Kit Review: DML 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series No. 6204; Sd.Kfz. 165 Hummel (Early Version);739 parts (697 in grey stryene, 38 in etched brass, 4 in etched metal); price not given but most likely around $40
Advantages: Early version with joint Hummel/Nashorn hull; uses the same new moldings as the Hornisse/Nashorn kits, includes brass louvers for the sides of the hull, as well as three figures and two horses (!)
Disadvantages: Very complex kit may discourage some modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and "Redleg" fans
F I R S T L O O K
The Hummel is arguably one of the more popular non-gun tank variants of German WWII armored vehicles, and it came in two distinct models. Approximately the first 100 vehicles built (out of 666 total) were based on the same Gw III/IV chassis as the Sd. Kfz. 164 "Hornisse" for use in the Summer 1943 offensives in Russia. These were much different than the improved later models and had different interior arrangements as well as a single "parapet" position for the driver and a flat simple hatch for the radio operator.
The second of the two Hummel kits from DML has now arrived, and it is as nice as it predecessor (#6150). This is the early version of the vehicle with the common Hornisse/Nashorn type hull with the single cab for the driver and only a hatch for the radio operator, as well as some more changes to replicate the earlier vehicle.
Kit #6150 came with the following sprues: common ones A, B, E, G, H, and Q, and new sprues F, N, and O. The new kit comes with these sprues: A, B, E, F, G, and MA, and also f, L, N, O, Q, R and MB as well as the complete kit #6046, 8th SS Cavalry Division "Florian Geyer". Sprue f indicates it is just the 15 cm FH18, and may indicate that DML is contemplating the original towed weapon as a separate release later. The kit uses the new multi-part hull so it is far more complex than the early and obsolete version of the kit from the mid 1990s (#6004).
This series of molding s far better replicates the intricacies of the Gw III/IV chassis than the earlier one-piece hull top kits did , as well as has all of the parts in alignment which the first versions of the Nashorn and Hummel did not. It again uses the new-style directions ? full-color photographs ? which are an improvement on the old black and white drawings. In them, however, the kit is completely painted so some details may be hard to see.
As is now normal, the tracks are single-link which are best assembled before installing the top of the hull and the fenders, as even with the new and improved moldings the fender/track clearance is tight.
The gun comes with a total of four loose projectiles but no charges; the projos are either full caliber or one fitted with sabot-like driving rings.
The figures match the box art, but since the entire set is included along with a new, specially molded single figure of the gun commander, you get both of the cavalrymen even though the directions only call for one figure to be used.
This kit includes a very nice set of etched brass that can be used to replace the side louvers on the hull. DML has wisely included them as an "extra" and left the moldings as they are, for many modelers today still prefer to just "slap plastic" and would be disappointed to have to install as complex a structure as these grills appear to be. Each grille consists of a backing, three full louvers, three divider/separators, and eight bolt heads. The kit grilles have to be removed with a razor saw to mount the brass ones, but it is a very nice touch to give the modeler his choice of options. The remaining brass covers the hatch handles, the locking mechanism for the rear doors, and details for the driver's viewer.
The model has three finishes and sets of markings proffered: PzArtRgt 116, 5th Panzer Division, Russia 1944 (three color red/green/Panzerbraun); same unit, different scheme; and PzArtRgt 73, 1st Panzer Division, Greece 1943 in green over Panzerbraun. All finishes show the aiming stakes painted red and white, which gives some color "lift" to the rear of the vehicle.
DML has now pretty much "atoned" for the problems of the original kits of the early 1990s, and their current efforts are hard to fault both for accuracy and value for the money.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell AMPS