The German BR52 locomotive was a workhorse of the Deutsche Reichsbahn during World War 2, and even served on after the war, both on German rails and in the train systems of several of Germany's victors. Trumpeter released a 1/35th kit some years back that, due to its size and cost, didn't exactly take the modeling world by storm. Still, it's an impressive model that lives on in the hobby, and I recently swapped for one.
Unfortunately, some of the detailing is missing or simplified, as one might expect from a model that retailed new for well above $100. Voyager and Griffon Model have both released PE upgrades; the Voyager set even includes extensive resin pieces, including new wheels and the interior bulkhead of the cabin. But each costs upwards of $90-$125, and are major reworkings of things like the walkways and sheet metal pieces. I have the Voyager "super set" (PRO 35002), and it's extensive with maddeningly chaotic instructions.
Fortunately LZ Models has partly come to the rescue with a set of resin improvements that will add significantly to the quality of the kit without breaking your budget. I have already reviewed LZ's Knorr compressor upgrade (sold separately and reviewed here on Armorama
Packed in two Ziploc baggies inside a larger bag for protection are:
110 cream-colored resin parts
a tiny fret of PE valve handles
a mini CD-ROM with instructions
My father brought home a Märklin HO scale BR52 in 1960 that unfortunately wouldn't work on my layout. So I have always had a bit of wistful interest in this loco. The LZ upgrade set is designed to add detail to or directly replace the interior brakes, three-way and other valves, high steam valve, sand regulator, speed meter, light cover, electrical boxes and switch panel, and grease pump.
On the outside, the set replaces or upgrades the detail for the brake line valves and regulators, the steam and safety valves, the whistle (crucial to any loco), sand valves, two and three-way grease boxes, steam generator, electric sockets for lights, high lights and the electrical boxes.
One of the features of an LZ Models upgrade is that you get everything you need inside except glue and paint. No need to scrounge around for extra wires or pieces of plastic, LZ's Libor Zachoval understands that no modeler wants to find out in the middle of the night that he or she is short a length of something to complete that step of the build.
Another valuable feature of any LZ model is the inclusion of a mini CD-ROM with generous instructions and color photos in an easy-to-print or store PDF format. Thumbing through the 15-page B&W Voyager instruction booklet just makes my head hurt.
Unfortunately, the instructions are incomplete, as if LZ ran out of enthusiasm for the project at mid-point. There is small army of pieces that simply have no guidelines on where they go. If you have good (and extensive) documentation for this loco, you may be OK, though they vary according to when they were built and when the surviving examples were possibly modified after the war.
In comparison to the Voyager or Griffon Model PE sets, this one compliments both. Not intended to replace either, it should be considered an enhancement to the kit and the build options. But it could be so much better with the right instructions.
Thanks to LZ Models for this review sample. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.