The Flakpanzer 38(t) is a very nice, relatively small vehicle and an interesting subject for modeling. Dragon and Tristar released very good kits but for many of us, hobby enthusiasts, there is always room for improvement. Some would prefer a full upgrade (Griffon model BPL35002) and substitute everything that is possible – fenders, barrel, ammo boxes, and many other parts while others, like me, would be satisfied with this smaller upgrade for the engine hatches and upper folding plates. These will enhance the detail of your Flakpanzer significantly since you would be able to show your paintwork in the engine compartment and have workable side panels for the fighting compartment.
This particular upgrade consists of 3 etched frets of different thickness (engine hatches and folding plates are thicker than parts for hinges and securing latches), 1 copper wire for movable parts and 1 ABS rod for engine compartment doors handles.
The instructions come as a single sheet with exploded view drawings. One thing that is missing here – it is not shown which folding plate should be on the left side and which on the right, forward and back. Although this shouldn’t be a big problem – you have to pay attention here. The other flaw is that according to the website images, and images on the package, there are big PE handles on the engine compartment doors which are not included in the kit.
The construction itself requires previous experience with PE since there are a lot of small movable parts. I would recommend usage of special folding tools that ease the assembly, CA gel glue or even soldering (there is nothing more annoying in modeling than etched details falling apart from a finished model).
As a side note, this set is designed for the Dragon kit(s) and using it for the Tristar model you will find that the engine compartment doors will fit (as shown in the image for this review), but the upper folding plates differ in size (even though you can use the hinges and handles).
Griffon sets the standard of PE upgrades really high, and with some skill and patience you will get an impressive model.
Highs: A must for your Flakpanzer, especially if you want to show your paintwork on the engine. Lows: Flat bolt heads and lack of engine doors handles that are on the website images!Verdict: Highly recommended.