ARM: DML 1/35 scale Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind - Early Production

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6342; Flakpanzer IV Ausf. G =93Wirbelwind=94 Early Production - Smart Kit;
954 parts (615 in grey styrene, 288 =93Magic Link=94 single link tracks,
35 etched brass, 15 clear styrene, 1 twisted steel wire); pre-order
price US$49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: new variant of this kit makes numerous small changes; uses
the nice Flakvierling mount and =93slide molded=94 turret parts
Disadvantages: no zimmerit on hull; still comes with =93Magic Track=94
links
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German, Pzkw. IV and =93Duck Hunter=94 fans
As was noted in July 2009 when the first of these kits (No. 6250)
leased, the Germans were as keen as the US and British in mobile troop
air defense and came up with a large number of vehicles to provide
this necessary support to ground forces units. But of all of their
efforts, probably the most striking one of the lot was the mating of a
2cm Flakvierling quad mount and an octagonal turret with rebuilt Pzkw.
IV chassis as a very potent tactical weapons system. The vehicle,
formally designated as the Flakpanzer IV/2cm Vierling, was better
known as the =93Wirbelwind=94 (whirlwind). Alas, only 122 of these
vehicles were converted between July and November 1944 before they
were replaced by the Flakpanzer IV/3.7 cm Flak or =93Ostwind=94.
As some of the vehicles were converted from Ausf. F and G chassis
with thinner armor, applique armor was added as the vehicles were
converted. (I do not know how many of each were converted.)
Combing a potpourri of their various Pzkw. IV sprues with the 2cm
Flakvierling mount from their recent Sd.Kfz. 7/1, this provides a
number of different options for finishing an early production version
of the Wirbelwind.
As before the kit does not have any zimmerit. Note that if you do add
zimmerit the turret does NOT have any attached as it would add weight
and would have slowed it down when traversing, a problem most armored
turrets had when tracking enemy air targets.
Drivers now consist of only four parts; the separate bolts are gone.
Bogies are now nine piece affairs without separate tires. New details
are provided for the tow hook at the rear of the hull as well.
The upper hull again consists of a deck and framework with applique
sides, front and rear engine intake components and fenders. The
standard muffler has a central tube section and six add-on parts to
complete it along with a =93slide molded=94 exhaust pipe.
All ports and hatches are separate parts so they can be posed open.
Other than the interior of the turret the hull only provides a
rudimentary firewall for the engine compartment and the cross-braces
and new turret race parts. The bow also comes with a well-done machine
gun and ball mount. Note that all ports have clear styrene inserts as
well.
The turret is a DML gem in that they split it vertically at the joint
between the front five panels and the elongated rear three panels. The
upper sections are respectively thin - DML=92s =93Razor Edge=94 moldings =
=96
and the joint here is easier to hide than the old horizontal splits
used by Monogram and Tamiya. The turret race fitting for the upper
race is molded as part of the front section, a truly unique design.
The 2 cm Flakvierling 38 has new guns with slide molded barrels and
flash hiders. As with previous DML antiaircraft gun offerings, there
are different sight articulation bars provided for setting the guns at
either 0 or 60 degrees elevation, but the guns will not move if the
bars are used. A number of magazines and ammo racks for the
installation.
As with all =93Smart Kits=94 etched brass is kept to a minimum and only
covers items such as the engine air intake louvers, the inner guides
of the idler wheels, some small brackets, and the flaps for the engine
air intakes on the sides of the rear deck. There is also what appears
to be a =93catch bin=94 for ammo casings at the bottom of the turret.
Tracks are the =93Magic Track=94 snap-together-then-cement type, and
modelers are advised to recall that when facing the head card the left
side track links are on the left and right are on the right.
Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Thomas
Anderson, Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Three finishing options are provided: s.Pz.Abt.509, outside
Darmstadt, Germany 1945 (tricolor top and sand hull, black 036);
Kampfgruppe Peiper, Ardennes 1944 (tricolor top and sand hull, black
crosses); Unidentified Unit, France 1944 (tricolor top and black
crosses). A small sheet of Cartograf decals provides the markings.
However, as is unfortunately all too common with DML, while they give
you a large number of options they do not tell you which vehicle gets
which applique or other optional parts.
Overall, other than the missing zimmerit this kit should be very
popular for the great representation of its subject and the most
correct depiction of the turret mounting yet.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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geez, you really don't like that magic track, do you cookie? i concede that it is a finicky, fiddly pain in the ass, but i really find it hard to beat for natural sag and drape. is there a middle ground between the rubber band and the 8 bits per link types? all the "traditional" methods of crazy glue and wiring it down seem ineffectual and rarely look good to me. any tips and tricks you might pass along? tanks, s
Reply to
someone
a minimum and only
cement type, and
The answer is "link and length" in which you get straight runs for the flat parts and single or multiple links for the wrap or sag sections. For my money the best tracks going here are the ones Trumpeter has in its KV series of kits.
I don't like single link tracks unless there is no other way to do it, but most of the complaints I get about them are from modelers who just don't have the time they used to and find spending 4 to 12 hours (based on the kit, with DML three-piece "single link" tracks being at the high end of the scale) putting tracks together is not much fun.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
With the one piece soft tracks, sometimes the track is just a little short and there is no way to get them to sag down to the bogies along the top. My last Hanomag 251/1's track was so short that I had a hard time just getting it on the vehicle. I then had a great idea. I glued the track ends together and slipped them over an empty coke can which stretched them a little. I then took a heat gun and heated the track to soften it. I should have stopped after putting the tracks on the can. The heat gun distorted the track and they softened so much that they became useless by melting them. My 251/1 will now rest in a ditch along a diorama road with pieces of the track laying about, unless someone has a spare pair. :-)
Reply to
willshak
snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote the following:
Thanks. I could buy a set of the separate links for it, but I have a rule not to spend more for an accessory than the model cost.
Reply to
willshak
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote the following:
Regarding magic tracks, Have you seen this You Tube video of gluing them for a Sd.Kfz. 251 Auf.C? It looks pretty simple the way he does it. Too bad it is in Japanese so we can't hear what he is saying, but the video is pretty self-explanatory.
formatting link
Reply to
willshak
wish i caould help you....
Reply to
someone
hard rule to follow these days.
Reply to
someone

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