DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.184 Ferdinand - Premium Edition Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2007||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.184 Ferdinand - Premium Edition||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6317||Primary Media||626 parts (261 parts in grey styrene, 240 "Magic Track" snap-together links, 100 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 4 shackles, 4 pins, 2 pre-bent brass, 1 turned aluminum barrel, 1 length copper chain, 1 length twisted steel wire)|
|Pros||Upgrades a popular older DML kit||Cons||If you bought the first one, now you have to make a choice to keep it or get this one|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$41-45|
The "Ferdinand" version of the Porsche Tiger (P) chassis derived SP 8.8 cm gun has now received similar treatment to the "Premium" "Elefant" kit from April 2006. Once again, DML has now released a plethora of these kits, to wit:
- January 2001 - Kit 6126, Sd.Kfz. 184 Elefant (489 parts)
- November 2004 - Kit 6210, Tiger (P) (325 parts)
- March 2005 - Bergetiger (P) (382 parts)
- April 2006 - Kit 6311, Sd.Kfz. 184 Elefant Premium Edition (713 parts)
- August 2006 - Kit 6352, Tiger (P) Premium Edition (734 parts)
This kit adds some new sprues to the previous releases, and as such cleans up some of the areas of the last release (alas, my computer hard drive lunched itself some time ago and thus all information between late 2002 and October 2004 is gone. so I am missing the first appearance of the "Ferdinand" in kit form.)
As was obvious, these kits are quite different from the old Italeri mold, and the engine deck is very involved and detailed, providing the covered gratings via separate external grilles and an inner former with grillework cut into it. This compares well with the photos of the APG Elefant during its assessment for restoration, which appeared in Museum Ordnance Special Number 4: Elefant Panzerjaeger Tiger (P) by Tom Jentz and Jeff McKaughan. The screening on the cooling vent over the rear electric motors (parts B9, B10, B19 and B20) is solid, but this version of the kit provides an optional brass screen for that part.
The hull still comes in a number of pieces – nine, to be exact: hull with sponsons, rear sides, rear plate and bottom rear of hull, bow plate and glacis, rear backing plate to glacis, glacis with ball mount, engine and forward compartment deck, and casemate. All are nicely detailed but smooth, but now the lower hull and casemate are "slide molded" with more details.
This kit also has a revised suspension, and while each bogie still has nine parts the wheels have been totally redone. The kit comes with the specific early model "Magic Tracks" which are handed, this time calling them "R" and "L" vice other letters, and the way to tell them apart is the left links are on the left side of the header card and right links on the right. That promotes waiting until necessary to open the bags or remove them from the card!
The same gun from earlier kits is included, to include a basic mount, recoil cylinders, and guards at the rear of the breech. The gun mount (parts C14 and C15) appears to cement in place, which limits traverse of the weapon once installed, but it would seem from the entirety of the gun mount and its components that it could be left loose to also provide the minimal traverse this big gun had in real life. The mantelet alone comprises five parts, so that the massive bolt heads on the joining plates can be accurately reproduced. (A new turned aluminum barrel and separate muzzle brake are now included so this can replace the kit's two-piece styrene barrel.)
As noted, the model does not come with zimmerit detail embellished on its parts. But in the case of the "Ferdinand" this not necessarily wrong. As built the "Ferdinand" did not carry it, and only seems to have received it retroactively when modified to become the "Elefant" with a cupola and bow gun among other changes.
A choice of metal or styrene shackles is provided, as well as this time the kit comes with the two tow cables and metal cable for them. The kit also now comes with standard DML German tool sets TA (pioneer tools), TB (jacks and fire extinguishers) and TC (tow cable heads).
Etched brass is not as extensive as some previous iterations but does provide for most brackets, a tool stowage box on the front right side, and "non-skid" tread plate on the exposed parts of the fenders. The copper chain is for use with the pistol ports, which have separate plugs and may be displayed opened or closed.
Three different finishing and marking options are provided: 2nd Company, s.Pz.Abt. 654, Eastern Front 1943 (green over Panzerbraun); 1st Company, s.Pz.Abt. 653, Eastern Front 1943 (green over Panzerbraun); and 1st Company, s.Pz.Abt. 653, Russia 1943 (Panzerbraun all over.) Decals are targeted and from Cartograf.
Overall DML has done a great job of upgrading the original kit. While not as extensive as the Tiger (P) Premium kit, it is nicely done and a good number of new or reworked parts are provided. But once again, people who bought the kit during its first release and have on their shelves now have to make a choice as to keep it or buy the new one.
Many thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.
- A 39 Ferdinand upper deck and hatch details
- B 30 Elefant fenders
- C 29 Elefant 8.8 cm gun
- F 54x2 Wheels and suspension parts
- F 18 (Partial wheel sprue)
- G 1 Lower hull pan
- H 1 Elefant casemate
- L 120 Magic Track left side links
- N 2 twisted steel wire
- R 120 Magic Track right side links
- S 12 clear styrene
- T 11 pistol ports
- Z 1 length twisted steel wire
- MA 86 etched brass
- MB 14 etched brass
- MC 1 length copper chain
- MD 1 turned aluminum barrel
- 2 pre-bent steel wire
- 4 pins
- 4 towing shackles
- TA 6 German OVM
- TB 11 German OVM
- TC 4 German OVM a 3 Muzzle brake