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Kit, DML 6589, Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V) Aug. 1944 Production w/Zimmerit

January 14 2012 at 12:08 PM
Frank V. De Sisto  (Login zappa93)
MODERATORS ONLY - Time on Target
from IP address 108.21.76.232

DRAGON MODELS LIMITED

6589, Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V) Aug. 1944 Production w/Zimmerit, Smart Kit. 1/35th-scale styrene/multimedia kit containing 625 styrene parts (including 11 clear), two bags of Magic Tracks, one photo-etched brass fret, four water-slide decal markings schemes and eight pages of instructions in 18 steps.

Introduction.

This is the third iteration of this sleek Jagdpanzer from DML and Cyberhobby. The original DML release allowed the modeler to construct a later version, while the second one, from Cyberhobby, provided parts to create a command vehicle, also of a later production type. This new release from DML was represents essentially the first production version, complete with Zimmerit ant-magnetic mine paste molded in place. Naturally, new water-slide decals for a total of four vehicles are also included.

As such, this release is essentially the same kit as previously reported upon twice here at ToT, so most of this text will be familiar to visitors to this page.

Tracks.

The 40cm tracks included in this release feature a solid guide horn with squared-off top and a slight depression on either side of it. Tiny angled ice grips are on the outer faces of the links. The track links are properly rendered as left- and right-handed items and come in two separate bags; one set is molded in lighter-colored grey styrene than the other, so dont open up both bags at once or mix them up. There is no clean-up involved, if the modeler can overlook the tiny and very subtle ejector pin marks on the inner faces of each link. They fit together easily, but will not stay that way unless cement is applied.

Suspension System.

The road-wheels have separate hub-caps of the type initially introduced during production of the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H. The wheels themselves are the widened type first introduced on the Ausf.F, which along with the 40cm tracks were able to handle the increased ground pressure resulting from the weight of the thickened armor compared to previous models of the standard gun tank. Each wheel/tire assembly is conventionally-molded in one piece per side and includes manufacturers logo and tire size information on the rubber rim. A total of 20 complete road-wheels are given, which leaves four extras for spare stowage. This version typically did not wear the all-steel road-wheels, so they are not included in the box. The steel wheels seen on later jagdpanzer IV/70s are not included in this issue.

The suspension bogies do not articulate, and are therefore far less complicated to assemble compared to the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.B, C, D and E kits from this manufacturer. The bogies themselves include separate ends for the leaf springs. Mounting brackets, featuring eight instead of ten bolts and the appropriate separate hub completes each unit.

The final drive housings are single-piece moldings; these are the reinforced type first introduced on the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H. The drive sprockets themselves, also introduced with the new final drive housings, are presented in a conventional manner with inner and outer halves. There are three styles of all-steel return rollers provided with only one being slated for use. Photos may indicate the others were used as well, so the modeler may wish to consult references.

Separate, two-part bump stops are fitted to five stations on either of the hull sides, as are multi-part idler wheel axle adjustment housings. Dont glue the axle in place until after the tracks have been fitted; this will prevent one-too-few or one-too-many links at the final stage of assembly. Only the welded tube style idler wheels should be used, so DML has deleted the etched brass rings used to complete the cast idler wheels (the styrene parts are still in the box). The welded-tube idler wheels feature excellent weld bead details, and, as mentioned above, can be adjusted on their axles in order to depict proper track sag.

Hull.

The hull incorporates a belly plate layout exclusive to this type, and includes the lower, angled bow plate molded in place. The hull sides have a very well-represented Zimmerit pattern molded in place, while correctly (according to photos) having a bare lower bow plate. Fuel tank filler caps are provided as separate parts and can be depicted opened or closed as the modeler sees fit. This hull type also features four return roller mounts, all molded in place. On the belly plate, the fairings between the bogie units are molded in place, again for simplified assembly. A multi-part slide-mold was used to render the hull pan, so details have not been compromised. Rivets, bolts, panels, hatches and weld beads are all crisply-rendered. Tow hook points are molded integrally with the hull, at the front and rear, as per later hull types. There are also two styles of track pin retaining plates given, one of which is a two-part assembly.

