you show me where it should be measured. Some other may pull other Sherman’s and be willing to do the same.

BTW in my experience AEF Designs is all around horrible or at least every single item I’ve ever seen was bottom of the barrel.


If you are going to use the AEF Designs parts, cut them to fit the DML kit. AEF Designs is the worst crap ever perpetrated on the model aftermarket industry. Period. None of the parts fit, and they are miscast, and the kit is missing parts. Every kit is missing parts. There is no customer service. I know guys who actually tracked the owner down and went to his house where he ran the business to get missing parts and the man refused to open his door. The parts are all misshapen from being pulled from the molds too quickly before they were cured. If you sand two parts down enough to get them straight to glue together, you don’t have enough part left to make a model. AEF kits are just worthless garbage that aren’t worth the box they come in. Don’t even try to save them. They’re not even worth a mercy build. Sorry to say AEF Designs parts are not even good enough to use as masters to scratchbuild off of, which is a shame because the line was comprised of unique designs. All those who have seen AEF Designs products know that this is no exaggeration, and all those who come upon AEF Designs products are WARNED to avoid them like COVID-19! :skull_and_crossbones:



I am confused, are you saying you don’t like them. :joy:


No Ryan, I’m just relaying facts. Personally I have no opinion. :rofl:


I will try to take pictures and post them

I think cutting the 2 sides of the soltam kit would be the best option

My first order from them I had to wait three months for and yes most of their stuff is crap.

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I search from a long time picture of the top to realize a model.
real shape of hatches remain for me a mistery.
probably i need a trip in holy land to see the correct shape !

Try this: L-33 Ro’em 1/72 (
and this: SVSM Gallery :: L-33 Ro’em, Latrun Armor Museum, Israel, by Vladimir Yakubov :: P1730951

Tony of AEF Designs was able to on occasion make some nice masters. His casting abilities sucked, as did his customer service, and apparently his ability to include all of the parts in a kit. All of this has been hashed over many times on this and other sites, as you see above.

That said, you could make a decent kit if you had a lot of time on your hands. I purchased two of the IDF Centurion conversions. One, with a complete scratch built interior and engine bay, resides in the Tamiya museum in Shizuoka City. So I was able to pull off a miracle. The other still sits on my shelf, ruing the day when I decide to finish my AFV Club kit. Still, it didn’t turn out too badly. I started in it '86, bought the conversion around '90 or so, and finished it it '96.

Everything good about it is scratch built, including the barrel. Everything bad about it was cut off and replaced.

So I’d always thought I had enough mojo to handle just about anything, After all (my wife loves to remind me when I have trouble uploading an app) I did build a functioning motorcycle out of weapons parts. All of this goes to illustrate how truly horrid this little gem of a kit from AEF - the L-33 - really is.
I gave up on it, and I never give up on anything. I suppose if there’s a nuclear holocaust or a zombie apocalypse and there’s absolutely NO other kit in my zombie bunker - Lindberg Line, MW (Military Wheels) or even Panda, I might bite the bullet and finish it. Either that or go outside with a pork chop around my neck and scavenge for old copies of OMNI magazine to read.

Here’s what I got:

Note the quality of the casting. Yes, Robert Pirsig turns in his grave when he hears Quality and AEF Designs mentioned together.

But wait! There’s more!

As near as I can tell I’m missing a rear door, a side door, a tower (some people mistakenly call them trunnions) for the gun mount, a muzzle for the bent gun, and presumably some sort of floor for the hull, which you then to try and fit into this:

Then you attempt to fit the entire monstrosity atop this:

After dragging this"kit" back out I briefly thought “Ah hell, why not?”

Then I thought, I wonder what’s happening on Keeping Up With the Kardassians?


Your kit looks different from mine

I have the 1st release


I’m not sure what the differences are, other than mine had the windows cut out, and I got clear resin blobs to fill them in. In any case, neither of ours represent the latest iteration. There’s little that can be done to the horribly incorrect front end, although I’ll do what I can. As for the rear, this is what you get:

I’m sure anyone who has dealt with an AEF Designs kit will agree that few things could be as satisfying as taking a saw to it. Sooo… This brings us far closer to what it should look like:

Perhaps not as satisfying as taking a 4 1/2 inch cutting wheel to a Sportster, but close.


Well, damn! It was a pretty good video. Still works on Photobucket. Sparks flyin’ and everthang.


Well that’s a little better.


Instruction emailed

Got them, thanks! (although fictional in many ways)

I’ll start an Soltam L-33 thread of my own at some point. Have to head out again for a few days. I don’t want to post my L-33 build on your thread because that would be rude. Just wanted to show folks how truly awful these kits were.
Mission accomplished!

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I do not mind you starting ur thread here so I can see em too

thank you Ken
unfotunately hatches aren’t on focus.
my search continue…

As you can see above, Dann sent me the instructions he was lucky enough to receive with his kit. (Anyone at the Nationals in Vegas right now can tell you not all luck is good)

This is what they show for the hatches - of course I received none of these parts:

I had thought to use a Sherman cupola and hatches but this would not have been correct, even though the liked to repurpose them in other vehicles. There is a Youtube video (Actually the same photos in Validmir Yakubov’s walkround, set to annoying fade ins and fade outs) that shows this hatch area at a very oblique angle. It’s enough to know what to do though, so it is helpful.

And Dann, I’m not, or at least try not to be that guy that bogarts someone else’s threat to tout my own work, although sometimes I illustrate a kits failings, which are many in this case. So I will indeed start a separate thread. You are welcome to use it to try and salvage what you can from this kit.

We’re good

A modeler sent me that instruction too

The kit I had had instruction that is faded