Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale Orange Box Kit No. 17 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Kit No. 9117); Sd.Kfz. 166 Brummbaer Late Production with Bonus German Grenadiers (East Prussia 1945); 762 parts (546 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links); retail price US $29.95
Advantages: inexpensive kit with good set of figures not a bad deal
Disadvantages: no zimmerit; some fit problems noted with this kit; =93Magic Tracks=94 tedious to assemble
Recommendation: for diorama builders and anyone wanting a =93quick build=94 with no brass
DML=92s affiliate cyber-hobby.com is continuing to release older kits as combos at a much reduced price over new issue items. Most of these kits consist of molds which were cut 15 or more years ago and are being upgraded with a few modern parts or subsequent parts and combined with a still useful set of figures. This kit combines DML Kit No. 6026 with Figure Set No. 6057 and a new set of =93Magic Track=94 single link tracks.
This kit had its origins in the DML takeover of Gunze Sangyo multimedia kits and their subsequent conversion to all styrene models. It uses the modified Gunze hull and details with new sprues from the DML Jagdpanzer IV/70 kit of the same vintage and new sprues cut for the first issue of the Sturmpanzer IV.
Assembly is simple - one of the great advantages of older kits - but my notes from 15 years ago indicate this one had some fit problems (alas, I forgot to say what they were back then) which usually denoted close fits with the tracks and fenders. The Gunze hull was set up for either standard (four return roller) or late (three return roller) hulls and has engraved lines where the mounts are supposed to go, and these do seem a bit high so that may have been the problem.
The kit does provide the basic bits for a Sturmpanzer but there is no zimmerit on any of the parts. It does come with the outside wheels for the heavy solid steel road wheels but no inners. The sprues are gated for the wheels so there are four main sprues with only three and two sets of optional gates open on each one.
There is no interior and the engine deck hatches are fixed. A new cupola from the DML heavy railway armored car is included with a separate hatch flap.
The kit now includes =93Magic Track=94 individual links which are handed (left side of the card - left track, right side - right track or dark grey - left, light gray - right). While very nice they are tedious to assemble.
The schurzen are all styrene and come in one piece, so you will have to cut them yourself if you want to represent a damaged or service vehicle. All brackets are styrene as well. As a point of fact, there is no clear styrene and no etched brass, so this is a pretty easy and fast build. If you want a fun kit to assemble, this is more likely to be a good selling point!
The figures are one of the Ron Volstad sets and well animated, and the original painting directions are provided in color on the back of the directions. The figures are much simpler than some but as they were one of the first sets with smocks/ponchos they have extra tails and covers and arms are molded into some of the upper sections. Weapons are provided for late war figures.
One set of painting directions is included for a Sturmpanzer IV during the Battle of the Bulge with tricolor camouflage and also black crosses from a small Cartograf sheet. The model is shown with and without the schurzen shields in place to assist the modeler.
Overall this is a simple if older kit, and with the figures a pretty good deal for beginning modelers or intermediate level ones who want to practice their detailing skills.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.