The etched frets are of different thickness with fret C being double the thickness of fret A and B which allows the shields to be better represented and deeper relief on the etchings such as the cable reel faces.
The quality of the etchings is very good with crisp clean detail and the usual engraved bending lines with the parts being the equal of any contemporary etched sets available today.
Many of the parts are very small and care will be needed handling and assembling the parts, experience working with etched parts would also be helpful.
The larger parts in the set are for the complete shield to replace the plastic
kit shield and this is provided in three parts, the front shield and the two
folding side shields with separate small attachments to represent the hinges.
There are also separate etched bolt heads for the side and main shield with
small indentations indicating the location of the many bolt heads as well as
additional parts for the sight opening door and shield attachments.
Having the main and side shields separate does make the assembly a little tricky but does give the small space between the shields as on the real shields.
There are also separate shield supports that attach to the lower front of the side gun supports as well as the upper shield support arm attachments with the location indicated on the back of the shield with small engraved lines.
The storage boxes around the cruciform base are provided with additional parts
for the hinges and latches while there are many smaller fittings for around
the gun assembly.
These include most of the small attachment points for items on the gun mountings with notable items being the crew seat supports and sight linkages and calibrations for the elevation indicator which are much finer than those on the kit parts.
The two carriage bogies are extensively detailed with virtually every smaller fitting and attachment replaced with etched parts. This includes the fender support arms which are made up of four parts each and the storage boxes with additional etched hinges, latches and supports.
The large cable reel faces are especially well done with excellent relief on the etchings and while you are given etched cable drums that you have to bend to the right curve it may be easier to use the plastic kit items if they will be covered by the cables anyway.
All the tool clips and attachments are also replaced with etched parts that require you to remove the kits attachments and fillets but the end result is much finer details.
The five page instruction sheet has exploded view drawings showing the various sub assemblies but distinguishing the numbered Dragon kit parts from the numbered etched parts is a little confusing and care will be needed. It may be an idea to go though the sequences using a highlighter to indicate the different parts to make things easier.
One notable thing is that Lion Roar haven't provided the etched parts already in the Dragon kit such as the outrigger stake guide fittings which is good as the kit items are perfectly acceptable.
Overall a nicely detailed set that will add those finer details to an already excellent kit with the new shields and cable reels being notable.
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Voyager have also released a comprehensive update set for the Dragon Flak88 for those wanting to add even more detail, see a review of the Voyager set here as well as brief comparison.
Thanks to my credit card and Hobby Easy for the review set.
Page created September 25, 2005