Panzerjaeger I B mit 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale Kit No. 58 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6673). Panzerjaeger I B mit 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48|
|Media and Contents:||652 parts (347 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” links, 46 etched brass, 42 clear styrene, 1 turned aluminum)|
|Price:||Estimated etail price US$49.95|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||ONLY kit of this vehicle likely to be produced in styrene
|Disadvantages:||Expensive diversion into the totally obscure|
|Recommendation:||Recommended for all German one-off and obscure armor fans|
There is a company in the US called Rhino Records that specializes in finding and collecting truly obscure music into collections on CD. Among the things they collect are what are often referred to as “one hit wonders”, e.g. records by artists who had but a single hit to their name and then vanished into total obscurity.
At first cyber-hobby was producing kits of specific vehicles such as “Wittmann’s Tiger” or early or late production variants of other kits, but lately they seem to have become the “Rhino Records” of armored vehicles, producing truly obscure German armored conversions. Their latest one-off is this curious and extremely desperate conversion of a Panzerjaeger I vehicle (originally mounting a 4.7 cm Czech antitank gun) to mount instead a 7.5 cm L/48 gun from a Sturmgeshuetz III Ausf. G. According to the info provided it was used in Berlin during 1945 by an unknown unit, but it had to have a very short life and would seem to have not been able to make more than one or two shots before being destroyed. While the kit seems to indicate the gun could traverse, it is not likely to have had a traverse of more than few degrees due to stability and stress problems. (The similar US M56 Scorpion from the 1950s had similar problems and watching one fire shows how much bucking a heavy caliber gun can inflict on a lightweight chassis).
Nevertheless the boutique DML affiliate has produced it as a kit, combing parts from their excellent Panzerjaeger I kit (No. 6230) with bits from their excellent StuG III late production series. To this end the kit adds 17 new conversion parts on a single tree and the appropriate gun sprues from the StuG III; fans of a deep parts box will be happy to note one sprue is the one with all of the radio sets on it. (Note that the splash sheet of parts indicates they are to be used but no provision is made to place them inside the hull.)
As with the base kit the lower interior is relatively complete and includes internal bulkheads, controls, batteries, foot pedals, a brass radio mount, very complex but complete clear view ports and frames, and all hatches and ports on the upper side of the vehicle are optional position bits. While there is no engine, the kit now adds a cut steel beam mounting to hold up the heavy 7.5 cm gun.
The tracks are again “Magic Track” links, which in this scale would be fine except for the fact that they are smaller than most 1/72 scale track links. This is one area where the use of DS plastic flexible track would probably have been more popular!
The gun itself offers a choice of styrene or aluminum barrels, but as it was designed to go down inside a casemated vehicle may need some more details now that it is “up top”. The breech is positionable and other parts may be set as the modeler sees fit.
Etched brass is limited to items such as the wheel rims (20) and the fender edges with some other small bits.
The only problem I had – and one of the rare ones with a DML kit – was that the main gun shield (a DML “Razor Edge” molding with near scale thickness edges) was bent during shipment. It should bend back with some hot water.
Credit for technical support is given to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Only one finishing option is offered – two-color mottle painted number red 742 in Berlin, with either an unpainted or camouflaged gun barrel.
Overall cyber-hobby has done a nice job, but the subject (while having stimulated some interest on the Internet) is so obscure it really seems to have not merited kitting.
A 35 Pzkw. I A engine deck and details
B 49 A Details - tools, hatches
D 15 Pzkw. I A upper hull parts
E 34 StuG III Ausf. G parts - gun breech, radios, mount
F 16 StuG III Ausf. G parts - barrel, mantlet
G 32 Pzkw. I A Interior parts
H 12 German generic parts - lights, NOTEK lights
H 4 German generic parts - fire extinguisher, OVM
H 38 Panzerjaeger I upper hull parts
J 18x2 Pzkw I drivers and suspension bogies
J 10 Clear styrene
K 34 Panzerjaeger I interior parts
L 216 Magic Track links
L 12x2 A modified suspension parts
M 17 Panzerjaeger mit 7.5 cm parts (gun shield, travel lock, etc.)
P 3 Panzerjaeger I clear parts
W 29 Pzkw. I clear
X 1 A lower hull pan
MA 25 Etched brass
MB 20 Etched brass rings
MB 1 Turned aluminum barrel
MC 1 Etched brass
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.