Dragon has been raising the bar with many releases over the last year, and kits like the Tiger I and Panzer IV have set a standard of detail previously unheard of outside the after-market realm. But not all of Dragon's kits include everything but the kitchensink, and the Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. D (kit # 6223) is an example. Although the kit comes with a few photo-etchs parts, it can be improved upon, and this photo-etch set from Eduard can do just that. As Dragon kit# 6223 is a 3-in-1 kit, so Eduard has produced 3 different photo-etch sets, one for each version. In this review we have a look at set #35 856, which is designed to enhance the version with the 28mm wsPzB 41 AT gun. All areas of the model are catered for, from the cab interior to the Pioneerbridge mounts and the gun shield.
what's in the envelope?
The set consists of three sheets of photo-etch, and a small piece of paper with printed instrument dials. The photo-etch parts are sandwiched between two sheets of cardboard to avoid any damage, and the instructions are clear and in colour, to make it easy to determine which parts fit where, and if original kit parts need to be removed or modified.
The set has a comprehensive interior for the drivers cabin, with a new dashboard which uses the printed dials, footpedals, including a three piece throttle which is a beauty and a collar/gate for the gear stick, which adds a touch of detail not usually seen. Wall mounted clips to store the MP40's, and various storage containers are there, all in good or improved detail. The Dragon radio is retained, but suspended in a new photo-etch bracket.
Further back into the crew compartment the set includes two very cleverly designed rifle racks for the k98. The mountings for the bench and backrest are replaced, and lids are added to the storage boxes.
The exterior is not forgotten, and you get a new convoy rearlight, very nice detailed mudflaps for the rear mudguards aswel as various brackets, handles and fittings to add more scale detail. New tool clamps are included, as is an Anti-Aircraft gunsight for the MG which goes on the pintlemount on the rear wall. Eduard has etched two ammo-belts, but as they are flat they don't really work.
Next there are the mounting brackets for the Pioneer bridge, and the two rails along the top of the crew compartment walls. These brackets have been designed with the usual Eduard zeal for simplicity without sacrificing realistic detail, and whilst simple to fold together still have all the detail and shape you expect.
Last but not least this set contains the gunshield for the 28mm wsPzB 41 AT gun. The dubble shield has been re-created beautifuly, with very fine fittings and braces, and really adds 'the icing to the cake'.
There is a miriad of other small fittings and such included aswel, like the chains for the outside stowage bin padlocks etc.
If you are going to build the Dragon 251/7 this kit will be a great asset to achive that extra 'scale effect' detail. It will also replace the crude interior detail with some superb new fittings. As Dragon kit 6223 comes only with a minimum amount of photo-etch detail, this set is great value for money, and is highly recommended