ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Nashorn Command Version

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 56 9Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6646); Sd.Kfz. 164 Nashorn Command Version - Smart Kit; 1,067 parts (759 in grey styrene, 240 =93Magic Track=94 links, 38 etched brass, 25 clear styrene, 2 coil springs, 2 springs, 1 length wire, 1 turned aluminum barrel); estimated retail price US$55

Advantages: includes new mold Fu 8 command set

Disadvantages: massive number of parts to this kit, very small parts may be fiddly; some models prefer single run DS tracks

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: to all German fans

DML=92s botique affiliate has now produced a command variant of the popular Nashorn self-propelled 8.8 cm antitank gun. While I may be remiss, the only difference of note I found in this kit was the inclusion of a very nice 20-piece Fu 8 command radio set and antenna. The rest appears to have most of the parts from the recent DML Nashorn 3-in-1 kit (No. 6386).

It comes with the correct single hatch glacis and positionable hatch and viewers. As with all Smart Kits most of the detail parts are provided from styrene with optional replacements in brass.

The suspension is straight from the Panzer IV =93Smart Kits=94 with alternative drivers for the Gw III/IV chassis. . The =93Magic Tracks=94 are still with us, and the only thing to recall is left bag - left track, right bag - right track as you look at the header card. DML calls them =93dark grey right - light grey left=94 but too often the colors are not well differentiated.

The gun is the new tooled one from kit 6386 with both the original kit barrel (dating back to Kit 6004) but also with the =93Premium=94 turned aluminum barrel provided.

The upper hull is the DML =93Razor Edge=94 one and all parts are much finer. The much maligned louvers of the early kits are now =93slide molded=94 from styrene and separate parts (D29). The walls are also about half the thickness of normal parts (0.050" or 1.25mm seems to have been the default in the past; these are about 0.020" or 0.5mm with thinned edges) and look more like sheet steel parts than plastic.

Like its predecessor this one provides a good selection of bits for the ammo lockers, and now provides a selection of options. 18 8.8 cm rounds are provided with racks or clips as needed.

Generic detail sets from DML include an MG34 machine gun, but surprisingly this kit does not include the =93GA=94 German generic kit sprue with canteens, helmets, ponchos, etc. A very nicely done Fu 8 radio is included as well as the RB German generic radio installation set.

Project supervisor was Hirohisa Takada, with technical support from Minoru Igarashi, H3 Design Office, and Dragon engineering; technical assistance provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Decals and finishing directions are included for four guns: Unidentified Unit, Russia 1944 (tricolor, black 200 with crosses); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand brown, black 300); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 519, Russia 1943-1944 (whitewash over sand, =93Puma=94 with unit flashes); 3.s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 519, Russia 1943-1944 (whitewash over sand, =93Tiger=94). Note that markings are also included for guns =93Pommern=94 and =93Bueffel=94 from that unit. A targeted sheet of Cartogr= af decals is included.

Overall this an offshoot of the now well done Nashorn/Hummel kits and the radio is a nicely done addition.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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