ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. IV Ausf. D DAK Tropical Version

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale Kit No. 6779; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf . D DAK Tropical Version - Smart Kit; 919 parts (840 in grey styrene, 50 et
ched brass, 27 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic track runs) pre-order price US$5 4.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: nicely updated kit of the Ausf. D variant of the Panzer IV fami ly with the DAK fittings and badging
Disadvantages: lots and lots of mix-and-match parts with similar designatio ns
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German early war armor fans
    Now that DML has kitted at least one variant of every Panzer IV kit, they are now refining and relooking older kits. This one is the first dedicated DAK Panzer IV Ausf. D kit to be released, and uses ?mix and match? with a couple of new sprues and DS Plastic 38 cm tracks to complete this offeri ng.
    This is a ?Spartan? kit by DML standards with more than 300 fewer part s than the previous A and B kits of early Panzer IVs but still consists of over 900 parts. As always, the model has a wealth of detail. A pretty subst antial basic turret interior and basket are included, and all hatches are s eparate pieces with interior detailing. The commander?s cupola is include d and consists of more than 25 parts to portray it with either ports open o r ports closed. All small details such as pistol ports and access hatches a re separate and may be assembled open or closed.
    The running gear mixes the early and later DML version. Most of the runnin g gear is the later simplified type with some details borrowed from the ? high detail? set that carried things to a bit of an extreme with separate bolts for the drivers, but nothing that drastic is used here. Bogie assem blies consist of 10 parts each with two different style grease caps include d. The three-piece idlers are used with this kit. A nicely done set of DS P lastic 38 cm tracks are provided instead of the previous choice of 288 ?M agic Track? single links. As noted, DML tells you how long the track has to be with 1/72 scale kits but not with their 1/35 efforts, so fit will be by guess and by golly.
    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.
    Most of the changes seem to involve the detail fittings for the DAK such a s the lozenge shaped metal plates and some air filter fittings. 30 parts ar e new to this specific kit.
    Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson are listed as the techn ical consultants for this kit.
    A total of four to six different vehicles are covered in the painting and markings section for the Pzkw. IV Ausf. D DAK. These include: 8./Pz.Rgt. 5, 1st Light Division, Libya 1941(sand over grey, crosses, white 813); 8./Pz. Rgt. 5, 1st Light Division, Libya 1941 (sand, white 413); 4./Pz.Rgt. 8, 15t h Panzer Division, Libya 1941 (sand, black 4); 4./Pz.Rgt. 5, 21st Panzer Di vision, Libya 1941 (sand, white 401). Optional decals for vehicles 7, 8, 81 2 and 414 are also provided on a good-sized Cartograf sheet.
    Overall this is a nicely done update and as always should be popular with Afrika Korps fans.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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