The quality of the resin parts is okay but some of the detail is a little on the soft side compared to contemporary products while others such as the engine block is quite crisp. There are also a few small air holes in some of the parts which are unusual for Verlinden which is usually cast to a high standard in this regard.
I have commented in previous Verlinden reviews that the etched parts are simply
not up to today’s standards but thankfully the etched parts in this set
are a marked improvement on previous sets with clean etchings and well defined
bend lines and relief on those parts with this feature but overall are still
not quite up to the standards now set by the likes of Aber, Eduard, Lion
Roar or Voyager.
The main components of the set is the engine and compartment and starts with the new engine bulkhead/instrument panel which has moulded details on both sides and also corrects another of the errors in the Dragon kit where the left hand side of the lower bulkhead is vertical in the kit but should slant outwards as per the AFV Club kits and the Verlinden bulkhead.
The instrument details included on the resin part are okay but would be better defined if replaced with the etched/photo film setup of most etched update sets, what’s this update sets updating other update sets?
No driver’s foot pedals are included so again you will need another update set to add these details but you get a new etched radio rack. The rear of the bulkhead has the instrument housings included and all that is needed is to add the wiring for a complete look, while the engine bay consists of the lower “floor” which is a resin part that fits onto the Dragon lower hull (parts D1, B14) with the engine casting which is cut off at three quarter height and has most of the engine accessories as separate parts for nice detail definition.
The large two fan front radiator fits in front of the lower “floor” and the sides of the compartment are made up of etched metal plates and the whole lot will fill the compartment quite well when viewing through the open engine bay doors which Dragon thankfully included as separate parts to elevate the need for surgery.
In the cabin interior there are new front crew seats which have the cover attachments around the edges and textured seats as well as the rear spring detail but unfortunately are huge being about 1/3 bigger than they should be, comparing the resin seats to those in the Dragon and AFV Club kits and Royal Models update set will show you just how big they are and really are unusable.
The rear crew seats have new leather cushions for the seats and backrests while the front vision visors are supplied with resin frames and etched details, but the frames are again oversized and the etched parts very basic when compared to similar parts in the other etched update sets.
The six fender mounted storage boxes are supplied as etched parts but again are very basic when compared to those in the Lion Roar or Royal Models 251 Ausf.C update sets.
Also included are a few accessory items such as 7.62mm MG ammo boxes and MP40 ammo pouches as well as personal equipment to add a bit of life to the model but these are generic parts and can be sourced from any similar update set.
The biggest letdown of this update set, like many other Verlinden sets is
the instructions which are very little help in assembling the parts.
The text instructions are vague and the limited drawings are not much better and this is one area where Verlinden really needs to lift their game, these instructions may have been okay 5-6 years ago but not today.
Some of the parts don’t even get a mention in the instructions and you are left wondering just where the parts go unless very familiar with the 251 or have good references.
Basically and without wanting to be unkind there is little other than the engine/instrument panel bulkhead and engine that can be used in this set as you really need additional update sets to add details not included in this set such as driver’s foot pedals and instrument details while others like the fender storage boxes and visors are really quite basic.
But if you want an engine for your 251 Ausf.C then this is a good starting point but a bit expensive for just and engine and compartment, the engine could also be used for the Ausf.D but you will need to alter the side compartment panels.
Recommended with reservations.
Etched Parts and detail images
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Verlinden is distributed in Australia by J.B.Wholesalers.
Page created 6 November 2004