Modelers should note that there are three thick injection stubs on each rim of the hull side walls. These must be removed or the track-guards will not fit, as shown in step 3. A separate internal bulkhead is fitted between the fighting compartment and engine compartment. It has no detail, but is set up to mount a radio set, which is included as a four-part assembly; this will be visible if the loader/ROs hatch lid is left open.

On the stern, the hull rear plate is composed of several parts. It has been re-designed so that the bolt heads on both sides of the upper flange where the Heckpanzer (engine deck module) could be detached, are properly rendered. It also has a Zimmerit pattern molded in place. The large cylindrical exhaust muffler, first introduced with the Ausf.F, is in several parts, some slide-molded. This type of muffler was the basic fit on this early version. The twin flame-dampening exhaust pipes are also provided, but should not be used for this early version. There are two tow bar variations, with the second one being fitted in December of 1944 on new vehicles. On this variant, the slide-molded jack block is mounted on the port side of the hulls rear plate.

Superstructure.

The track-guards are superbly detailed on both sides and havent a single knock-out pin mark on any surface. They are accompanied by separate front and rear mud-flaps. The mud-flaps come from a slide mold so details visible on their sides are in place; separate springs and a choice of etched brass or styrene reflectors are also provided for the rear pair. These all have also been re-tooled with a Zimmerit pattern. The track-guards include mounting pads with bolt details on their edges for the optional Schürzen plate mounting brackets. Other items fitted to the track-guards include stiffening brackets, plus multi-part Bosch head- and tail lamps; the latter includes a clear part for the glass tube. Separate brackets for the Schürzen plates are provided as are all-styrene, one piece plates. These are molded using DMLs Razor Edge technique and are appropriately thin. They feature rivet details on their outer faces and have separate hanging fixtures. They can be cut apart for a more natural look and some sections can then be left off.

The separate upper bow plate is new and is molded much like the original, featuring interlocking plate edges, with flame-cuts or weld detail where appropriate. The new, shorter glacis plate has separate, smaller brake access hatch lids, which are also new. These include the brake air cooling intake cowls as separate parts; if left open, DML has provided a proper opening for the inner face. In all cases, these parts have been re-tooled to include the Zimmerit. A three-part gun tube travel lock is given, which includes the spring detail on its axle; it can be constructed so as to be movable.

A new, slide-molded Heckpanzer (engine deck module) part, peculiar to this variant is also supplied. This includes different rivet and bolt patterns, a small open vent, and mounts for the extra armor plates seen on each side. It features separate engine deck access hatch lids, each with an etched brass or styrene part for the internal baffles. The small box seen over the radiator filler cap is a separate part. The side vents on the engine compartment are provided as two-part styrene moldings; the flaps for these vents, formerly provided as styrene or etched brass items are not present. Finally, the supplemental armor plates seen on each side of the engine deck are supplied, molded using DMLs Razor Edge technique; they also have Zimmerit molded in place. The Heckpanzers rear plate also has Zimmerit and includes mounting locations for the separate spare track bracket.

Gun cleaning staffs and bore swab for the 7.5cm PjK42 L/70 main gun are fitted to the port side of the engine deck molding. OVM items mounted on the top of the engine deck include a multi-part slide-molded jack, spade, wrenches, pry-bars, starter crank, fire extinguisher, spare road-wheels, their holders and C-shaped tow hooks.

Casemate.

The main casemate is slide-molded and features a separate roof plate. The casemate now has Zimmerit molded in place. On its rear can be fitted an antenna mount, a 2-meter rod antenna, a flange to cover the area between its rear face and the engine deck, and spare rod antennae stowage (in two versions). Up front, a separate cast armored cover for the drivers twin periscope heads (both rendered as a single clear styrene part) is given as is a sliding cone-shaped cover for the MG42 aperture. These now sport a Zimmerit pattern. The apertures interior face is a separate part as is the cradle for the MG, which itself is not provided.

