DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.165 'Hummel' (Initial Version) Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||April 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.165 'Hummel' (Initial Version)||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6150||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Highly detailed, bonus gun crew||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34-$40|
The “Hummel” (Bumble Bee) was a German self-propelled howitzer. This vehicle was developed by the Alkett company in a similar manner to the “Hornisse”, by taking a chassis derived from units of the Pz.Kpfw. III and IV tanks and moving the engine forward to a position alongside the driver, so as to leave a roomy fighting compartment at the rear.
The compartment was open-topped, and into it went a 150mm (5.9 in.) schwere Feld-Haubitze 18, the standard medium field howitzer. This was an extremely good gun, firing a 43 kg (95 lb) shell to a range of 13 km (8 miles), but on this mounting the maximum range was curtailed by the restricted elevation available. However, maximum range was not a vital factor, since Hummels were issued to Panzer Division tank battalions as a close-support weapon, and it was almost always used in direct-fire role as an assault gun.
Development began in October of 1942, and 666 were finally built, most of which were used on the Eastern Front.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows 2 Hummels getting set up to fire. They seem to be on the Eastern Front near a woods. Some snow is on the ground and the crewmen all have hoods on their heads.A side panel shows the box art for DML’s kit of the Sd.Kfz. 164 (Nashorn). The other side panel has 3 full-color photos of the completed Hummel model.
The kit contains 25 trees of medium gray colored parts. 24 of these are for the construction of the Hummel and one is for the construction of 4 self-propelled gun crew figures (which are a bonus item). These trees are packaged into 10 cello-bags.
The figures are supposed to include a small brass PE fret. This holds the straps for radio head phones. However, this item is missing in my kit…sigh.
The decal sheet and instructions complete the kit’s contents.
The instructions is a large slick coated sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages. DML Does the assembly steps in these instructions as actual color photos of the kit parts and not the USUAL black and white exploded line drawings. Some modelers love this newway of doing instructions, others hate it. I remain neutral. Whatever works.
Page one of the instructions begins with a repeat of the box art in full color. This is followed by the parts trees illustrations. Some parts are shaded out on these drawings as being excess and not needed to complete the kit. You wind up with 42 parts to put in your spares box.
Page two begins with general cautions in 6 languages, including English. This is then followed by international assembly symbol translations and a hobby paint color listing for either Gunze Sangyo or Italeri paints. The bottom of the page gives the first 2 assembly steps.
Pages 3 through 7 give the balance of a total of 25 assembly steps.
Page 8 gives us 2 4-views for a couple of paint and marking schemes. One is for an unknown unit in overall light tan and the second one is for a camo scheme for a vehicle of the 9 th Panzer Division “Hohenstaufen”. The bottom of the page gives decal application instructions in 6 languages.
A single small sheet, in full color, gives illustrations of the 4 crew figures. These illustrations have labels on them that tell us the part numbers used and the colors.They also have a line drawing of the parts tree and the missing PE fret.
There are 2 identical letter A parts trees. These hold the drive sprocket parts and numerous other small parts. (31 parts per tree) 2 parts, per tree, are excess/spares.
Large letter B tree holds the vehicle’s sides, front, top, fenders etc. (46 parts)
There are no letter C or D trees.
There are 4 identical letter E parts trees. These hold the road wheels. (18 parts per tree). 7 parts per tree are spares/excess. There are 2 identical letter F parts trees. These hold the idler wheels and some other drive sprockets that are not used. (6 parts per tree) 3 drive sprocket parts are excess, per tree, and not used.
A large parts tree is labels as lower case letter f on the parts tree drawings. This one holds all the parts for the 150 mm howitzer and it’s ammo. (63 parts) 2 of these parts are spares/excess.
There are 3 identical letter G parts trees. These hold the individual track links. (80 links per tree)
Letter H tree holds an assortment of small fittings. However, the vast majority of this tree is excess/spares. Of the 44 parts on the tree, only 15 are used to build this kit.
Letter I is the single hull tub piece.
Lettering now jumps to letter N parts tree. It holds the fighting compartment floor, the 150 mm howitzer’s base mount plate, gun shields, ammo bins etc. (35 parts).
Letter O tree comes as one complete tree and a second ½ of that tree again. It holds numerous small parts. There are 4 large road wheels on this tree that I don’t see shaded out as being excess/spares on the parts tree drawings, but neither do I see them anywhere in the assembly steps being used. Strange. Maybe I will discover later what they are…or aren’t for? (21 parts on each of the ½’s of this tree you get and 12 parts on the half you only get once.
A small, unlettered tree, holds 2 98k rifles, a panzerfaust, and 2 MP40 machine pistols. However, shading on the instructions says that the rifles and panzerfaust are excess/spares.
The bonus crew figures are from DML’s previous kit no. 6016 and the tree holds 4 figures that are divided into separate heads, torsos, arms, legs and caps. Three figures wear the peaked caps and one wears a side cap. All of them wear camo uniforms of jackets that reverse to winter white and pants that are bloused at the ankles into low shoes. They are all wearing gloves. One figure has radio head phones on his head. Two figures are posed loading ammo. One figure is carrying a jerry can. The fourth figure, with the headphones, seems to be leaning against the crew compartment wall and relaxing. In addition to the crew figure parts, this tree also holds 4 ammo rounds for the howitzer, a jerry can, a pair of head-phone ear pieces and a Luger in it’s holster. (37 parts)
The kit is up to DML’s usual high standard of detail and molding and no flash is on any parts.