ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Pzkw. IV Ausf. G Apr-May 1943

MKit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6363; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G Apr-May 1943 Production - Smart Kit; 871
parts (595 in grey styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 44 etched brass,
15 clear styrene, 1 twisted steel wire); price US$49.95 via Dragon USA
Advantages: more flexible =93transition=94 production model offers up to
10 different finishing options
Disadvantages: retention of =93Magic Track=94 single links makes assembly
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor fans
The Ausf. G version of the workhorse Panzer IV medium tank was the
transitional model between the early models with the short 7.5 cm gun
and its upgraded Ausf. F2 variant and the later Ausf. H and J models.
As such it introduced some new features such as the 7.5 L/48 gun, with
final model of the two chamber muzzle break, factory installed
applique armor, a new cupola and finally the =93schurzen=94 protective
screening. Nearly 1,700 of these tanks were built before changing over
to the Ausf. H in late 1943.
As this vehicle was the transitional variant, many German models have
been awaiting it as it provides so many options. DML has taken their
2007 Ausf. G kit and added or changed more than 160 parts from the
previous kit to include the =93schurzen=94 and its mounts, applique armor,
and other details.
The upper hull consists of a deck and framework with applique sides,
front and rear engine intake components and fenders. The muffler has a
central tube section and six add-on parts to complete it along with a
=93slide molded=94 exhaust pipe.
All ports and hatches are separate parts so they can be posed open.
While not present, the hull does come with a rudimentary firewall for
the engine compartment, and the various vents and louvers are also
posable either open or closed. The bow also comes with a well-done
machine gun and ball mount. Note that all ports have clear styrene
inserts as well.
The turret is relatively conventional in its parts breakdown, but the
KwK 40 is unique. The barrel is nearly complete in regard to length,
being trapped between the recoil cylinders at the rear and slid
through the armored recoil cover and barrel jacket before having the
muzzle brake installed; this is only in styrene, but a metal part
could be provided later in an upgrade set. Other than the gun and the
better commander=92s cupola from the Ausf. H kit there is only a minimal
interior for the turret, however.
Etched brass has been enhanced to go along with the =93schurzen=94 (which
appears to be etched nickel) but still includes the engine air intake
louvers, some small brackets, and the flaps for the engine air intakes
on the sides of the rear deck.
Tracks once more are the 38 cm =93Magic Track=94 snap-together-then-
cement type, and modelers are advised to recall that when facing the
head card the left side track links are on the left and right are on
the right. While always well done they are tedious to assemble.
The =93schurzen=94 appear to be new to this kit and include both the hull
and turret sets, but the latter is all styrene with =93razor edge=94
Credits include project supervision by Hirohisa Takada, technical
drawings by Shin Okada and technical assistance from Tom Cockle, Gary
Edmundson, and Notger Schlegtendal.
A total of ten (10!) finishing options are provided: 6./Pz.Rgt. 3,
2nd Panzer Division, Kursk 1943 (Vomag built) (green patches over
sand, white 631); 3/Pz.Rgt. 21, 20th Panzer Division, Kursk 1943
(tricolor, white 301); 20th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1943 (Krupp
built) (green patches over sand, white 202); 20th Panzer Division,
Eastern Front 1943 (Krupp built) (tricolor, white I); 1st SS Panzer
Division =93LAH=94, Kursk 1943 (green stripes over sand, black 064); 16th
Panzer Division, Italy 1943 (Vomag built) (green over brown, white
833); 2./Pz.Rgt. 18, 18th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1943 (green
over sand, white 242); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (tricolor
spots, white 525); Pz.Rgt. 15, 11th Panzer Division, Eastern Front
1943 (green over sand, black 911); and 6.Pz.Rgt. 27, 19th Panzer
Division, Eastern Front 1943 (green stripes over sand, white 611).
Decals are again from Cartograf.
Overall, while it still does not come with DS Plastic track this
variant should be very popular due to the flexibility of the kit.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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