The Sd.Kfz.10 was a popular gun platform, especially for the 20mm FlaK 38. The Wehrmacht preferred the heavier 3.7cm FlaK 18/36/37/43 series, but with 7x the number of 2cm 38s, they mounted many of them on a variety of platforms (including U-boats). The Sd.Kfz.10 had proven to be too lightweight to be an effective stand-alone halftrack or prime mover for artillery, so several thousand were adapted for an anti-aircraft role. The 20mm proved to be deadly against ground targets, too, especially infantry.
Griffon Model has already released two premium sets to upgrade the Dragon Sd.Kfz.10/5 (the open-cab kit is reviewed here
and the armored cab version is reviewed here
. The smaller premium upgrade set is reviewed here
). Now they have released a set to upgrade the gun shields and in this case, the interior.
Inside Griffon Model's usual Ziploc bag are:
3 frets of PE
1 baggie with wire and plastic rod for wiring & control levers
1 2-sided instruction sheet
One area where many Dragon kits often suffer is the interior. Their many German halftracks all include engines and transmissions, but the detailing is simplified or missing. This set is designed to fix some of that, and is applicable to both kits (armored cab and open cab).
The set might seem a bit much for anyone who doesn't look at a plastic model kit and imagine improving it with a wee bit of brass. For those of us who see gray styrene as inherently less-accurate than the equivalent in photo etched brass, fixing up the engine, transmission and windscreen is second-nature.
The three sub-assemblies covered in the set include to-scale levers, guide forms for shifting that blow away any plastic detailing, and even brass wires for adding electrical components to the engine. German halftracks included sophisticated transmissions/winches for hitching up a towed gun, or pulling another vehicle out of the muck. This set will bring the kit's winch mechanism to life.
The next area of improvement is the engine block. In addition to the brass work included, there is a length of brass wire for scratch-building your own spark plug cables. I strongly recommend the photo CDs of Chris "Toadman" Hughes
for adding this kind of easy, but effective extras.
The final area of upgrade is the windshield/windscreen. The 1930s technology used in German halftracks included tiny motors at the top of the windshield meant to operate the wipers. There is simply no styrene that can accurately render these kinds of detail, though adding brass wiper blades requires a deft touch, and is not for the PE beginner.
I generally prefer to purchase the complete sets of upgrades, but for those who prefer to focus on some portions of the kit and not others, Griffon's decision to split up the components is a good one. The interior is one of those areas of the base kit that could use work: while Dragon has an engine and basic firewall, it omits many details that will help bring the kit to life.
Thanks to Dragon USA for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering.