As anybody who has built Dragon's superb Flak 38 kit knows, there doesn't seem to be much on it that could benefit from an after market photo etched set........ or is there? Again, this is not meant as an exhaustive review, just a first look at what's included!
What you get is two medium-sized photo etch frets, and 4 sides of instructions. The instructions are clear and involve a minimum of removal of the kit parts in order to install this Eduard set.
So what do we get? The first 'replacements' we are offered are the magazine boxes, which themselves are a vast improvement over the kit parts, and can be displayed open or closed. They'll look particularly effective when left open due to the thickness of the photo etch over the plastic kit parts. The same holds true for the tool box on the fender, again the Eduard replacement will look very good indeed if left open. Instead of trying to replace the spare barrel case which Dragon supply, Eduard have very sensibly decided to offer upgrades to this instead, with new clasps, handles etc.
There is a toolbox of some sort fitted to one of the fender brackets on the inside of the Left fender, and again Eduard replace this totally, along with a new bracket complete with lightning holes, again, very effective. On the triangular base of the gun there are a lot of small brackets, hinges, wing nuts etc. replaced with this set, which all go to giving a much more in-scale look to the kit. They also supply a new photo etched cover for the tool box that is built into the towing leg, which again, if closed looks much like the kit part, but if left open..........much better!
Which brings us on to the gun itself......... the inclusion by Dragon of lot's of photo etch in the basic kit must have sometimes left photo etch manufacturers scratching their heads, wondering what to include in their sets. I have seen sets where the manufacturer merely supplies what was already supplied in the kit, with no improvement offered. Eduard have not done that here. Sensibly, they have added to the photo etch that was already supplied by Dragon, in an effort to further improve what the modeller can achieve. An example? Dragon supply a brass shield in this kit, in the past, I would have expected to see another in the photo etch set. Not this time though, instead Eduard give you new hinges, new wing nuts, brackets.......... lots of small details that differ significantly from the Dragon parts. They appear to have done their research and with this set offer things that will improve the base kit and not just replace parts for the sake of replacing them. For another example, the photo etched wing nuts that Dragon supply and can be found around the shield, come as flat parts. The Eduard replacements consist of a flat circle with the two 'wings' which are twisted into position, and then a tiny piece of thin rod (not supplied) can be added to represent the threaded bolt. They look superb! The most difficult part of this whole set will be rolling the flat flash suppressor into the correct cone shape. Be cautious and don't remove the kit part until you're absolutely sure you have this into the right shape!
I have to say this is the best Eduard set I've seen for a while. They now seem to have come up with the right strategy to cope with the kit manufacturers already including nearly everything in the basic kit! Very highly recommended!
My thanks to Eduard for the review sample.
It's some time now since Dragon issued their superb state-of-the-art Flak 38 kit. So this update photo etch set is long overdue.