DML 1/35 Ferdinand Fahrgestelle Nr. 150100 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Ferdinand Fahrgestelle Nr. 150100||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6436||Primary Media||627 parts (259 in grey styrene, 240 "Magic Track" snap-together links, 100 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 4 shackles, 4 pins, 3 turned brass, 2 pre-bent brass, 1 turned aluminum barrel, 1 length copper chain, 1 length twisted steel wire)|
|Pros||"Premium Edition" quality kit with a twist on markings||Cons||Possibly focused more on kit collectors due to unique markings and verbatim reissue of a recent kit|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
For years model aircraft kit manufacturers and after-market decal manufacturers have enjoyed putting out either special releases of kits with fancy or unique markings that simulate a specific aircraft on a specific day with a specific finish. Some of these have been "number X produced by Y factory" such as a 5,000th fighter or bomber. Alas, up until now nobody has done that sort of thing for armor, mostly as it has either been poorly documented or unreported.
DML now is offering their verbatim recent No. 6317 Sd.Kfz. 184 Ferdinand - Premium Edition kit with a very unique finishing option: that of the final chassis produced by Porsche with all sorts of graffiti and good wishes chalked onto the red oxide primer. To that end, the model comes with a relatively large (about 90 x 145 mm) sheet of Cartograf decals that capture all of the chalk inscriptions. This is a nice idea and something other companies should look at; a series of kits with inscriptions such as final approval markings, good wishes from Belgian citizens to American tankers, or similar special finish options could also be done.
Admittedly this is the sixth version of the Elefant/Ferdinand released by DML, and with its unique markings plays more to the kit collector than the modeler. But it does provide the modeler with a new option, and the base kit is not too bad.
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 in previous reviews, the model does not come with zimmerit detail embellished on its parts. But in this case, the photos are from the period prior to final finishing and painting so in this case it is not a failing.
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). Also included are the turned aluminum gun barrel and three turned brass 8.8 cm rounds.
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. Oddly enough, while the parts are included there are NO directions as to how to apply it! This is a major boo-boo and one DML needs to correct, as it is highlighted as a special features on the box bottom. The copper chain is for use with the pistol ports, which have separate plugs and may be displayed opened or closed.
Overall this is a nice idea and one which is currently unique. The kit is being offered at a special price, which is also a good idea.
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
- E 35x2 Drive wheels and details
- F 18x3 Road wheels and suspension parts
- G 1 Lower hull pan
- H 1 Elefant casemate
- L 120 Magic Track left side links
- R 120 Magic Track right side links
- S 12 clear styrene
- T 11 pistol ports and antenna masts
- Z 1 length twisted steel wire
- MA 86 etched brass
- MB 14 etched brass
- MC 1 length copper chain
- MD 1 turned aluminum barrel
- MD 3 turned brass 8.8 cm rounds
- MD 2 prebent steel wire
- MD 4 metal pins