A little over a year ago, Dragon Models Limited
released their Smart Kit version of the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H Late Production, and a full review of that kit (#6300) is available on Armorama:
Panzer IV Ausf. H Late
This year brings us basically the same kit with the addition of pre-zimmed parts and DS tracks, which should appeal to those that would rather not attempt adding Zimmerit or assembling indy links in the form of Magic Tracks.
Packed full in a slip top box, the kit contains:
•25 sprues in gray styrene
•1 clear sprue
•2 nickel colored frets for the side skirts
•14 Magic Track links
The sprues are packed 2-3 per bag, with the smaller and more delicate parts on the familiar Dragon card, and all arrived safe and sound. As far as I can tell, there are two new sprues in this kit which contain the parts with the Zimmerit coating. The rest are from the previously mentioned Pz.IV Ausf. H and DML’s Brummbär with Zimmerit. Many parts are marked not for use, so plenty for the spare bin.
Decals are printed by Cartograf and are very well done. The instructions are presented in the style of exploded view line drawings and span 19 construction steps. A quick glance through the instructions shows them to follow a fairly logical sequence and not overly busy, but do have a few mis-numbered parts (although the drawings show the correct part). Coupled with the sheer amount of sprues (some sharing the same letter designation) and the options provided, prompts careful examination of the instructions before committing to glue, and reference material is always helpful to have on hand.
the new stuff
Most of the Zimmerit parts are newly tooled for this kit, with a small amount coming from the previously released Brummbär. The glacis, bow, front and rear superstructure, turret front, mantlet and mudflaps all get the zim treatment, along with most of their related parts such as hatches, cowlings, etc. The zimmerit looks quite good in an imperfect way, like it was applied by hand. Some molded in damage is evident, not overdone but enough to give it some character.
In keeping with the mode of ‘pre-done’ in this kit, Dragon Styrene 100 (DS) tracks are included instead of Magic Tracks. These are rubber band style in flexible styrene/vinyl that can be glued with regular styrene cement. There is a noticeable parting line down the center of the solid guide horns and flash is visible in the openings. The instructions state “easy to get rid of parting lines (space) modeling thinner
”, although I haven’t found anything suitable to work on these yet. I’m thinking along the lines of mud during the weathering process…
Both runs of tracks are identical, so these are non-handed.
The spare tracks are provided in the form of Magic Tracks and indy links on the sprues.
Not a new addition to this kit but worth noting in keeping with the easy approach of this kit. Virtually none of it requires use, as styrene alternatives are provided. The only parts not available as styrene are the chain for the jack block and the hull schürzen, and the latter can be depicted as MIA.
Painting and Markings:
Seven options are included, in both two and three color camo schemes:
•8./Pz.Rgt. 12, 12.Pz.Div.”Hitlerjugend”, France 1944
•Pz.Rgt.27, 19.Pz.Div., Warsaw 1944
•8./Pz.Rgt.3, 2.Pz.Div., Normandy 1944, two options
•7./Pz.Rgt.3, 3Pz.Div., “Totenkopf”, Warsaw 1944
•5.Pz.Div., “Wiking”, Eastern Front 1944
•6./Pz.Rgt.6, 3.Pz.Div., Russia 1944
The decal sheet offers a good selection to work with, including the schürzen markings and chassis numbers as seen on some period photos.
This kit will most definitely not appeal to everyone wanting to build a Pz. IV Late version, but is an excellent compliment to Dragon’s kit #6300. DML also did their homework on the options provided and allow a very good facsimile of various wartime photos. Fit and finish of the parts tested were excellent, but be prepared to do a fair amount of clean up due to the ejector ‘nubs’ and lots of sprue hunting finding the correct parts. This kit measures up very well compared to scale drawings and comes highly recommended to the market it’s geared for.
•Sd.Kfz.161 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf G/H/J vol. 2
•Panzer IV The Wehrmacht’s Armoured Fist
Jurado and Franco
•Panzer IV & its Variants
•Panzer Vor! Vol. 1 and 4
Frank De Sisto
•Nuts & Bolts vol. 13 Flakpanzer IV
A Build Log
has been started in the forums to evaluate the kit construction.