The roof plate is properly detailed with recessed screw head details and features hatch lids that are separate. They include two sets of hinges each; one set is used if the lids are open, the other if they are closed. The commanders hatch lid features a separate rotating periscope base and armored guard. It is then fitted with a clear styrene scope head. Forward of that sits a lid for the scissors binoculars opening. It can be shown opened or closed and features the scissors binoculars as well as its internal mount. Separate parts are provided for the single lift ring at the rear of the roof plate, while two armored guards cover two clear styrene periscope heads. A complete, slide-molded close-in defense weapon can be mounted (in opened or closed configuration), or the provided blanking plate instead; the latter is most appropriate for this version. The most innovative thing about the entire roof is the sliding plate that moved to cover the gunners sight aperture as the gun was traversed. It is provided as a single separate part to represent the gun in the zero-traverse position, or as a three part assembly that will let the cover slide just as it did on the real vehicle.

The gun mantle is slide-molded and well-represents the original item. It is complete with Zimmerit, recessed screw details and a separate cap. The outer Topfblende (pot mantle) is also to be treated the same way, with a proper if rather lightly-defined Zimmerit pattern. It also comes from a slide-mold and has set-screw details at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 oclock positions, as well as a tiny separate part to help it engage the gun tubes travel lock.

Interior.

Internally, the 7.5cm PjK42 L/70 main gun is complimented by partial mount and a breech block that can be depicted opened or closed. The mount includes balance cylinder, traverse and elevation hand-wheels, sight mounts and clear Sfl.Z.F.1a gun sight. The unit articulates properly to provide elevation and traverse, while the sight will move along with the sliding cover on the roof plate, if that is the option chosen by the modeler. All of this is complimented by a separate internal plate that replicates several details seen around the mount, most notably, the mounting pads. The gun tube is a single slide-molded part with an opened bore. After a few swipes with a Flex-I-File to remove the fine mold seam, and a coat of paint, its appearance will rival any turned metal replacement.

Molding, Fit and Engineering.

Molding overall is excellent, as is the fit of the parts. There are no visible ejector pin marks, not counting the tracks. Flash is non-existent, while mold part seams are subtle and easily dealt with. Weld bead and recessed screw head detail is especially noteworthy, as is the use of slide-molds for enhanced detail or ease of construction. Because of DMLs Razor Edge technique, the Schürzen as well as the engine deck supplemental armor plates have extremely thin edges, enhancing scale fidelity.

Accuracy.

As far as accuracy is concerned, the kit matches drawings in Panzer Tracts No.9 to well within acceptable limits. There are things that should have been included to make the kit a bit more versatile, to include an MG42 and braided wire for the tow cable.

Instructions.

The instructions are well-drawn but as always for DML, they are very busy; proceed with caution!

Decals and Markings Information.

Water-slide decals for four different vehicles are provided by Cartograf of Italy. They are in perfect register, have crisp edges and excellent color saturation. The marking schemes depict the following vehicles:

Black/white 57, unidentified unit, Herresgruppe Mitte, Warsaw 1944.
9.SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstauffen, Hungary 1945.
Panzer-Division Feldherrenhalle, Budapest 1945.
Unidentified unit, 1945.

Within the cited references I could not confirm any of these markings schemes.

This release fills another gap in the Jagdpanzer IV L/70 series, allowing the modeler to replicate the earliest production version. Possibly the best thing about this kit is the relative ease with which it can be back-dated to the L/48-armed version. For instance, some re-arrangement of the tool stowage and a new gun tube (as long as the modeler does not care about the interior) will do the trick. This will allow the modeler to create the version with 80mm glacis and superstructure front armor, complete with proper Zimmerit. This is not a bad thing!

References consulted for this report included the following books:

1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of WW2, Revised Edition; Arms and Armour Press, by P. Chamberlain, H. Doyle & T. Jentz.
2. Jagdpanzer: Jagdpanzer 38 to Jagdtiger; Panzer Tracts No.9, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
3. Panzer IV & its Variants; Spielberger Series Vol. IV, Schiffer, by W.J. Spielberger.
4. Panzers at Saumur No.1; Dai Nihon Kaiga, by H. Ichimura.
5. Jagdpanzer IV L/70 Lang; Model Art AFV Profile 1, by M. Tarada & E. Kai.
6. Sturmartillerie and Panzerjäger; Osprey Vanguard 12, by B. Perrett & M. Chappell.
7. Jagdpanzer IV L/48; Kagero Photosniper 6, by K. Mucha & G. Parada.

Note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reports.

DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.dragon-models.com.

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