Dragon 1/72-scale Sd.Kfz. 167 StuG
IV Late (7260)
by Frank De Sisto
Contains: 123 styrene parts, two DS-100 soft styrene track lengths, two
decal and four pages of instructions in six steps. Price: unavailable.
DML has come back to injection-molded styrene plastic kits in a very
large way over the last couple of years. In fact, many of the people who
may have thought DML was abandoning the field due to the success of their
line of action figures, may now breathe easier. There are nearly monthly
releases in the larger 1/35-scale line and DML has chosen to devote considerable
resources to the smaller scales, including 1/72nd. So, they are producing
“families” of widely used vehicles such as the T-34 and Pz.Kpfw.
This kit is modular in design and will allow the modeler to produce the
later version of the StuG. IV. This version included the close-in defense
weapon, remote-control MG34 and “Pilzen” crane mounts on the
roof as well as cast Topfblende (“Pot Mantlet”) with MG aperture,
flame-dampening exhaust pipes, three return rollers and lower hull with
the sides extended to form tow shackle points. There are also a couple
of detail options. For instance, the bolted-on front tow shackles are
provided and the modeler is actually instructed to use them and cut off
the hull extensions up front. The cupola hatch comes in two versions:
standard and another with the small hatch for the commander’s scissors
periscopes folded back, so they can be shown extended with the hatch closed.
The loader’s hatch also comes as a single part for the closed position,
or two parts to be shown open.
There is some innovation in this kit as well. All road wheels are two
parts, but not broken down in the conventional manner. The wheels themselves
have the two tire portions molded as one part, using slide-mold technology.
The hubs are separate, which means the tires can be easily painted in
the “rubber” color of choice, and the separately painted hubs
can then be added. This saves a considerable amount of very tedious work!
But, BE CAREFUL!! Do NOT trim the road wheels flush either while removing
them from the sprue or afterwards. You must ensure that you retain the
integrity of the tiny pin on the wheels’ rear faces, so that you
can attach them to the suspension spring units. Slide-molds have also
been used to deliver a pre-drilled gun tube and one-piece exhaust pipes
with opened orifices. The one-piece track lengths are presented in DS-100
soft styrene, which can be fixed using standard plastic cements. They
depict an appropriate later style with the tiny ice cleats on each shoe’s
A test fit of the main components showed no major problems, despite the
kit’s modular approach. Detail everywhere is well done, including
a very nicely detailed hull pan. Many (but, unfortunately not all) of
the tools are separate parts. Some areas that could have been improved
are the small shields for the rotating MG34. There are also no mounts,
brackets or plates for the hull-side “Schurzen”. This is rather
curious since these are a regular feature of this particular vehicle.
DML commonly uses photo-etch in these smaller kits; this medium would
have been perfect for this kit, especially in the area of the MG34 shields
and Schurzen system.
The instructions are of the photographic type but are clearly presented;
some still worry about this method. I am coming to prefer it. The decal
options consist of several Balkankreuz national markings. The paint schemes
cover one three-tone and one overall dunkelgelb RAL 7028 vehicle. To be
honest, there is very little in the way of photographs of these vehicles,
and what is available rarely shows anything more in the way of markings,
except for some Tac numbers. So, a selection of numbers would have been
But overall, this is a fine “new generation” 1/72-scale kit.
It’s certainly on par with Revell, who have set a very high standard
with their new kits, like the Famo and the StuG. III. The DML catalog
shows a bunch of kits based on the Pz.Kpfw. IV, such as an Ausf. G and
H, a Pz.Kpfw. IV/70, an early StuG. IV, two versions of the Nashorn/Hornisse,
and finally, a mid-production Brummbar. You guys that like “tiny
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details
see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.