152mm ShkH vz.77 DANA Interior, Exterior & Tool Box Update Sets (for Hobby Boss)
1:35 Eduard (36179, 36180 & 36187)
The DANA is an unusual beast commissioned by the Czechoslovakian Army in the late 70s, and a significant number of these unusual truck/howitzer combinations were built. Eduard have clearly jumped on this one with relish, as itís so close to home, and these three Photo-Etch (PE) sets give the modeller the option of adding incremental detail to their model by purchasing any combination of the three.
This single sheet PE set details the cab with additional wiring, stowage boxes, a replacement radio set with etched dials, a new set of pedals for the driver, and internal crew hatch handles. The driverís instruments also get a good going over, with a new face to the binnacle that includes a film sheet for the instrument faces themselves. The ancillary panel also gets a new kin to further improve the look.
There are four circular vision/weapon ports supplied with the kit, but their inside faces are domed in the upper half of the kit cab, and these need removing so that the new detailed inside faces, hinges and latches can be installed, giving plenty of possibility for them to be posed at different stages of closure. A gaggle of other small parts, scab plates and panels festoon the inside of the cab to finish off the job.
The biggest of the three sets, this one has three sheets of PE, and a rather thick set of instructions. It includes a multitude of upgrades for the kit, and not just for the cab area. That said, the cab gets new windscreen wipers, number plate, detailed faces and film lenses on the armoured window covers. Various corrections to the side-skirts of the vehicle are carried out, with a helpful arrow pointing out the front of this many wheeled vehicle, and a lot of shackles, latches and padlocks are added to the stowage compartments. A large set of steps is added to the right side of the main body, in front of the cooling fan, which is made up from a number of parts, and probably represents the most complex part of the build.
The hump between the cab and the turret gets new mesh panels, with a large new structure just behind its right end. New scale thickness doors on some of the larger stowage bins, as well as detailed hinges and handles are added, giving the modeller the option of posing them open. The rear engine deck also gets new mesh panels, as well as scale thickness doors, again giving some neat diorama possibilities. A choice of mudflaps is provided, either fully deployed or hooked back on themselves for traversing rough ground. The pioneer tools on the turret get the full treatment, with new attachment straps, a new blade for the large 2-man wood saw, and cleats for the multi-part barrel cleaning rods. A number of extra straps attach to hang limp on the sides, and the crew access hatch also gets some added detail.
Tool Boxes (36187)
Every large military vehicle needs plenty of routine maintenance, and this set provides five tool boxes into which the crew of the DANA can throw them all after the end of a repair session. Each box is subtly different from the other in size and shape, although they share many external cues. Each one is illustrated separately in the instructions, with an additional diagram of the layout of the shelves and racks inside. Each one also has the option to be closed or open, displaying all of the interior detail.
Building the boxes wonít be the work of moments, but they are cleverly engineered to go together with mating surfaces included to give them strength, plus hinges and lock clasps for posing them closed, and a pair of retaining chains for posing them open, so that the door can also act as a small work area.
Finding the tools and junk to go in these boxes is however, down to you!
The detail that these sets squeeze into every nook and cranny is impressive, and the finished model should be suitably improved. Theyíre not for the PE novice however, as there are some reasonably complex structures that need a steady hand and good PE bending skills, as well as restraint with the Cyano adhesive. With care however, the addition of these sets will really bring your model to life.