ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz. 138/1 Geschuetzwagen 38 M - Smart Kit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6429; Sd.Kfz. 138/1 Geschuetzwagen 38 M fuer s.IG. 33/2 - Smart Kit;
1,034 parts (676 in grey styrene, 240 =93Magic Track=94 links, 103 etched
brass, 13 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel cable, 1 turned
aluminum gun barrel); price estimated at US$50
Advantages: =93gun=94 version of the Ausf. M will be appreciated
Disadvantage: some complaints about fenders still linger
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all German, Praga and =93Redleg=94 fans
DML has now released the actual 15 cm 38 M self-propelled howitzer
and it should be appreciated by most German fans. This is a complete
=93Smart Kit=94 but one which uses 100% of the parts from the cyber-
hobby.com Kit No. 21 (DML No. 6471). It adds the missing parts for the
s.IG. 33/2 howitzer to the mix.
282 of the =93gun tank=94 versions were built along with 102 ammo
carriers, which were fitted for =93upgrades=94 to howitzer vehicles if
needed.
As with the cyber-hobby.com variant, it uses =93Smart Kit=94 technology
the emphasis is on detail but they have also added a good amount of
brass with it and it must be used to construct the model. But here
only a few of the frames and grilles will require a good amount of
bending.
The howitzer comes with a turned aluminum barrel and rifling in its
first section. For some reason (either other variants or a towed
version being forthcoming) there are TWO sprues of cradle and breech
parts for the s.IG. 33/2 15 cm howitzer, so be careful on choosing the
right parts. Most of the ones used seem to be on the =93C=94 sprue.
This kit also includes the engine and other interior parts from the
DML TNHP series kits. The driveline and interior are mostly styrene
parts, such as the transmission/clutch assembly, steering controls,
driveshaft and shield. The ammo racks are all single molded items, but
the projectiles are molded with the rack to get a =93scale=94 thickness to
the rack and as such cannot be separated. Twenty full and six empty
racks are provided along with two single projectiles; no propellant
casings were provided, and as noted it only covers a partial load.
There is one small radio with separate transmitter and receiver
mounted on the right side of the casemate. Each periscope in the
fighting compartment is all stryene (clear prism component, grey
mounts) and may be positioned as folded or erected.
Assistance on this kit is credited to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Finishing directions and cartograph decals are provided for three
different vehicles: 1st SS Panzer Division LAH, La Gleize, Belgium
1944 (tricolor with no markings); 1st SS Panzer Division LAH, France
1944 (sand with brown-edged green patches and a cartoon blowtorch);
and Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (Sand overall with
crosses).
Overall, this is a nicely done kit and with the attendant cyber-
hobby.com ammo carrier and figures will make into a good diorama.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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