Introduction / Contents
Though German WWII is not at all my specialty, I decided to build the Demag released by Blue Cat Models, a new Swiss plastic model company owned by a friend of mine. He received this PE upgrade from Hauler as a sample and decided to give it to me for my build and a review. Note that though I know the owner of Blue Cat Models, I have no connection to Hauler.
The Demag has been reviewed here
The set contents are quite simple, consisting of only a small PE fret, a tiny piece of clear foil and the instruction sheet. The parts are intended to update the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
The instructions start with the windshield wipers. These are some very fine parts that really improve the looks of the model. I would, however, recommend adding them at the end, as they are easily broken off.
Next is an update of the dashboard. Again, this really enhances the look of the model. There is also a small clear part with the meters printed on. This is sandwiched between two PE parts, so you have to mask them before painting. The steering wheel opening in the PE part does not align with the hole for the steering wheel on the kit but this is not an issue. I simply cut the steering wheel down a bit and glued it on.
Then we have an update for the driverís compartment floor and the gearbox. Here you will have to add the levers from scratch. I used some plastic rod and the knobs from the kit. The rod has to be quite a bit thinner than the kit rods to fit the gearbox.
The next step takes you to the front portion of the Demag. Here you add the mounting plate of the Notek, the number plate and the towing hooks. The latter seem a bit one-dimensional for my taste and next time I would keep the plastic parts. The rest, however, is clearly an improvement over the kit parts.
Mounted on the wall behind the driver is a two-man saw. This is completely absent in the Blue Cat kit. The saw itself requires the handles to be added from plastic rod. The bracket for the saw is a very fine part and not easy to fold, care is needed here.
Width indicators, direction indicators and rear view mirror are next. The direction indicators are made of 7 parts each. Care is needed to align them all correctly, especially the mounting part. The rear view mirror is then attached to the direction indicator and I almost went nuts making it stick in the right place. I expect to break and re-attach this part a few more times during paintingÖ I was wondering why some of these parts werenít made as one to facilitate the build and make an altogether more stable part, eg. why wasnít the attachment for the indicator made as one part with one of the sandwiched indicator parts?
The tool attachments are next. The first thing you will notice when comparing this part to reference photos is that the ax of the Blue Cat kit is way too big. Some modification of the ax got this settled; however, the attachment parts are very fiddly to assemble. In addition, part 32 is too short to be correctly attached. I am more than willing to say itís due to my mistake, but I canít see any mistake on my part. Part 32 is too short to fit the fender at the right place. In the end I resigned and skipped these parts. In any case, it is still an improvement over the kit parts. On the other side of the vehicle, the pliers and the shovel, there are no problems.
Back to the interior, there are clamps for 8 rifles for the crew compartment. The two clamps are made of 4 parts each and with some care there are no problems in the assembly. This is another component missing in the Blue Cat kit and definitely an improvement.
The set also includes straps for the tarp, however these are way too short and I decided to replace them with scratch items.
Last on the instructions we move on to the back of the vehicle. Here we have the rear fenders. A little surgery was needed here to fit them (see images), but all in all they are definitely an improvement over the kit parts. Number plate and camo lamp round up the back - no comments there.
All in all, the set definitely improves the Blue Cat kit. Some parts are extremely fiddly and previous experience with PE will certainly be helpful. Itís too bad that some parts donít really fit (such as the attachments for the ax and pick and the rear fenders which require some simple surgery) or are too short (straps for tarp) but the other parts fit without any problems.
The following book proved invaluable in building this kit and writing the review (including the small excerpt in picture 9):
Wings and Wheels Publications No. R 057, Sd.Kfz. 10 in Detail