ARM: Revivew - 1/35 scale Upgrade kit for Sd.Kfz. 234/2 Puma

Kit Review: (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 Scale Upgrade and Conversion Kit No. 3835; Upgrade and Conversion Kit for Sd.Kfz.
234/2 Schwerer Panzerspaehwagen (Puma cm); parts (58 etched brass, 10 in grey styrene, 8 pre-bent wire); price estimated at around US$13
Advantages: factory-made custom parts are a "drop-fit" onto any Sd.Kfz. 234 kit; upgrade the fine details and the steering gear as well as allow for a late-production vehicle; finally provide for open stowage bins!
Disadvantages: competes with after-market products; some question as to why parts were not provided in base kit
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for fans of the German 234 series heavy armored car
    DML's boutique hobby affiliate has now released "The Other Show" for their nice new Puma kit, but this one may prove just as popular for the other variants as well. The set provides the late model fenders (four bins) for the Sd.Kfz. 234/2 kit, but this time they come with the option to open the hatches; it also provides for working steering for the kit.
    The kit comes in a "blister" pack and not a box, with the directions placed in a folding cardboard stiffener used as the backing. "Directions" is something of an overstatement, as they are again basically "stick here" drawings and do not cover where or when to insert the new parts when building the kit.
    The new parts include eight new driveshafts and eight new tie rod heads for the steering gear. They also provide eight lengths of bent wire which appear to be brake or air lines (I am not sure which, but they are in the position to be one or the other based on the system the vehicle used.)
    The etched brass is minimal, but provides for eight hatches for the eight fender bins and a very detailed door lock mechanism for each one, as well as a key lock and safety chain assembly. However, there is nothing inside the bins, so the modeler will have to improvise!
    The kit also provides two sections of mesh grillework for the engine air intake and exhaust vents on the engine deck.
    Three new color profiles and markings for five different vehicles are provided along with a new "targeted" set of Cartograf decals; as is a common failing with the directions for these add-on kits, there is no identification given to unit or location. I am not sure if the original directions cover these vehicles or not, but it is a bit of a disservice to the kit and the upgrade set not to provide such information.
    Overall, this is a more useful upgrade set than some of the others and at least finally provides separate bin lids.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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