Voyager Model 1/35 K.Pz.Sfl.IVa Dicker Max Detail Set
|Date of Review||July 2007|
|Subject||K.Pz.Sfl.IVa Dicker Max Detail Set|
|Pros||Comprehensive detail set for the Trumpeter kit|
Voyager Model from China has been producing some magnificent detail sets from photo-etch and other media to really make your model stand out. These parts are photo-etched brass that have details etched into the surfaces, so Voyager is using the more sophisticated production processes that we're used to seeing from other notable photo-etch detail manufacturers.
While I haven't reviewed the set yet, I have the Voyager Model detail set for the Trumpeter 1/35 BR.52 locomotive and the detail set is just as awesome as the basic kit. I am looking forward to sitting down with that project!
This release covers another interesting subject, also from Trumpeter, the 'Dicker Max'. The short story of this subject is that this was a self-propelled anti-tank gun armed with a 105mm gun. Only two prototypes were made by the Germans before they moved on to a different design concept, but both of these vehicles were sent into combat. Only two were ever made. Trumpeter produced this kit in 1/35 scale along with the Sturer Emil, another prototype which saw combat with only two examples made. Unlike the Sturer Emil, the Dicker Max was produced in kit form by both Trumpeter and DML. Go figure!
While the Trumpeter kit is very nice looking straight out of the box (look here for the kit review), there is only so much detail you can effectively replicate in styrene. With this detail set, many of the details that would otherwise be lost in styrene are very prominent on the completed model.
The instructions are printed in color to make the kit part (black outlined white) different from the photo-etch part (purple) and the actions/steps colored orange.
This detaill set consists of seven frets of photo-etched details, nine resin parts, several brass rods, two styrene rods, several small brass parts, and a braided wire to replicate the tow cable. It boggles the mind to think we're going to put all of this into the one vehicle - and this ISN'T the complete detail set. Voyager Model also produces a second set to complete this project consisting of the fenders replicated in photo-etch brass.
The process starts with preparing a number of brackets that will be used to stow the kit's pioneering tools and the spare track links provided in this set. In addition, the set provides weapons racks to stow the crew's personal weapons.
One of the first assemblies that is a little more complex is an ammo storage locker. While I'm sure it is provided in the kit as styrene, you cannot open this up to see scale thickness of the locker walls. WIth this, you'll be able to leave the locker doors posed open and see the difference photo-etch thickness makes on details like this. There are several lockers that will be assembled from these parts and these will dress up the interior of the gun crew compartment.
One nice touch is the resin communications gear provided and mounted into photo-etched racks. Another is the set of photo-etched rims used to accurize the kit's return rollers.
In addition to all of the internal stowage lockers and boxes that fill up the interior of the gun crew compartment and the various fittings for the pioneering tools, this set also provides a stowage bin that mounts to the outside rear of the crew compartment.
While this set will really set off the detail in the Dicker Max kit, this detail set is not for the beginning modeler. You will need to be able to remove the photo-etch parts from their frets (simple once you know how) and then be able to apply these details using cyano adhesives without gluing yourself to the kit parts. It isn't difficult, or else these sets wouldn't be so popular.
I'm not certain what the retail pricing would be when you can find these detail sets in the US hobby market, but I purchased my set from Lucky Model for $24.95. That is quite a bargain for all of the stuff you see here!
Oh yes, the translation bug on the cover. When I first spotted this detail set one morning, I nearly blew hot coffee out of my nose. This was one of the more interesting translation errors I've seen in a while. Nevertheless, only a feeble-minded fool would find this error funny. That's why I'm framing the cover from my set!
Recommended for experienced modelers!