This set from Lion Roar is designed for the Dragon Sd.Kfz.250/1 SPW ‘Alt’ (kit #6117) but could be used an any of the other Dragon 250 kits available plus those released under the Gunze Sangyo label.
The set is quite comprehensive with six frets of finely etched parts in various thicknesses for good definition of the parts plus a clear photo film sheet, various lengths of plastic rod and copper wire as well as two formed brass width indicators and a seven page instruction sheet to give a hint of the many parts included.
Standard of the etching is again superb with cleanly etched parts many with detail relief and the usual engraved bending lines to ensure precise bending of the parts and as mentioned different thicknesses of etched parts within sub-assemblies for good scale appearance.
Being an open topped vehicle the set covers both the interior and exterior in equal detail and some of the etched parts completely replace the kit plastic parts such as the superstructure front and top plates and interior storage boxes with others replacing and enhancing the finer kit details.
The lower floor sections have replacement tread plate panels with additional details for the transmission hump and forward firewall including the driver’s foot pedals and gear levers as well as the rear seat springs and seat frame attachments.
The driver’s instrument panel and radio mounting are extensively detailed with the moulded on instrument details removed and replaced with the etched panel with photo film dials and additional small etched details. The kit radio mounting is completely replaced with no less than 23 etched parts, some very small that will transform the plain plastic mounting if you go all the way. While there are numerous small parts assembly is quite straightforward as all the parts are firmly glued in place as you go along making for a fairly robust assembly.
As mentioned the rear mounted storage box is entirely in etched parts with the door hinges that can be made workable if you so wish plus the rifle racks, MP40 rack and other inner equipment clips are in fine etched parts.
The inner rear door frame plus the door latches are also replaced with etched parts plus the two side mounted vision ports in intricate multi-part assemblies while the front driver’s plate and upper hull plate are completely replaced with etched parts.
The front driver’s plate and two front visors are quite complex assemblies with the only part used from the Dragon kit is the visor covers. The etched front plate requires the edges be bent slightly but not a right angles and a little test fitting will be needed to get the correct angle. The visors are made up of etched parts and plastic rod plus photo film sheet for the visor “glass” and while most of the parts are very small the assembly was quite straightforward provided you take your time.
The visor block added to the inside of the kit visor is easily bent to shape and the clear “glass” added and this is then glued to the visor with the two arms and their mounting brackets added. You must be careful to line up the ends of the arms perfectly parallel and I temporally slipped a short section of plastic rob through the end of the arms to keep them lined up till the cyanoacrylate cured. I will add here that the visors can be made workable by not gluing the moving parts but I chose to glue the visor permanently in the open position for ease of assembly.
On the inside are the visor frames and visor attachments plus a few small bolt heads and lower latch with all the parts fitting neatly together but care is needed with the many small parts.
Fitting the outer visor to the inner frame was made easier due to the arms being glued in place and some careful juggling will be needed if the arms are left free to move but the outer visor fits neatly into the inner frame if you show the visor closed.
The left side exhaust panel is provided with pre-bent open louvers that look quite impressive although you have to add the exhaust pipe yourself from brass or plastic rod with the entire array of fender mounted tools and equipment having etched clips and brackets to replace the kit parts which do add nice definition to these parts.
There is quite a bit of work in removing all the moulded on tool clips and equipment mounting brackets but the end result is worth the effort with a marked improvement in appearance.
The two engine intake grills in front of the driver’s plate are provided and you have to trim off the raised frames before adding the fine mesh screens but due to the kit having open intakes for the nylon mesh provided you may want to blank off the intakes from the inside before attaching the upper hull to avoid the see through look.
The superstructure top panel has inside padding and bolt head details added as well as a three part bullet splash guard on the upper side for good definition and the machine gun shield and gun mounting are also replaced with etched parts that include fine details for the MG34 that include a very fine anti-aircraft ring sight that you will just have to use.
The front head light and NOTEK lights get new mounting brackets as well as the rear tail light bracket and light panel made up of two parts and four side clips.
Finally there are the two formed brass width indicators for the fenders and small bolt head fittings for around the inner rim of the drive sprockets
The instruction sheet has seven letter sized pages with exploded view drawings of the assemblies and due to the number of fine parts in some special attention is needed with these assemblies, but overall they are quite clear and easy to follow
This is a very comprehensive set for the Dragon Sd.Kfz.250 but is not for the first time etched part user with some very intricate and detailed assembles requiring extreme care.
The side exhaust louvers look impressive as do the major assemblies of the driver’s plate and visors which as mentioned can be made workable for the more adventurous and overall is a very impressive set for the much overlooked 250.
Click for larger views
Close new window to return to review
Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Military Vehicles in Detail 1
SdKfz 250/1 to 250/12
Ian Allan Publishing.
(Armored Personnel Carrier)
Thanks to Lion Roar for the review set.
Page created June 26, 2006