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Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn - Premium Edition Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review September 2006 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn - Premium Edition Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6314 Primary Media 900 parts (445 parts in grey styrene, 288 "Magic Track" links, 163 etched brass, 3 clear styrene, 1 turned aluminum barrel)
Pros "Magic Track" a good idea and helps this kit out Cons Not all state of the art parts that could have been added or should have been added included in kit; even with addition of etched brass some parts still wrong
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $45-47

First Look

The cheers that went up nearly 15 years ago when DML came out with the first 1/35 scale kit of the popular German "Nashorn" (No. 6001, first of the ‘39-‘45 WWII armor and figure kits) were stillborn when the kit turned out to prove itself a dog, and nearly impossible to assemble. The gun did not fit, the tracks could not be wedged under the fenders, and the interior and exterior air intake vents could not match up. This reviewer did an in-box of this kit, which proved to be a major mistake on my part, and ever since I have been more circumspect or at least indicate the review was "in box."

But later DML did try to atone for that, DML redid the kit from the ground up as kit number 6165 (Hornisse, the early model) and 6166 (Nashorn, the late model). Still, while much was corrected and fixed, there were still whinges about such items as ammo lockers which did not hold the correct number of rounds, track fit and fender problems, wheel details, etc. This is not to say these kits were bad; they just had a few errors that required replacement or correction.

"Third time is the charm" is an old saying, and now DML has re-released kit number 6166 with upgrades as a "Premium" version. So what have they done to upgrade or correct it?

Unfortunately, not much. This is a shame as they could included many of the new parts for the Panzer IV chassis with the new bogies or drivers and details from other kits, but this one uses its original suspension parts with some parts from the Jadgpanzer IV series kits. No separate wheel centers, no separate tires.

The main two areas which received full upgrades (there are some "tweaks" in styrene like a new travel lock and new exhaust pipes) are the tracks and a full set of etched brass, mainly focusing on the air vents and the ammo lockers.

The tracks are now "Magic Tracks" which are handed due to the different pin and bolt insertions, so you have to look closely to see which is which. The directions cheerfully dub them "ZL" and " ZR" – but then don't tell you which bag is which! But after 10 minutes with a lighted 10x jeweler's loupe I think the ones on the LEFT side of the header card are the ZL links and the ones on the RIGHT side are the ZR links, which makes a sort of sense of them. I cannot be sure how well they fit under the fender, but they are at least easier to assemble.

The brass provides for a lot of RP (right puny) details, but its three big sections are not easy to deal with. The vents are fiddly and will take time, but provide scale thickness. Surprisingly the directions don't indicate you have to cut out and remove the ones molded on the superstructure sides (parts B45 and B46.)

The lockers appear very intricate but are actually just other bits for the existing lockers. They unfortunately still only provide for four rounds each when the actual stowage was eight; this means either close them up or make new ones and scrounge eight more rounds (or eight more racks) to correct them.

The last part is a new set of radio racks, but it should be noted that the Nashorn kit does not come with a radio set! Well, at least it does provide a good looking area for one to go.

New "Slide Molded" Gen2 weapons are provided, two sets of the WB standard sprue with a pair of MP40 submachine guns, a Gewehr 43 autloading rifle, and an MP44 assault rifle in each set.

The directions are not of much use, as they again show a full color photo set of a kit under assembly but the one shown is obviously all styrene, which is not of much help with some of the brass bits. As noted above it does not indicate that the side louver grilles have to be removed before the new etched ones are installed, and there is no photo of the ammo lockers with the new etched brass parts installed. Once again, DML did a nice job on its bits that is let down by the kit's instructions.

The kit does provide two nice Cartograf decal sheets and a total of NINE finishing options. This time all are identified: s.H.Pz.Jg. 526, Italy 1944 (three color); 2./s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 560, 1943 (sand with brown waves); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 519, 1943-1944 (whitewash over sand); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 88, 1944 (whitewash squiggles over sand); a second vehicle from s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 525, 1944 (same scheme); a third vehicle from s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 525, 1944 (more involved three-color scheme); 3./s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 88, 1944 (green over sand with heart markings); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 519, Russia 1943-44 (whitewash superstructure, sand hull, red crest on front left.) A "number jungle" is included on the sheets.

Overall, this kit is a bit disappointing considering all of the great new sprues and parts which DML has produced with their "Slide Moulding" technique. If the modeler has purchased all of the "upgrades" in the way of brass and tracks for the older kit, there is no need to purchase this one. But if not, it does give the modeler great tracks and the majority of brass parts he will use in one package.

Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.

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