by: Sven-Åke Grufstedt [ ]
IntroductionAfter reviewing two Shermans it was a welcome change to receive the new Challenger 2 kit from Dragon Models LTD. When opening the box I'm amazed with the number of parts included but what amazes me most is the photo-etch frets which includes the BAR Armour. The size of this fret makes some 1/35 kits stand in the shade.
Contents of the kit.5 sprues of grey plastic
1 lower hull separately packed
1 upper hull separately packed
1 upper turret separately packed
1 small fret of photo-etched parts
1 large fret of photo-etched parts
1 set of DS tracks
1 sprue of towing cables in DS material
1 sheet of decals
The plastic parts:
The parts are nice and cleanly moulded with just a little flash on some of the parts. No sinkmarks can be found but the ejection pin marks are quite prominent, on some parts they stick out 4 - 5 mm and they need a little work to be removed. The details on all the parts are crisp and a nice feature is the texture on the rear mud flaps
The photoetch in this kit consists of two frets, one smaller which contains the air intake nets on the rear deck and the fuel caps on both sides of the vehicle. The large fret, which is what impresses me contains the parts for the BAR armour that sits in the rear of the tank protecting it voulnerable rear end from RPG's. It's extremely detailed and I get goosebumps thinking about folding and gluing it into place. It will require a steady had to get it in place.
Made from the now standard DS material which work nicely on vehicles like this. The detail of the tracks are good and they should look very nice once painted and weathered.
The towing cables:
Are also made from the same DS material and they look quite good and since they can be glued with regular plastic cement they should be easy to fix on to the tank. I would personally like to have either metal or ordinary plastic cables instead but I will have to see how these turn out before I comment it further.
A bit of a let down, Dragon only supplies us with one marking option wich is the Royal Dragoon Guards in Poland 2006. However there are several after market producers of decals that can supply us with other markings if we feel the supplied decals aren't what we want. The decals are printed by Cartograf and are crisp of high quality.
The layout is good and the drawings are clear and leaves little room for mistake. What can be a bit hard to get to grips with is the BAR armour in the rear which is not so clear how it should be put on but I guess it will become clearer once the parts are ready for assembly.
A nice kit with some minor shortcomings but still very recommended!