10.5 cm Sturmhaubitze 42 Ausf. G with Zimmerit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6454; 10.5 cm Sturmhaubitze 42 Ausf. G with Zimmerit|
|Media and Contents:||731 parts (422 in grey styrene, 288 “Magic Track” links, 20 etched brass, 10 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire)|
|Price:||estimated price US $50.95|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Neat idea using the “Smart Kit” StuG III kit with pre-covered zimmerit hull parts, ready for easy(er) assembly or suitable for super-detailing|
|Disadvantages:||Single choice option of zimmerit pattern not appreciated by some modelers|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all WWII German fans|
DML continues with its new series of German armor that comes pre-molded with the “zimmerit” anti-magnetic mine paste in place.
This kit provides a StuH 42 with the “waffle pattern” of zimmerit on its upper and lower hull. To accomplish this, DML swapped out 32 parts from their StuG III Ausf. G “Smart Kit” (NOT the previous StuH 42 kit No. 9058 from 2004) and replaced them with the new ones with the “waffle pattern” in place.
They also provided the new gun assembly from their “Heuschreke” kit instead to provide some of the 10.5 cm howitzer parts; this does mean a two-piece (barrel and muzzle brake cap) styrene barrel, and no metal parts are provided for the gun. This does result in a curious composite of the 7.5 cm gun and 10.5 cm howitzer parts being used, but as the forward part of the 7.5 cm gun is very difficult to see through open hatches it may not be a big deal.
This kit provides the “early production” – e.g. welded mantelet/recoil cover vice the later “Saukopf” mantelet – version of the Ausf. G assault guns, and no “Saukopf” as fitted to some of the latter StuH 42s is provided.
As it uses the “Smart Kit” StuG III, the kit comes with many of the accouterments seen on kits like the DML Tiger I and Panther, starting with individual torsion bars and road wheel arms as well as all of the external details on the lower hull such as shocks and bump stops. Each idler wheel consists of five parts with twin brass inserts between the plastic castings. All wheels are detailed to the point of having the rubber tire manufacturer’s data readable!
Brass is provided only for those bits where plastic cannot do the job, such as the aforementioned wheel rims and the air intake and exhaust grilles on the engine deck plus some non-slip gridding. All fender details are separate and go on in subassemblies. In point of fact, most of this model consists of subassemblies, which is how it gets its tremendous level of details. This also shows in the sprues, as for example the “A” wheel sprue actually consists of seven sub-sprues, so future kits can be done by gating off or ungating other sections of the master sprue to meet the need of those kits. DML seems to be getting smarter in their old age, using this technique vice tossing in 5-10 other sprues from other kits to get one part from each one.
As mentioned in regard to the howitzer assembly, the kit comes with a high level of interior parts, including the gun, commander’s cupola assembly, floor, and the radios and stowage racks for various bits on each side of the casemate. Likewise the engine deck consists of several subassemblies combined to form the deck. Note that every hatch on this vehicle can be opened for display of the interior, but there is no engine or transmission provided.
Final assembly again has a number of different modules combined into one final assembly – lower hull, fenders, engine deck, interior, gun barrel, casemate, and tracks. Oddly enough, while the radios and antenna bases are supplied, no comment is made about the antennas for them!
Three different finishing options and a targeted Cartograf are provided: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (sand overall); 202nd Sturmgescheutz Brigade, Kurland 1945 (whitewash over sand); and 904th Sturmgescheutz Brigade, East Prussia 1945 (whitewash over sand).
The kit design was supervised by Hirohisa Takada and input on this kit was provided by Minoru Igarashi, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, this should be another very popular kit, and I would bet an Ausf. G variant of the StuG III will follow using these molds in short order.
A 54x2 Wheels and torsion bars (6 mini-sprues connected)
B 48 Road wheel arms and lower hull details
C 31 Casemate and fenders
D 31 Basic upper hull details
E 34 Interior and radio sets
F 16 Gun barrel and mantelet
G 15 OVM and light components
G 55 Fender and upper hull details
G 24 OVM and hull details
H 34 Heuschreke gun details
J 10 Clear styrene
K 144 Magic Track - Left
M 144 Magic Track - Right
P 29 Zimmerit coated hull parts
Q 2 Zimmerit coated casemate and engine deck
X 1 Zimmerit coated lower hull pan
Z 1 Twisted steel wire
WC 4 MG34
MA 20 Etched brass