ARM: Review - Pzw. IV Ausf. E Tauchpanzer with auxiliary fuel trailer

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6402; Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E Tauchpanzer w/Betriebsstoffanhaenger - Smart
Kit; 1,217 parts (721 in grey styrene, 288 =93Magic Track=94 links, 178
etched brass, 25 clear styrene, 2 DS plastic, 1 twisted steel wire, 1
section of black vinyl tubing, 1 brass tube); estimated retail price US
Advantages: combines some of the latest slide molding technology with
two previous kits to produce a new variant; some parts new/modified
from previous releases
Disadvantages: vast number of parts may be disconcerting to some
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and Pzkw. IV fans in particular
In a previous review I commented that with a relatively few German
tanks modified for deep wading as =93Tauchpanzer=94 or diving tanks =96
only a few more than 200 Pzkw. III and IV models =96 they have been
popular, and in this case DML has also added one of the accessories
many modelers have sought for Pzkw. IV tanks for years, namely the 400
liter auxiliary fuel tank. Basically little more than a modified
skeleton trailer with two 200 liter (55 gallon) drums attached to it,
this highlighted what was unfortunately a common problem for German
tankers in Russia, namely short range and insufficient resupply.
What DML did was combine sprues from its own excellent Pzkw. IV Ausf.
F =93Smart Kit=94 (No. 6315) with some from the =935-in-1" combination
effort with its affiliate to produce a new kit, this
time an Ausf. E fitted with the =93tauchpanzer=94 equipment. Some of the
good features of both kits have been used, but also some of the less
appealing ones such as the separate tires for the road wheels from the
earlier Pzkw. IV (e.g. pre-=93Smart Kit=94) ones.
The star of the show here is the auxiliary fuel trailer, and DML has
done a great job of it. The 200 liter drums are one piece barrels via
slide molding, and the crimped lids are separate parts with the
purpose data stamped into them. These should be the first ones by any
non-resin manufacturer to require minimal cleanup, and for that alone
DML deserves kudos. cqivl tanks were so converted, they have really
engendered a lot of interest from the model manufacturers, and this is
now the second kit to come to the market of a 1/35 scale Pzkw. IV
Ausf. D with the =93Tauchpanzer=94 fittings. It comes with a short section
of black vinyl tubing so it may be shown either being towed or
connected to the fuel system of the tank.
The rest of the kit is basically a mix-and-match version of the
previous kits with some cleanup work done on the individual sprues.
The seals for the commander=92s cupola and main gun are provided as DS
plastic (in a pink color, no less!) so they will be easy to attach to
the turret. The majority of the parts provided are from the cyber- D and E model kits, but these were redone after some initial
disappointment was noted from German fans. But oddly enough the kit is
focused primarily on the =93tauchpanzer=94 variant so some items such as
the bow machine gun have been left out. In other words, if you want to
pick up this kit to make a straight Ausf. E with the fuel trailer you
will need a spares box to complete the model.
Also, as there are a number of options for various parts and as
always the DML directions are not the most expansive on either
flagging the options or showing where the bits go (at least they are
not their awful photo directions). With such a large amount of brass,
as can be expected there are a lot of parts which require them for
installation; this does seem to negate the kit=92s being dubbed a =93Smart
Kit=94, which usually indicates a very well engineered plastic kit with
minimal brass.
Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal and Thomas
Anderson, as well as Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
The kit comes with two finishing options: Pz.Rgt. 25, 7th Panzer
Division, Russia 1941 (grey, white outline 613); or Pz.Rgt. 6, 3rd
Panzer Division, Russia 1941 (grey with a white G on the front right
fender). The trailer is grey, period.
Overall this is a nice effort, but DML should also think about
releasing the fuel trailer as a separate kit.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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