Media: copper wire and cast resin
Reviewed By: Michael Shackleton
Tow cables - what to do with them? It seems to me that tow cables (and aerials) are afterthoughts by many kit manufacturers. They are usually the last things that are added to a model and, in most cases, not much thought goes into them.
So what do we get in the typical kit box? We get some form of string which is too coarse to replicate the fine threads of a real tow cable. We then have to cut them to length which can result in a frayed end. Some cables are supplied as wire. This is better than string but has the same fraying or splaying out problem when cut to length. Some are very stiff and won't sit down propely unless they are annealed over a hot flame and cooled quickly. Sometimes we even get horrible vinyl or plastic cables with nice mould lines down their whole lengths.
The string or wire ends then have to be squeezed into a slot on the underside of the plastic cable eyes. Some cable eyes have to be drilled out and the string or wire is too thick.
Eureka! I have found it! The Polish company Eureka have the answer to this problem. They produce a whole series for the most popular vehicles. They are supplied in small plastic blister packs with the resin cable ends and cables cleverly mounted into cardboard inserts. This means your product arrives safe and secure without any kinks in the wire or any breakages to the resin eyes.
The set for the Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 (ER-3507) consists of two lengths of braided wire and four resin parts for the cable eyes. The resin is cleanly cast with just some minor resin film to be removed from inside of the eyes and the smallest of casting marks when removed from the casting block. The detail on the cable eyes is very realistic and the cables are quite soft allowing easy bends to be incorporated. The cable is built around a core around which fine strands are braided to replicate the real thing. The wire comes cut to the correct length, so no problems with fraying or splaying. If you do need to adjust the length, use a new, sharp blade, re-twist the end and fix with a drop of superglue.
The resin cable eyes have small holes in the end to accept the wire cable. It is recommended to file the ends carefully to a round cross section. This is very easy to do due to the soft nature of the cables and then a small dab of superglue secures the cable in the eye. Adding the cables to the kit is so easy. I will be using these cables exclusively from now on.
Eureka's website is well worth a look as it includes such things as tips on how to put your tow cables together and the correct way to cut a wire cable.
Many thanks to Stefan Frankiewicz fom Eureka for supplying our sample cables.