ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Elefant with Zimmerit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6465; Sd.Kfz. 184 Elefant w/Zimmerit: 471 parts (310 in grey styrene,
120 etched brass, 16 clear styrene, 12 “Magic Track” snap-together links, 4 white metal shackles, 4 turned aluminum pins, 2 DS plastic track runs, 1 length of twisted steel wire, 1 turned aluminum barrel, 1 length of brass chain); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: another upgrade to a popular older DML kit, finally provides zimmerit finish
Disadvantages: few, unless you prefer to “roll your own” zimmerit finish
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and “Tiger” fans
            Dragon continues on its path of providing pre-installed “zimmerit” finishes to its older German kits, and now the Elefant has received this treatment.
    This kit is based on the “Premium Edition” version from 2006 but now adds the DS tracks and also roughly 30 parts with zimmerit finish added to the molds.
    The hull still comes in a number of pieces – nine, to be exact: hull with sponsons, rear sides, rear plate and bottom rear of hull, bow plate and glacis, rear backing plate to glacis, glacis with ball mount, engine and forward compartment deck, and casemate, but all those requiring zimmerit have received it, and the modified lower hull and casemate have theirs applied via the use of “slide molding”. Note that there are NO indicators on the side where parts go, so this may be difficult to locate when needed.
    The suspension is DML’s trusty Porsche model but with the provision of the DS tracks installing them with the tight fit with the sponsons may be easier. 12 links of “Magic Track” are provided for hanging the spares.
    The kit also includes parts for the 8.8 cm L/71 gun to include a basic mount, recoil cylinders, and guards at the rear of the breech. The gun mount (parts C14 and C15) appears to cement in place, which limits traverse of the weapon once installed, but it would seem from the entirety of the gun mount and its components that it could be left loose to also provide the minimal traverse this big gun had in real life. The mantelet alone comprises five parts, so that the massive bolt heads on the joining plates can be accurately reproduced. (A new turned aluminum barrel and the sprue from the “Tiger I” kit with the muzzle brake section are now included so this can replace the kit’s two-piece styrene barrel. Also a new cupola is included on the “Y” sprue with clear plastic vision blocks.)
    A choice of metal or styrene shackles is provided, as well as this time the kit comes with the two tow cables and metal cable for them. The kit also now comes with standard DML German tool sets TB (jacks and fire extinguishers) and TC (tow cable heads).
    A choice of five different vehicles is offered: 3./s.Pz.Abt. 653, Poland 1944 (tricolor spray, black 323); 3./s.Pz.Abt. 653, Poland 1944 (green over sand, black 334); 1./s.Pz.Abt. 653, Italy 1944 (green patches over sand, no number); s.Pz.Abt. 614, Poland 1945 (whitewash over sand); s.Pz.Abt. 614, Poland 1945 (white stripes over sand). A small set of targeted Cartograf decals are provided.
    Overall DML has continued answering the requests of many modelers to provide kits that do not need zimmerit applied; while old-timers grumble about it, most of the responses have been good and DML should be commended for continuning to answer the mail.
    Many thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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