Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7497; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H w/Schuerzen; 144parts (142 in grey styrene, 2 DS Plast ic track runs); pre-order price US$24.50 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: first new mold version of this variant of the Pzkw. IV in this scale by DML; details closing on their 1/35 scale kits
Disadvantages: No etched brass; all hatches fixed in place
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all mid-war German fans
F I R S T L O O K
Two years since their last 1/72 Panzer IV DML has now released a nice new kit of the Ausf. H with a complete set of schuerzen shields. While there is no etched brass provided, DML has used a variation on their ?thin shield ? molding so that the shields look very close to scale while being thick enough to use.
This kit is new but uses parts from their Brummbaer and self-propelled 8.8 cm on Panzer IV chassis kits as well.
The rest of the kit mirrors the construction of the larger 1/35 scale ?S mart Kits? but with some assemblies either simplified or combined, as tha t makes better sense in this scale (in 1/35 some of the Pzkw. IV variants h ave upwards of 800-900 parts). Each bogie assembly here consist of five par ts: carrier, road wheel pairs, and road wheel centers. Oddly the centers al so appear to carry part of the tires, so other than molding fidelity it doe s not seem to offer any assistance for painting. Detail, however, is outsta nding in this (or even some larger) scale.
The lower hull is in one piece (part B) but requires a separate bow plate applique and two-part stern plate. However, no track links or mounting are provided for the bow of this kit. The upper hull has all hatches fixed. On ly the front upper glacis is provided as a separate part. The fenders are s eparate assemblies and attach in Step 5. Note that two holes need to
The turret is pretty detailed in this scale but uses a simplified gun asse mbly consisting of only 8 parts; the barrel is slide molded with a hollow m uzzle brake in one piece and inserts directly into recoil housing; note tha t 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?s cupola consists of only two parts and has the hatches se aled; ditto the side hatches.
Unlike other recent DML 1/72 kits no information is provided for the kit ?s track length or if they need to be stretched or clipped to fit.
Technical support was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Five different finishing options are provided along with a targeted sheet of Cartograf decals: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (tricolor, black crosses); Unidentified Unit, Vistula River, Poland 1944 (tricolor, black 923); 3rd Panzer Division, Ukraine 1943 (green spray over sand, crosses, red 624); 2nd Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (tricolor, white 802); 2nd Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (tricolor, white 823).
Overall this is a good kit but some modelers may be disappointed at the la ck of etched brass and the fixed hatches.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.