ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Pzkw. II Ausf. C with Mine Roller

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 73 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6752); Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C w/
Mine Roller - Smart Kit; 866 parts (516 in grey styrene, 200 “Magic Track” single links, 101 etched brass, 45 clear styrene, 3 prebent steel wire, 1 preformed etched brass); pre-order price US$49.99 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: nice kit of the upgraded pre-war version of the Panzer II with full interior; optional position hatches; mine roller adds interest
Disadvantages: daunting number of parts for a relatively small vehicle; roller assembly is “origami” made primarily from etched brass
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor fans
    During WWI mines were not a particularly big threat, mostly due to the static type of warfare being conducted. Barbed wire entanglements covered by machine guns were sufficient to stop any enemy infantry push. But between the wars mines were adopted in large numbers to halt infantry, mostly in ground which could not be adequately covered.
    While it took a while to create dedicated antitank mines, even the antipersonnel mines of the day could cripple the fragile tracks of the early war tanks. As a result, all of the major players started working on mine clearing equipment relatively soon after combat operations began. The design of choice of all nations was initially a simple roller device, designed to detonate the mine and bounce up in the air, relying on sturdy construction and heavy weight to save it for reuse.
    As the Panzer II was quickly shown to be of little use in combat other than infantry support and scouting, it was one of the first chassis to be used for other purposes such as self-propelled guns and antitank weapons. This kit presents an African version of the uparmored Ausf. C with a mine roller fitted.
    The Panzer II Ausf. C is the same as the “Zusatzpanzer” kit from 2008 (DML No. 6432). The only change from the earlier kit are the decals and dropping the “jerry” cans which came with that kit.
    As I noted in that kit’s review, it comes with a new hull with “rolled” lower glacis plate and new springs which more accurately represent the lighter tank ones and not the reinforced self-propelled gun springs which came with the Ausf. F. But this kit is literally designed to only built an uparmored – “Zusatspanzer” – version with the retrofitted commander’s cupola. The “Zusatzpanzer” upgrades are integral in the new casemate and frontal parts so this is the only version which can be built, and the new commander’s cupola comes with its base as part of the turret. The detailing is nicely done with weld beads or rivets where needed to match.
    As noted this this kit comes with a full interior. Again it comes with a number of J sprues, with most of the interior parts. Bins and hatches all have separate lids so the interiors can be displayed, but no tools, rations or internal “chaff” is provided for the stowage bins.
    As noted the running gear here does differ from the Marder II, and provides both new springs and mounts as well as new idlers. The kit again uses the “Magic Track” single link type, which may be the one area where the Tamiya kit – with its already ballyhooed link-and- length tracks, may have the advantage on it. But so far other than tedium I have not heard too many complaints about the “Magic Tracks” other than figuring out which run is left and which is right! (Hint: left side on the header card – left, right side – right.)
    The turret is packed to the gills with parts, which is surprising when one considers how small it really is. The 2 cm is complete and the model uses a complete MG-34 from the generic German weapons sets. This comes with the ground mount for the bipod and ground sights, which no longer appear to have to be removed prior to installation as it has a slightly different assembly so that they can be installed as is (flaps vice through the aperture installation).
    The mine roller will cause some dissolution as the entire bar and brace parts of the device are formed by bending etched brass. For brass fans this is bupkus as the parts are large and easily bent with a “Hold’n’Fold” or similar device, but for others it will entail some work. The roller assemblies are styrene and fit to brass frames, with styrene spring units in brass mounts. The roller frames consist of two folded beams connected by two folded L-girders which fit to a styrene bracket and mount on the front of the hull.
    Technical assistance on this project was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    A single finishing option is provided: Unidentified unit, 1942 (sand overall with black “R” markings on the turret). A tinysheet of Cartograf decals covers these targeted markings.
    Overall this is another low volume production vehicle from cyber-, this time featuring a unique version of the Pzkw. II family.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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