by: Stef [ ]
Vmodels of Ukraine are a fairly new manufacturer of photo-etch parts and have got a range of detail sets for ICM’s Panhard 178, this particular one here, including louvres and some exterior upgrades for the storage boxes. The upgrades would apply to any of ICM’s Panhard 178 as well as the co-op version by Revell as well as the Panzerspähwagen 204 (f) variants. It might also be usable for older Dragon versions. It was launched in 2016.
The package includes a single fret, with just over 80 parts, however only 35 different ones. It has a light yellowish, almost silver-like shine to it and is made of solid PE. The parts look nice and do show a good level of detail. The hinges for the rear storage box doors look nice and will be workable. After pressing in the box doors’ strengthening dents and further assembly the new covers will be an eye catcher. This will allow for a depiction of the box in an open state, which would not be suitable in such a way with the ICM kit parts.
The louvres are of special interest regarding the design, as they will replace the solid ones included in the various ICM Panhard kits. I started bending one of the louvres and placed it beside the ICM part for comparison. The lateral support beams do not match and I am not sure which manufacturer got them right, there is a slight difference in their arrangement. No sane person would notice this on a built kit though.
Overall the fret parts are well designed and do show some clever engineering.
The instructions are not of the easy kind and require careful examination with regard to the louvres. The other parts are all well explained. In total there are 14 steps excluding sub-assemblies.
The parts do represent a nice addition to the already great kit and will enhance it even further. As there are extremely small parts included and many bends are required, this is nothing for the casual modeller in my opinion.
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