ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. IV Ausf. B with Snow Plow

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale Kit No. 6764; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf . A - Smart Kit; 1,263 parts (756 in grey styrene, 288 ?Magic Track? single links, 176 e
tched brass, 32 clear styrene, 6 pre-bent steel wire, 2 turned brass, 1 tur ned aluminum, 1 pre-formed etched brass, 1 twisted steel wire); pre-order p rice US$49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: nicely updated kit of the Ausf. B variant of the Panzer IV fami ly
Disadvantages: drivers with individual bolts particularly tedious; a snow p low?
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German early war armor fans
    DML has now completed at least one variant of every Panzer IV kit, so is a pparently now doing a relook and as a result has redone their Ausf. B from seven years ago with a number of updated features. 42 of this model were pr oduced in 1938 before the improved Ausf. C appeared.
    For some reason they have seen fit to add a snow plow to this kit. While t o the untrained eye and civilian mind using tanks as snow plows seems to be a good idea, the reality is that it really doesn?t work out all that wel l. Most tanks are not geared for the sort of low speed - high torque requir ements shoving heavy snow around entails, and as a result it tends to burn out components or at worst get the tank stuck. One of my favorite photos in Germany was one from the British Military Liasion Mission (BRIXMIS) of an East German T-55 with plow blade buried in a snow drift during the New Year ?s 1978-79 blizzard.
    DML has spiffed up their older B kit by using modern parts but the same et ched brass provided with the earlier kit. A few new bits such as updated ea rly Panzer IV bits such as the antenna deflector are included with this kit .
    The rest of the model is similar to other DML IV kits. As before, the mode l has a wealth of detail. A pretty substantial basic turret interior and ba sket are included, and all hatches are separate pieces with interior detail ing. The improved commander?s cupola is included and consists of more tha n 25 parts to portray it with either ports open or ports closed. All small details such as pistol ports and access hatches are separate and may be ass embled open or closed.
    The running gear is the older DML high detail version. This returns to dri vers that assemble nearly in the same manner as the original: core sections , toothed rings with 12 separate bolts each, and caps and spindles ? each one requires 31 parts and a LOT of patience. Bogie assemblies consist of 1 8 parts each. The same ?Magic Track? with 144 links per side of snap-to gether tracks are provided, but as I noted with that kit they are ?handed ? with the pin heads on the inside and the ?keepers? on the outside. They are bagged separately but you will have to use a magnifier to tell whi ch side is which. One-piece ?slide molded? idlers are again included, as well as the normal two-piece kind.
    The very early hull is provided, which is correct. The drivers appear to m e at first glance to be about the right height ? e.g. the sprocket faces (not the tops of the teeth) look to be level with the tops of the return ro llers.
    Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson are listed as the techn ical consultants for this kit.
    A total of three different vehicles are covered in the painting and markin gs section for the Pzkw. IV Ausf. B. These include: Unidentified Unit, 1939 (snow plow mounted, panzer grey with white crosses); 8./Pz.Rgt.1, 1st Panz er Division, Poland 1939 (grey with white 800); 4./Pz.Rgt. 1, 1st Panzer Di vision, France 1940 (grey, white crosses, white 422). A targeted sheet of C artograf decals is provided.
    Overall this is a nice update but the snow plow is more of a ?gimick? than a useful feature.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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