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First Look Review
Sd.Kfz.234/1 update set

by: Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]

The set
The set consists of two frets of brass, a colour printed insert for the instrument dials, and two pages of instructions. The frets are as usual packed in a clear envelope and sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard to avoid damage. The instructions are as always very clear, and apart from two items not much difficult surgery to the plastic is needed.

The set includes what is possibly the most needed improvement to this, and indeed any of the 4 variants, model, which are the Jerry-can holders. The plastic Dragon parts are far to thick and can't be shown empty. The Eduard replacements have much better scale detail, and as the straps are 'split' correctly and have a separate half butterfly nut, can be posed empty, or even damaged. Another great improvement are the tool brackets. The Dragon kit does not include any Photo-etch tool clamps or brackets, although the kit does include tools without moulded on clamps. The Eduard set provides the usual one piece clamps, which are relatively easy to use, and look very convincing when finished. The new brackets for the jack are a major improvement, as are the clasps on the external storage box lid. The Eduard set includes bolted strip detail for the join between mudguard and hull, as well as a step which mounts under need the rear side locker, between the rear wheels, detail which is not present in the Dragon kit.

The photo-etch driver and co-driver pedals are very nicely done, but as these parts are all but invisible in the finished model, and much more fragile than the o.k. plastic parts, they are something for the serious detailers. There is a mounting bracket for the MP40, but as the plastic MP40 with its moulded on bracket is not very nice to begin with, the Photo-etch bracket is perfect to leave it empty. Another piece which is perfect to show 'empty' is the spare drivers vision block bracket. The drivers instrument panel lacks some of the raised detail of the plastic part, but the sandwiched (coloured) dials do add a nice touch to this. There is a replacement bracket for the spare wheel, which also lends itself best to show a certain amount of damage. The plastic kit bracket is perfectly adequate if you mount the spare wheel in place, but if you want to show it empty, or damaged, the Photo-etch is the one to use. The one thing that needs a very steady hand, a sharp chisel, and determination are the side locker padlocks. The plastic locks are moulded in place, but Dragon did a good job on them, and replacing them is not absolutely necessary. The padlocks don't actually offer a great improvement in detail and the provided retaining chain suffers like all Photo-etch chain from the fact that flat chain doesn't look convincing.

The parts for the 2cm gun and turret are what make this a set specific for the 234/1 (Dragon kit # 6298), as all the previous parts are common to all the 234 variants. There are replacement parts for the ammo chutes and the small barrel mounted gun shield which offer improved scale detail to the 2cm gun. The radio mounting rack looks much better, as do the grenade shields. Another great improvement are the turret mounted stowage boxes, because the thin brass makes them much more realistic when you model them opened up.

This set greatly improves what is a very nice model on it own. The Photo-etch Jerry-can holders are a must add item, as are the jack mounting brackets and turret stowage boxes. At $22.95 this is not quite a bargain, but for these items alone this set warrants a recommendation.

The recent Dragon kits of the four variants of the Sd.Kfz. 234 are good models straight from the box, but there are some areas which can be improved upon. This Photo-etch set provides some much needed replacement detail, most notably the jerry-can racks.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35 930
  Suggested Retail: $22.95
  Related Link: Eduard
  PUBLISHED: Jan 31, 2007

About Henk Meerdink (Henk)

Copyright 2021 text by Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]. All rights reserved.


Looks like a definite must have to me, it certainly will add a little bit extra to an already great kit...
JAN 30, 2007 - 09:52 PM

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