ARM: 1/35 scale German OVM Upgrade Sets

Kit Review: (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 scale Upgrade Sets for German Tools and OVM Kit No. 3873; OVM Tool Set for Czech-Based German Light Panzer; 57 parts (45 in grey styrene, 12 etched brass); retail price US$8.95 Kit No. 3875; OVM Tool Set for Pz. IV Ausf. D/E; 40 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$8.95 Kit No. 3876; OVM Tool Set for Pz. IV Ausf. F/G; 27 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$8.95 Kit No. 3877; OVM Tool Set for Panther G; 23 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$8.95

Advantages: nice, sharp new state-of-the-art moldings can upgrade older kits

Disadvantages: may require changes to recipient kits to accept new parts

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for the related German vehicle family kits

One of the early weaknesses of 1/35 scale (or any scale, for that matter) models was the tendency of model manufacturers to =93simplify=94 construction and in doing that they tended to mold many small parts on the large components of kits. A particularly egregious victim of this policy were OVM =96 Outer Vehicle Materials, a US term covering all items strapped or bolted on the outside of a vehicle which were necessary to simplify crew functions, repairs or carrying spare parts themselves, including =93pioneer tools=94 - shovel, axe, sledge hammer and mattock or pick in US service.

Later, starting about 1968, manufacturers began to provide them as separate parts but quality tended to vary quite a bit between very good and not much better than toylike quality. This continued until recent years when the manufacturers began to provide either decent tools with scale fastenings (to avoid the long problem of =93magic=94 tools that clung to tanks without any visible means of attachment) or separate brass straps and hold-down loops.

DML=92s affiliate has also begun to release the OVM sets from recent DML kits as separate offerings. These permit upgrading kits from other manufacturers or older DML offerings to current levels.

Set 3873 covers the Praga TNH series light vehicles (e.g. Pzkw. 38 (t), Marder III, 15 cm Grille vehicles, Flakpanzer, and Hetzer) and includes etched brass tie-down straps. It provides the jack, a shovel, wire cutters, an axe, tanker=92s bar, sledge, and fire extinguisher among other components.

Set 3875 covers early Pzkw. IV vehicles and provides all of the lighting, tools, jack and jack block, fire extinguishers, tow cable hooks, and cleaning rods.

Set 3876 is for the later Pzkw. IV vehocles and provides a multi-part jack, tools, cleaning rods, tow cable hooks, and starter crank.

Set 3877 is for the Ausf. G Panther and provides a multi-piece jack, tools, tow cable hooks, fire extinguisher, headlight, and other bits.

All of these parts are included with current DML kits, but being offered separately permits upgrading older DML kits or those from other manufacturers with state-of-the-art components.

Overall this is a nice offering for a reasonable price and should help get some older projected moved towards completion.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review samples.

Cookie Sewell

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