ARM: Review - DML 1/72 scale Pzkw. IV Ausf. G Early Production

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 scale Armor Pro Series Kit No.

7278; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G Early Production; 168 parts (162 in grey styrene, 4 etched brass, 2 DS plastic track runs); price estimated at US$14.95

Advantages: first new mold Pzkw. IV in this scale by DML; details closing on their 1/35 scale kits

Disadvantages: DS tracks tend to run long

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all mid-war German fans


After a rather lengthy pause of nearly three years DML has now returned to the Pzkw. IV series and has released this kit as the first in a new series of small-scale gun tanks. (In the past DML did a number of Pzkw. IV chassis variants such as the Hummel and Nashorn, and derivatives like the Pkzw. IV/70 tank destroyer.)

This kit is virtually new from the ground up and the only parts it appears to share with previous kits are the tracks, which are single run DS plastic ones. The kit calls them =93Sprue X=94 but they are stamped =93E=94 so I am assuming they are from one of the earlier kits; those were noted as having the tracks run long for sagging.

The rest of the kit mirrors the construction of the larger 1/35 scale =93Smart Kits=94 but with some assemblies either simplified or combined, as that makes better sense in this scale (in 1/35 some of the Pzkw. IV variants have upwards of 800-900 parts). Each bogie assembly here consist of five parts: carrier, road wheel pairs, and road wheel centers. Oddly the centers also appear to carry part of the tires, so other than molding fidelity it does not seem to offer any assistance for painting. Detail, however, is outstanding in this (or even some larger) scale.

The lower hull is in one piece (part Z) but requires a separate bow plate applique and two-part stern plate. The modeler has an option for spare tracks or empty carrier at the bow. The upper hull has all hatches as separate parts and each viewer has both a cover and a mechanism as separate parts. The upper hull details are provided by applique sides attached to the central body (part Y) so welds and other details are apparent. The fenders are separate assemblies and attach along with the glacis plate in Step 5 but require some holes to be drilled out first.

The turret is pretty detailed in this scale, with the gun assembly consisting of 10 parts; the barrel is slide molded with a hollow muzzle brake in one piece and inserts into a sleeve which then fits to the recoil housing; note that even the machine gun barrels are slide molded (as is the exhaust pipe on the muffler) so the modeler does not have to open them up.

The commander=92s cupola consists of four parts and has a partial interior (but no clear vision blocks). The side hatches also have separate viewer mechanisms; however, while they have plenty of interior detail splitting and opening them will require a good deal of care. No other interior parts are provided so anyone opening up the tank will need to find his own bits for the interior (e.g. gun breech, engine, seats, radios, kit, etc.)

Five different finishing options are provided along with a targeted sheet of Cartograf decals: 1st Panzer Division, Greece 1943 (sand, white 714); =93Grossdeutschland=94, Russia 1943-44 (whitewash over sand, white 702); 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division =93LAH=94, 1943 (whitewash, red 205); 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division =93LAH=94, 1943 (whitewash, red

215): 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Division =93Totenkopf=94, Kharkov 1943 (grey, white 332).

Overall this is a nice piece of work and one sure to be popular with German small-scale fans.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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