Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6589; Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V) Aug 1944 Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit; 833 parts (589 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 18 clear styrene, 10 etched brass); pre-order price US$54.95 from Dragon USA Online
Advantages: near totally new kit of this popular subject; very nicely executed
Disadvantages: still comes with =93Magic Track=94 links
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and Pzkw. IV fans
In its continuing program of revisiting German armor kits that were provided with =93zimmerit=94 anti-magnetic mine paste, DML has now introduced a kit of the very early production Jagdpanzer IV L/70 based directly on their earlier kit of this vehicle. But where the first version provided options for either early or late production vehicles, the new kit only provides for the very first production vehicles. This means no corrected heavier front road wheel sets nor the twin stack Ausf. J type of mufflers. It also only uses the early four-return- roller installation vice the later three-roller fit. I have no idea how many of this version were produced but suspect some may have been retrofitted with the heavier front road wheels later in their service careers (as short as they were) so perhaps DML should have included the upgraded wheels with this kit.
Again, no engine detail is provided, but a firewall is included as the radio sets mount against it (and they are provided). Engine deck details are similar to those used on previous Panzer IV =93Smart Kit=94 offerings.
The complete L/70 gun is provided with a slide-molded gun barrel in one piece, which at least on the review sample did not have sink mark one on it. However, other than the big gun there is no interior to speak of within the casemate.
There are a number of options with the casemate roof and rear so the modeler has to pay attention. There are two types of spare antenna stowage and three ways to mount them, as an example. I feel that DML has expanded the size of the directions and cleaned them up a bit so while they are still of the =93stick here=94 variety they seem easier to understand than with some past kits. ANY improvement in their directions is appreciated!
The skirts are DML=92s =93Razor Edge=94 styrene vice etched nickel, but they do provide an easier assembly task so it may not be a bad tradeoff. Note that these are not provided with =93zimmerit=94 as they were only light shields and the paste would limit their functionality. The fixed skirt sections (Parts B43 and B44) cement in place, but the main skirting simply drops into place on the sides when the brackets are in place.
The model comes with the =93Magic Track=94 separate link tracks. While perfectly accurate and correct I still get a 50/50 feedback from other modelers about preferring the DS Plastic single runs over the =93Magic Track=94 links =96 time versus accuracy, so to speak. (Oddly the spare tracks are used on the stern plate without any brackets =96 =93Magic Track=94 indeed!)
Technical assistance is credited to Notger Schlegendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Four different finishing options are covered and a small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals is provided for them: Pz.Jg.Abt. =93Heeresgruppe Mitte=94, Warsaw 1944 (green over sand, black 57); 9th SS Panzer Division =93Hohenstaufen=94, Hungary 1945 (tricolor with black crosses); Pz.Jg.Abt., SS =93Feldherrnhalle=94 Panzer Division, Budapest1945 (white over tricolor, black crosses); and Unidentified Unit, 1945 (sand overall).
Overall this provides another pre-zimmerit coated model for those who want zimmerit paste and do not =93roll their own=94 so to speak.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.