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
F I R S T L O O K
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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AMPSOne
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