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Lion Roar 88mm Flak36 for DML kit (LE35054)

by Frank De Sisto

1/35-scale photo-etched brass, copper wire, brass and styrene rod. Price: $19.95 USD.

Although recent DML kits include many items (such as etched brass parts) that were traditionally the domain of the after-market industry, there is, like Jell-O, “always room for more”.

To that end, Lion Roar (who, it has been reported, manufactures the etched bits included in recent DML kits) has produced a very complete and economical set. For example, this offering includes two frets of 3 x 5-inch size, one fret of 2 x 3-inch size, while another is one-inch square. Add copper wire, brass and styrene rod, plus very detailed five-page instructions, and you have outstanding value for the asking price.

This set comes mounted on a header card which has several photos of the parts on an unpainted model and some pictographs (with Chinese characters) noting how to work with etched brass. The frets are securely taped inside two individual clear envelopes with card backing, while the instructions are in a third envelope, behind the above-mentioned photos. I mention the packaging because although the company has been around for a while, this is the first Lion Roar set I’ve had to review, and it may be a new brand to others as well. Suffice to say that the packaging is intelligent, attractive, robust, and will survive the vagaries of international shipping.

The instructions are well-drawn and feature large images with many discreet steps. This will aid the modeler since they are clear and un-confusing. They begin with silhouettes of the frets and other items so you will know what should be in the package. There is also a segment with pictographs that denote certain actions, such as where to remove something from the original kit part. There are also sets of numbers that denote the Lion Roar parts as well as the targeted kit’s parts, something which will prove useful. The brass itself is crisply etched and features fold lines where needed. Some parts are “double etched” so they include bolt details; the shields have small dots etched in the front and rear faces that indicate placement of separate (provided) etched bolts. Although, for the life of me, I’d never want to have to trim all of those little guys! I’ll use styrene rod, sliced “salami style” as replacements.

The manufacturer provides parts to detail the gun mount’s cradle, recoil slide and trunnions, as well as the attached ramming-assist device, the various seat mounting arms, elevation quadrant (with finely-etched numerals and tick marks), various linkages, fuse-setting device and shield mounts. Many of these parts need fine hinge pins to be added with the various bits of brass or plastic rod, so are fairly complex. The shields come in four separate main parts, as did the prototype, and include the small pivoting flap over the gunner’s sight (which can be made to operate). Various small detail parts are added to the shields as well as dozens of those tiny rivets.

The cruciform mount is detailed with various small brackets and pins, but by far most of this entire set goes to detail the Sd.Ah. bogie units. This includes braces for the fenders, new foot rests, completely new cross-members and their mounts as well as new tool brackets and three-piece clamps. There are completely new reels for the fire control cables as well as new parts to create the frames that mounted them to the fenders. The small lockers seen on each reel frame are completely replaced with new ones that can be made to open and close using brass wire for hinge pins. These are finely detailed right down to hasps, “half” wing nuts and retaining chains.

So, overall this set is quite challenging and probably as complex as a typical Aber set. I would recommend this set to anyone who has used etched brass before, but not to a beginner. Otherwise, the quality is excellent and the value superb. This one’s sure to please the more advanced (and AMS-challenged) modeler.

Highly recommended.

Lion Roar products are available in North America from Dragon USA at: www.dragonusaonline.com. Elsewhere see: www.lionroar.net for details.