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 =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6752); Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C w/
Mine Roller - Smart Kit; 866 parts (516 in grey styrene, 200 =93Magic
Track=94 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
Disadvantages: daunting number of parts for a relatively small
vehicle; roller assembly is =93origami=94 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 =93Zusatzpanzer=94 kit from 2008
(DML No. 6432). The only change from the earlier kit are the decals
and dropping the =93jerry=94 cans which came with that kit.
As I noted in that kit=92s review, it comes with a new hull with
=93rolled=94 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 =96 =93Zusatspanzer=94 =96 version with
the retrofitted commander=92s cupola. The =93Zusatzpanzer=94 upgrades are
integral in the new casemate and frontal parts so this is the only
version which can be built, and the new commander=92s 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 =93chaff=94 is provided for the stowage
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 =93Magic Track=94 single link type, which may be the one
area where the Tamiya kit =96 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 =93Magic Tracks=94
other than figuring out which run is left and which is right!
(Hint: left side on the header card =96 left, right side =96 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 =93Hold=92n=92Fold=94 or similar device, but for others it will entail so=
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 =93R=94 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
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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