Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6500; Sd.Kfz. 166 Stu.Pz. IV =93Brummbaer=94 Mid Production w/Zimmerit - Smart Kit; 665 part (583 in grey stryene, 59 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 10 etched nickel, 2 DS Plastic track runs, 1 length of twisted steel wire); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: adds the missing Zimmerit paste from Kit 6460; complete main gun assembly and partial interior; choice of options and assembly; now with DS tracks!
Disadvantages: nothing major noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German heavy armor and Panzer IV series fans
One major area of contention in German modeling circles is =93pre- zimmerit=94 or =93no pre-zimmerit=94. Old hands who =93broke the code=94 ye= ars ago on how to successfully apply a scale layer of the paste to their models prefer to do it using their favorite method; but more and more modelers appear to appreciate the pre-applied track followed by DML. This kit now corrects the one major flaw with DML=92s previous kit of this vehicle (No. 6460, upon which it is directly based) and provides the zimmerit on the major components =96 the hull sides, the glacis sides, hatches and small detail bits.
Other than the changed parts (a total of 33 with 9 new clear styrene ones) the kit is a repeat of the earlier one. It retains the =932-in-1" feature by again providing the optional command =93crow=92s foot=94 antenna and mount to go on the stock vehicle.
The zimmerit coated parts are the casemate, the lower hull sides, the upper and lower glacis, the rear plate, the fender tips, the driver=92s enclosure and hatches, the pistol port plugs, and a few smaller bits. Paint dots locate the places where the modeler will have to drill out holes for mounting various bits to the model.
The casemate includes some interior details and a complete gun and mount. The periscopic sight also projects through the roof of the casemate, and all hatches may be shown in the open position (but again other than the gun there is not much to see!) The kit retains the standard new generation Pzkw. IV firewall and optional position engine deck hatches as well. (I smell after-market interior and engine parts coming...)
The kit uses most of the previously generated Pzkw. IV generic parts and the ones from the mid-production Sturmpanzer IV kit. It still provides the etched nickel side shields for the =93full-up=94 vehicle. These are nicely done but will need care as the mounting brackets are all plastic; modelers may wish to =93etch=94 the surface a bit with a chemical blackener so the adhesive of choice (either cyanoacryalte glue or epoxy) can =93bite=94 and hold it in place.
One area which is also sure to be bounding around the fora in newsgroups and modeling sites is the first inclusion of DS Plastic track runs for German Pzkw. IV series vehicles. These appear to be the40 cm tracks with face cleats and provide for four links of overlap/ attachment. This should permit the removal of two or three to =93tighten=94 up the tracks and prevent sag for thos who wish it, or to induce extra sag. Keep in mind that since they are DS Plastic they may be cemented to the return rollers if not covered in paint to =93hold=94 the sag in place.
Technical assistance on this kit was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Steven Van Beveren, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
There are four suggested finishing options, three for Stu.Pz.Abt.216. These are: Italy 1944: 1 (commander) and 2 in a red brown over sand mottle; the other Stu.Pz.Abt. 216 option is for s.H.Pz.Jg.Regt 656, Ponryi 1943 (tri-color patches, white 20). The fourth option is for Panzer Division =93Schleisen=94, Frankfurt 1945 (tri-color stripes above the fenders, white 46). Cartograf decals are included.
Overall this is a lovely kit and the inclusion of the zimmerit and the DS Plastic tracks should make it appeal to a wider circle of modelers.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review example.