ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. S w/fuel trailer

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 643=
5; Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf. S mit Fuel Drum Trailer - Smart Kit; 704 parts (405=
in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 138 etched brass, 9 clear st=
yrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire, 1 length of black string); pre-order=
price US$49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: modifications added to replicate the Ausf. S model; fuel traile=
r a nice touch; fairly complete interior provided to include engine
Disadvantages: fenders still the original design with =93straight=94 profil=
e; fighting and control compartment interiors will be very hard to see
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all THNP series fans and German modelers
Sweden contracted with Praga for 90 TNHPS tanks as well as a production li=
cense to build the machine in Sweden. But the Germans took over the tanks a=
nd used them instead, dubbing them the Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. S (for Sweden). Cl=
oser to the Ausf. A/B/C than the E/F in production for Germany at the time,=
it was little different externally than the later machines. But in order t=
o cover the expanse of western Russia, many of the tanks towed a 200 liter =
fuel drum during the early days of the campaign into the USSR.
DML has combined their E/F/G kits with some new bits and the fuel trailer =
from the Tauchpanzer IV kit to create a replica of the early Russian campai=
gn tanks.
The kit provides the correct drive wheels with the excellent suspension as=
well as different springs for the bogie assemblies. Assembly follows earli=
er kitS and is pretty straightforward. However, the back plate (part B40) r=
emains a single piece without a removable access hatch so the access cover =
cannot be shown open or removed as in performing maintenance on the engine.=
Only one set of engine access hatches is now provided for the engine deck.
DML was =93dinged=94 on earlier kits for the fenders. I personally think t=
he tanks were built with straight fenders but once in service, whether it i=
s crew use or track slap or something else, the front of the fenders from t=
he center of the vehicle onward appear to take on a slight bend upward from=
the rear section. DML claims that the fenders now look the part but for th=
e life of me I can=92t see it.
Tracks are still =93Magic Track=94 links, which are identical so do not ha=
ve to be =93handed=94 as with other kits. But they are tiny and tedious to =
assemble =96 perhaps DML will eventually offer DS tracks for these kits as =
well.
The interior is pretty much complete as near as can be seen, but the warni=
ng needs to be given that due to the small hatches (commander=92s and radio=
operator=92s) it will be very difficult to see the details even with an =
=93IPMS Death Ray=94 (penlight). As noted the engine compartment is much mo=
re accessible as the hatches may be opened up on the deck cover. As this ki=
t has fewer options DML=92s directions are not as problematic with this kit=
as in past versions.=20
The details are very nicely done and should be given foreground attention.=
Both of the machine guns have belts of ammo provided for them and are bett=
er done than the ones in the Tristar kit, albeit neither kit seems to have =
the angled handles seen on preserved guns.=20
Technical assistance is credited to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.=20
The kit offers four different finishing options backed up with a set of Ca=
rtograf decals. The options are: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1942 (gr=
ey, yellow 9); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (grey, white crosses o=
nly); 7th Panzer Division, Russia 1941 (grey, white 535); and Unidentified =
Unit, Bohemia 1945 (sand with green and brown dots, black crosses).
Overall this is a nicely done kit but I am sure that once more there will =
be carping once more over the fenders.
=09
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.=20
Cookie Sewell
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