It’s only been a few weeks now since Dragon unveiled their 234/1 at the Dragon Expo event in California. Cyber Hobby had flyers at the show showing the plans for the update set they were due to release… And here it is! Slightly different to what was on the leaflet.
The package arrives in a nice protective blister pack, similar to the update set that is available for the 234/4. The contents are similar too. There are two new fenders, this time the opposite way around to the 234/4, this pack including the late style fenders with only two stowage bins per fender, in between each pair of wheels.
There is a small poly bag containing eight pre-bent wires that can be fitted to represent what I think are brake cables, to each of the eight wheels, an three photo etched frets.
The biggest of the photo etched frets is the same fret that was included with the 234/4, and so it contains parts for the gun shield which isn’t on this version, but you do get those lovely louvres for the engine deck, which I have used on the 234/4, and they are extremely easy to make, no soldering skills required! Along with the louvres, the fret contains springs for the seat backs, which will require careful removal of the moulded on detail on the kit parts, several exhaust brackets, and two jerry can brackets. I found the plastic jerry can brackets to be the weakest part of the kit, they really do need to be made of photo etched brass for a scale-like appearance.
The second of the photo etched frets is a new one, containing the ammunition racks that are missing from the kit. The reason they were missing from the Dragon kit, is that enough references could not be found by the Dragon team. Cyber Hobby have a completely independent research team which has found sufficient references, which is why they felt able to include them in this set! So well done to them! These look very nice indeed… A very scale-like appearance, with the correct lightning holes and ribs, and you even get a couple of holders for MG34 or 42 ammo drums.
The third and last photo etched fret in the set comprises two nicely done grills which finish off the engine deck nicely if you’re leaving the louvres open. These two were available in the 234/4 set, and so aren’t new either.
Also included in the set are two small sprues of styrene that contain parts to supposedly 'upgrade' the wheels so they are steerable. They are in fact, to all intents and purposes, the same as the kit parts supplied with the locating lugs cut off. I fail to se the point of these entirely?
The last thing included in the set is a small decal sheet with decals for a Wehrmacht vehicle. Front and back license plates, which can already be made from the ‘number-jumble’ sheet supplied in the kit, four balkencreuz, which again are already supplied in the kit, the tyre pressure decal, which should have been supplied in the kit, and some data plates.
This set contains those engine deck louvres and jerry can brackets, which I feel are essential, but if you bought the first set for the 234/4, then you have a set of the fenders left over, but then again the ammunition rack really is a necessity as well. Highly Recommended.
A nice, useful set... that could have provided more, and does include things that are missing from the original release.
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