Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D “Vorpanzer”
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale kit No. 33 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6512); Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D “Vorpanzer”|
|Media and Contents:||1,223 parts (719 in grey styrene, 288 “Magic Track” individual links, 182 etched brass, 23 clear styrene, 10 preformed wire, 1 length of twisted steel wire)|
|Price:||estimated price about US$46.99 via DragonUSA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Another boutique kit of a limited production conversion|
|Disadvantages:||Based on earlier DML Pzkw. IV kits with an overenthusiastic emphasis on very tiny parts|
|Recommendation:||Recommended for all German and Pzkw. IV fans|
In January 2006 DML released a kit of a Pzkw. IV Ausf. E with “Vorpanzer” uparmored panels (No. 6301) which at the time received a mixed review from modelers. It was a followup to their previous Pzkw. IV Ausf. E “Afrika Korps” kit (No. 6264, September 2005) which had a number of glitches and was not well received. Both of these kits were “in your face” efforts with over a thousand parts each and while they demonstrated the model mold maker’s skills were very busy and “bitty” kits with an overwhelming number of parts for some assemblies. For example, the drivers each consisted of 19 parts with separate bolts only about 2.5mm long.
Now DML’s boutique affiliate cyber-hobby.com has released a “Vorpanzer” version of the Ausf. D model of the tank. While it adds a number of new parts (about 60) most of the rest is taken from the old Pzkw. IV Ausf. E kit or the “3-in-1" Pzkw. IV Ausf. D from 2006 (No. 6265). It adds even more parts – now up over 1,200 – and mixes and matches from earlier kits.
As a result, this kit has gone away from the more recent “Smart Kits” with better details and engineering and back to the older “in your face” efforts.
If you didn’t mind the earlier Pzkw. IV Ausf. D/E kits, it is a nice model and the new parts suitably modify the Ausf. D with its new applique armor on the lower glacis, upper hull and turret. The kit certainly comes with plenty of detail and also plenty of etched brass (borrowed intact from the “3-in-1" D model).
The same rules as used for previous vehicles apply. Tracks are “handed” and as such the LEFT side of the header card are the LEFT track links and the RIGHT side of the card has the RIGHT links. Tires are separate but given the fact this kit is finished in Panzergrau which is a nearly flat black color you may wish to simply assemble them and paint the entire model with that color.
The “dustbin” cupola has all parts separate – 23 of them. All hatches are separate parts and may be posed open or closed, but the kit has no interior components other than inside the turret. The turret again comes with a basket and the L/24 gun has a “slide molded” barrel.
Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegental, Thomas Anderson, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Finishing is pretty much as noted above with only two options: 6th Pz.Inf.Ers.Regt “Grossdeutschland”, Cottbus 1942 with white outline or black and white Balkenkreuzen. A very small set of Cartograph decals is provided for that.
Overall this is another somewhat puzzling choice of a subject by cyber-hobby.com, and the use of the older and fussier kit parts vice those from some of the nicer “Smart Kits” is also something best known to cyber-hobby.
A 10x2 Pzkw. IV drivers and rollers
A 34x2 Pzkw. IV drivers with separate bolts
A 78 x 2 Pzkw. IV wheels and suspension elements
B 24 Pzkw. IV bow section
B 32 Pzkw. IV armored final drives
D 97 Pzkw. IV fenders and details
E 52 Pzkw. IV Ausf. E hull top
F 44 Pzkw. IV turret interior
G 24 Pzkw. IV turret details + droop template
H 58 Pzkw. IV OVM
J 55 Pzkw. IV Early hull and turret details
L 2 Pzkw. IV Early one-piece idlers
K 144 Magic Track links - left
M 144 Magic Track links - right
? 38 Pzkw. IV tires
P 17 Pzkw. IV Early - clear styrene
Q 17 Pzkw. IV - early “dustbin” cupola
R 6 Pzkw. IV Early cupola - clear
S 2 Pzkw. IV fenders
T 21 Pzkw. IV Ausf. D Vorpanzer armor
U 5 Pzkw. IV bustle
X 1 Pzkw. IV lower hull
Y 13 Pzkw. IV Early details (brush guard, lower glacis, etc)
Z 1 twisted steel wire
MA 141 6265 - photo etch
MB 36 6265 - photo etch
MC 4 6265 - photo etch
MD 1 photo etch
ME 10 preformed steel wire
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.