ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Jagdpanzer IV L/48 July 1944 w/Zimmerit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 6369; J agdpanzer IV L/48 July 1944 Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit; 588 pa
rts (566 in grey styrene, 11 clear styrene, 9 etched brass, 2 DS Plastic tr ack runs); pre-order price US$59.99 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: upgraded older kit now with zimmerit
Disadvantages: DS Plastic tracks not everyone's favorite
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all late-war German fans
    Prior to the Second World War every country building armor soon figured ou t that light vehicles have to, by default, carry only light guns if they wi ll be carried high and have to rotate in all directions to provide firepowe r, Heavier weapons would upset the center of gravity, throw off the balance of the weapon, or worst of all, flip the vehicle over if fired. As a resul t, few vehicles were "overgunned" by design. The solution was to mount a bi g gun low in the vehicle and eliminate the turret, placing the gun in eithe r an open barbette mounting or a casemate. The Germans chose both routes du ring the war, but as the war progressed decided on the latter for their ant itank guns as it provided better protection for the crew.
            The Sturmgeschuetz III and IV series were used frequently as antitank we apons, primarily as the later models carried the very effective PaK 40 L/48 antitank gun and could deal with almost all Allied tanks. But the StuG wea pons were not heavily armored, and the solution was a dedicated antitank gu n with heavier (and ballistically shaped) armor protection on the more flex ible Panzer IV chassis.
    The result was the Jadgpanzer IV series of SP antitank guns.While the conc ept was successful and the vehicle was ordered into production with some 80 4 being completed. Later the chassis was modified to carry the more powerfu l KwK 42 7.5 cm L/70 gun.
    DML has now gone back to their old line of kits and upgraded them, as this kit is based more on the recent Jagdpanzer IV/70 kits but is "backdated" t o the L/48 version.The model uses all of DML's "Slide Molding" techniques o n those sprues and generic Panzer IV sprues and includes casting numbers mo lded onto the sprue runners for diehard detail fans. (These have to be remo ved with a scalpel or single-edged razor blade, as a point of warning.)
    This particular kit uses the 40 cm DS Plastic track runs. I keep hinting t o DML that they should offer both DS and Magic Track links in their kits as this would please about 90% of their target audience (the rest want metal tracks) but so far to no avail.
    This kit uses styrene"Schuerzen" armor shields vice the original brass one s.
    The kit includes a lot of itty bitty details such as full and half wing nu ts and other small items, but all are styrene; there are only nine etched b rass parts for the vehicle, the largest of which is the sliding traversing cover for the periscopic sight.
    The only interior components are the main gun and the radio sets on the fi rewall between the fighting compartment and the engine compartment. Still, these are nicely done.
    Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and G ary Edmundson.
    Painting schemes and markings are included for three vehicles: Pz.Jgd.Abt "Heersgruppe Mitte", Warsaw 1944 (green over sand, black 57); Pz.Gren.Div " Hermann Goering", East Prussia 1945 (tricolor, white 212); Unknown Pz.Jg.Ab t., 1945 (tricolor, black crosses). A small sheet of Cartograf decals is pr ovided.
    Overall it is nice to see DML revisit this popular vehicle (albeit I think Tamiya releasing one may have something to do with this!) and it is a mass ive upgrade to their older Jagdpanzer IV kits.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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