The set consists of five frets of etched parts which vary in thickness plus two brass fender width indicators, a resin MG34 and length of fine steel wire and plastic rod as well as a two page instruction sheet.
The standard of etching is again excellent with the very clean etching that varies in thickness on some parts within each fret and includes the usual fine engraved bending lines to allow precise bends.
Any of the available etched bending tools would be of assistance and there are also some parts that will need to be bent to a circular profile. See the various reviews of available tools on site to see which would best suit as each does the job in their own way.
Some modifications to the Italeri kit parts is required to fit the etched parts but this mainly consists of removing raised plastic details prior to adding the etched details and shouldn’t be a problem while other etched parts simple replace the plastic parts.
All of the hatch hinges are replaced with etched hinges that can be made workable using the thin plastic rod provided if you wish but still offer greater detail definition if you simply glue the etched hinges in place after cutting off the plastic hinges.
The fender mounted tools all get etched tool clips and mounting brackets to replace the moulded on clips as well as the shovel getting a new etched spade section.
A notable feature of the 6Rad is the eleven fender mounted storage boxes and these are all provided in etched metal with separate box tops and a four part latch that includes the small pad lock which allows you to show one or more boxes open if you wish.
The oil can mounted on the left hull side gets an etched mounting bracket and attachment straps as well as the fire extinguisher mounting in fine etched parts with other brackets included for the NOTEK light, fender width indicators (included in brass) and pennant frame mountings as well as the hull side mounted direction indicators in three etched parts.
At the back the spare wheel rack is entirely replaced with etched parts as well as a two part rain channel along the top of the rear plate and all the mud flaps are also provided as etched replacement parts.
Moving to the hull front the entire front louvered section (Italeri part 57B)
is replaced by etched parts with separate louvers and this requires careful
bending of the inner saw tooth louver mountings and the side angles. The inner
saw tooth louver mountings are the trickiest and you should bend these before
the outer angles for better access.
The two angled outer panels may require a bit of fine turning when bending to get them to mate to the main hull but using the plastic part as a guide should make this easier.
Its best to fit the frame to the main hull before fitting the louvers as I found there was a small gap between the etched part and hull at the sides requiring filling and you could also add small lengths of plastic rod on the inside to better secure the etched part as well a help in filling the gap using thick cyanoacrylate which can be sanded smooth once fully cured.
Fitting the louvers was straightforward but note each is a different length so follow the numbered sequences for this.
The turret gets the most extensive reworking with the entire front panel and gun mantlet replaced with etched parts that require you to shave off all the raised detail from the kit parts and it is also better to glue the turret front panel (part 12A) in place and clean up the side joins before adding the etched parts.
The kit mantlet (part 11A) also needs the details removed and trimmed to fit the shape of the etched mantlet and to add additional detail I also replaced the 20mm cannon and MG34 barrels with the excellent Armorscale barrels (sets #B35-027 and #B35-030) for additional detail but these additions are up to you.
The etched turret front is a very good fit to the upper Italeri turret but the lower edge is a little deeper than the kit turret and will require the underside turret bevel enlarged to mate to the etched front plate.
The front panel vision port and upper rain channel are separate parts as are the two side lifting eyes for excellent detail definition and the mantlet also has separate visor ports and can be made movable with the hinge pivots included on both the front panel and mantlet but I chose to glue these in place as the weight of the metal barrel meant the mantlet wouldn’t sit evenly.
I also carefully removed the 20mm cannon collar from the kit mantlet and added this to the metal barrel and you will also need to drill new locating holes for the cannon and MG as those in the etched mantlet don’t line up with those in the plastic mantlet, but this is an easy job.
The full assembled front panel and mantlet looks excellent with much finer details than the kit parts further enhanced with the addition of the metal barrels.
The two circular side ports are completely replaced with eight etched parts that include workable hinges, two part upper rain channel and inner latch if you wish to show the port open?
The two rear and turret top hatches have their hinges replaced with workable etched hinges and visor ports on the rear hatches as well as the large rain channel above the rear doors replaced with two etched parts but you may need to fill the large locating trough for the plastic rain channel before fitting the etched parts.
Inner latches are also provided for the top and rear doors if you wish to show these open to show off the gun breeches included in the kit and there are also two roof mounted brackets used on the Sd.Kfz.231 version without the large bed frame antenna to add another option to the set.
The MG34 is often mounted on top of the turret with the Sd.Kfz.231 version and an etched ring sight is included for the barrel if you choose this option.
The instructions have exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences and these are clear and easy to follow but as usual always study the steps before working with any kit or etched parts.
Another extensive update from Voyager that will add many excellent details the Italeri 232 kits but there is some work required and previous experience working with etched parts would be an advantage.
The added option of the Sd.Kfz.231 version offers more value and as mentioned going the extra step and adding the Armorscale metal barrels tops off the excellent etched turret parts.
Thanks to my credit card and Hobby Easy for the review set.
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Page Created April 16, 2006