The set consist of 38 parts in light cream resin, an etched fret and metal
barrel from ABER as well as brass shells and rounds with stencil decal sheet
and as a bonus a CD ROM with 87 reference pictures of the real turret interior
and exterior to help building and detailing the turret.
The quality of the resin casting is very good with the usual casting blocks to be removed as well as some minor resin film off some of the smaller and more intricate castings.
The largest and most impressive part is the turret, which is cast compete except for the roof and mantlet and has much of the interior details such as turret ring details, side ammo drums, electrical junction box and wiring plus the rear ammo racks included all of which are cleanly cast with even thickness turret walls with nice cast texture on the outside for one special piece of resin casting.
The separate roof which is cast perfectly flat has details on both sides and includes the early drum cupola with interior weld seams and separate periscopes as well as the forward periscopes and rear ventilators (the Dragon kit ventilator covers are used) as well as the interior ventilator details.
The large breech dominates the interior and is another intricate casting that includes the gun, the breech and side guards with additional detail items of gun controls, lower shield as well as separate sighting telescope and co-axial machine gun, there are also etched parts to add further details to the assembly.
The rear ammo racks are built up from resin and etched parts for an intricate and impressive looking assembly and there are additional ammo clips from etched parts on the turret wall.
The two part Commander’s hatch and Loader’s hatch have details on both sides and separate periscope on the Commander’s hatch as well as the periscope bodies for the inside of the front roof periscopes and additional roof wiring.
The fit of the roof to the turret is spot on and will hold in place without any glue allowing it to be removed at any time to show off the interior.
On the turret exterior is a nice cast texture and nicely done weld seams although the rear pouring points are across the lower weld seam and care will be needed when removing the blocks to keep the weld seam intact, but shouldn’t pose too many problems. The pistol port plugs are also provided in brass if you want to drill out the ports to show these open?
The fit of the gun breech into the turret front mounting is a bit vague and it may be advisable to glue this in place for a more secure fit and there is some minor modifications needed to the Dragon kit mantlet by removing the side mounting pins and again test fitting will determine what mods are needed but the fit of the mantlet is excellent once the mods are done.
The fit of the ABER metal barrel to the Dragon kit mantlet is very good and the barrel includes rifling in the breech for added detail definition.
The fit of the resin turret to the Dragon hull is spot on, probably the best fit of a resin turret to plastic kit I’ve seen for a while and will require no modifications at all further illustrating the good resin to plastic fit of the parts. you might want to add two notches like the kit turret to hold the resin turret in place but this isn’t necessary if you don’t plan on turning the model upside down?
One thing is that most reference pictures I have seen of the Factory 183 turrets including the images on the accompanying CD ROM show a series of small vertical ribs around the lower sides/ring of the turret but these aren’t present on the resin turret?
As a bonus there are new etched front fenders on the fret to replace the kit items allowing authentic damage to be shown if you wish or just for a better scale appearance of the fenders.
A six page instruction sheet is included with detailed exploded view drawings of the assembly which are very clear and should aid considerably with the construction although careful study before assembly will help, the instructions are also included on the CD ROM as .pdf files if you lose the printed ones?
Overall an excellent turret which is basically a kit in itself that you add the Dragon kits, with the large turret shell casting being one of the most impressive you will see with the crisp details extending well under the forward turret roof line.
The interior is very busy and the added metal parts add further to the overall good appearance of the turret with the reference CD ROM thrown in for good measure.
Hussar Productions is distributed by AirConnection Canada.
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Page created 4 October 2004