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Built Review
135
Minenräumer
German VsKfz 617 Minenräumer upgrade set
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by: James Bella [ C5FLIES ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The Meng VsKfz 617 Minenräumer is an excellent kit right out of the box (Reviewed Here) although since it does not contain any photo-etch a few areas were a bit out of scale due to the limitations of using styrene. Voyager Model has addressed some of these areas in this new upgrade set.

contents

Included in this small set are:
• 2 PE frets
• length of plastic rod
• length of wire
• instructions

the set

Voyager addresses the shortcomings of the Meng kit without going overboard, making this a very usable set for most modelers. The areas of major concern in the base kit, for me, are the air intake and exhaust covers , the direction indicator and MG barrels as these were not represented as well as they could be using styrene. This set covers these parts along with details for the hatch interior (although it’s still completely empty inside with the hatch open), the lifting hooks for the turret, some hatch details for the upper hull and a couple of other bits and bobs.

Of course, as with other PE sets, this is designed to be used during the build…not after as was the case with me! After ripping off the styrene counterparts (and making a thorough mess of things) I was ready to try a few parts of this set out. The styrene louvers for the air exhaust are not too bad in the Meng kit, although the Voyager ones are just as easy to clean up and will look very good. The covers for these are simple to install, although the separate PE bolt heads look too flat and are way too large. I replaced these with resin bolt heads (still too large in the image at right and have since been changed for smaller ones). The intake screens will need to be shaved off the upper hull if using the Voyager ones, and the hoods for the intake only require two simple bends and fit perfectly.

The direction indicator looks much better in PE and again I used a resin bolt to enable the pointer free movement. The last item I replaced was the two small pieces on the sides of the front hull (antenna mounts?), again, much better in PE.

The mg barrels are ‘roll your own’ and consist of four parts each, here I would have liked to see machined or good quality resin barrels instead…these are doable although if not done well the styrene ones would probably be a better choice.

A couple of mistakes on the instructions with the numbering of parts:
Subassembly h, these are A24 (these are not marked)
Subassembly i, should be A3 & A4 (not A24)

conclusion

A nice little set that will improve the look of the Minenräumer without breaking the bank nor drive you insane as some upgrade sets will.
SUMMARY
Highs: A simple set that should yield noticeable improvements.
Lows: Roll your own barrels are not for everyone.
Verdict: This set covers areas that needed improvement and should not be much more effort to use than the styrene parts.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PE 35487
  Suggested Retail: TBA
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 13, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.44%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.70%

Our Thanks to Voyager Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About James Bella (c5flies)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...

Copyright ©2019 text by James Bella [ C5FLIES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

She is one ugly vehicle, but a beauty in her own way. As always, great review of both the kit and the AM PE set. Am looking forward to having LOTS of fun painting this one up. Rob
APR 18, 2012 - 01:34 AM
   

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