ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. IV Ausf. D mit 7.5 cm KwK 43

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series No. 6330;
Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D mit 7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43; 1,474 parts (1,075 in
grey styrene, 288 =93Magic Link=94 track links, 87 etched brass, 23 clear
styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire); estimated price about US$57
US $45
Advantages: another variant of a relatively small number of tanks;
based on a handful of survivors; combines early and =93Smart Kit=94 parts
in one kit
Disadvantages: Apparently non-combat vehicle used as a trainer
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all early war German fans
FIRST LOOK
All armies had armored vehicles whose service lives were effectively
over as new technologies came on line, so they were either reduced to
rear area vehicles, used for tank recovery or special purpose
platforms, or upgraded to as close to current standards as possible.
The German appear to have taken the few surviving Pzkw. IV Ausf. D
tanks left and upgraded them with the KwK 43 L/48 gun, then assigning
most of them for use as tank trainers. But as the war progressed it
appears they may have been issued back out and used as combat tanks.
More than 30 years ago the TV show =93Saturday Night Live=94 had a
running skit with Dan Akroyd as a sleazy manufacturer named =93E. Buzz
Miller=94 who was selling a toy called =93Bag O=92 Glass=94 =96 nothing but
glass shards =96 for children to make things. Upon opening this kit box,
it could be called =93Box O=92 Parts=94 as it is packed with some 300 more
parts than the original Pzkw. IV Ausf. D =933 in 1" kit (No. 6265) from
March 2006. Happily this kit is not as nasty as =93Bag O=92 Glass!=94
DML has combined a number of sprues from their various Pzkw IV early
models and the Pzkw. IV Ausf. F and later =93Smart Kits=94 to provide a
new version of the Pzkw. IV Ausf. D with upgraded =93long-barrel=94 7.5 cm
gun. The kit proclaims it to be the L/43 gun but the reference sources
I have indicate that when it was upgraded the gun of choice was the
KwK 43 L/48. The difference here is in the muzzle brake and overall
length, which is some 10mm longer in 1/35 scale than an accurate L/43
would be. Alas, I do not have good enough plans or measurements to
determine (unbuilt) if this is the L/43 or L/48 tube, but as the
sprues appear to be from the F2 kit it should be the former.
As with all DML Panzer IV kits, the model comes with a substantial
basic turret interior and basket are included, and all hatches are
separate pieces with interior detailing. The cupola now consists of an
amazing 30 parts with options to display the visors either open or
closed, as well as the hatches open or closed. All small details such
as pistol ports and access hatches are separate and may be assembled
open or closed.
The running gear here is a mixture of =93Smart Kit=94 bogies and wheels
with some of the early kit suspension components such as the armored
covers included.=93Magic Track=94 with 144 links per side of friction-fit
tracks are provided, but as I noted with that kit they are =93handed=94
with the pin heads on the inside and the =93keepers=94 on the outside.
They are bagged separately - always remember left side bag - left,
right side bag - right. A jig for setting =93droop=94 is also included.
The applique for the upgraded Ausf. D comes on two new dedicated
sprues, one for the hull and one for the =93schuertzen=94 on the turret.
Brackets and small bits from the Sturmpanzer IV early are included to
provide some of the other bracketing as well. The turret is apparently
new to this kit (a D shell engineered to fit on the F =93Smart Kit=94
parts) and the =93schuertzen=94 is commendably thin.
A total of three different vehicles are covered in the painting and
markings section. They include Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944
(green and red-brown spots over sand); NSKK, Germany 1943 (sand with
=93NSKK=94 and 5D on fenders); and 26th Panzer Division, Italy 1944 (sand
overall with no markings). The Cartograf decal sheet very small and
targeted.
Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegendal, Tom Cockle
and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, while I admit to not being able to verify if the kit has the
right gun or not, it is a striking variant with the old hull, lots of
applique, and the long-barreled gun.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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