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Sd.Kfz.167 StuG.IV Early Production w/Zimmerit

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.167 StuG.IV Early Production w/Zimmerit Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2010 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.167 StuG.IV Early Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6576 Primary Media 771 parts (665 in grey styrene, 63 etched brass, 16 etched nickel, 14 “Magic Track” links, 12 clear styrene, 1 twisted steel wire)
Pros Adding zimmerit will enhance this kit; uses “Smart Kit” Pzkw. IV and StuG III components; comes with DS Plastic tracks Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

As I noted when the first DML StuG IV kit was released, it would seem a step backwards to create a self-propelled 7.5 cm gun using the Pzkw. IV chassis; after all, this same gun was already available in an all-around traverse turret on the same chassis and would seemingly be a better idea. But the Germans had a great number of doctrinal uses for self-propelled guns, and as the Alkett factory had been basically put out of business by Allied bombing (hence the end of StuG III production due to a lack of chassis) tests were made in late 1943 to fit the StuG III casemate to the Pzkw. IV chassis. The result was a success, and between December 1943 and March 1945 more than 800 of these vehicles were built. The chassis mirrored the Pzkw. IV chassis so they began using Ausf. H chassis and ended up with late model Ausf. J chassis.

Following on their previous “non-zimmerit” variant of this vehicle, DML have now revised that kit and by combining parts of their excellent Pzkw. IV Ausf. H kit and the StuG III Ausf. G kit with bits of the Brummbaer and a number of newly molded StuG IV parts with zimmerit molded in place. The kit comes with a partial interior and all of the predetermined optional position hatches and viewers to permit an interior to be fitted to the rest of the hull. As with other recent DML kits with “schuertzen” armor shields, it provides the hangers and fittings in styrene and the plates themselves in etched nickel. Note that this version has a double-thickness fitting on the upper sections of its center three panels (MD1 parts) as well as extra bolt heads on the M sprue for each set of shields.

A major word of warning: DML does not have the best directions and in the case of this vehicle – where a large number of parts are replaced with those from either new sprues or other kits – you will have to pay very close attention to find the correct parts and make any modifications (such as drilling out holes, etched brass versus styrene options, etc.)

The rest of the kit follows the earlier kits. This kit has another new hull pan complete with zimmerit which is complete less the stern plates, separate final drives, and much of the surface detail simulates screw or bolt holes; it also has an applique lower glacis plate. Drivers now consist of only four parts; the separate bolts are gone. Bogies are now nine piece affairs without separate tires. New details are provided for the tow hook at the rear of the hull as well.

The upper hull again consists of a rear deck and framework with applique sides, front and rear engine intake components and fenders. The muffler has a central tube section and six add-on parts to complete it along with a “slide molded” exhaust pipe.

All ports and hatches are separate parts so they can be posed open. While no interior components for the front lower rear hull or engine compartment are yet present, the hull still provides a rudimentary firewall for the engine compartment, and the various vents and louvers are also poseable either open or closed. Note that all ports have clear styrene inserts as well.

Using the StuG III parts the kit comes with a high level of interior parts, including the gun, commander’s cupola assembly, floor, and the radios and stowage racks for various bits on each side of the casemate. A loader’s machine gun is provided for the kit along with the folding shield and mount.

This kit replaces the “Magic Track” single link tracks with a set of 40 cm DS Plastic track with ice cleats. 14 single links of “Magic Track” are provided along with other links for spares. The zimmerit is nicely done and in the case of this vehicle is not as much of a problem in getting external bits to fit as the Tiger and Panther kits had.

Technical assistance on this kit was provided by Steven Van Beveren, Notger Schlegtendal, Thomas Anderson, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

A total of seven different finishing options are again provided with this kit: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (green stripes over sand, black 113 with crosses); Unidentified Unit, “Gothic Line”, Italy 1944 (tricolor stripes, red 121); Unidentified Unit, East Prussia 1944 (tricolor, black 23 with twin black crosses per side); StuG.Brig.394, France 1944 (green and brown stripes over sand, white A); StuG.Brig. 277, East Prussia 1945 (faded whitewash over tricolor; no skirts); 17 Pz.Gren. Division “Goetz von Berlichingen” Camp, Normandy 1944 (tricolor, “Bruno”, no skirts); Pz.Lehr Division, Normandy 1944 (tricolor, no skirts). A very small sheet of Cartograf decals accompanies the kit.

Overall this is an even better effort than the first one (No. 6520) and should prove popular.

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

Sprue Layout:

  • A 37x2 Pzkw. IV Generic drivers, idlers and return rollers
  • A 81x2 Pzkw. IV Generic road wheels and bogies
  • B 17 Brummbaer - front glacis details
  • C 21 Pzkw. IV Generic Tools and OVM
  • C 28 StuG III - roof and outer casemate details
  • D 3 StuG IV casemate and engine deck with zimmerit
  • E 33 StuG II - floor and interior details
  • F 16 StuG III - Gun mantlet and details
  • G 54 StuG III - smoke grenade launchers and fender details
  • H 57 Engine deck and details
  • J 12 StuG III clear styrene
  • J 7 German Generic Jack
  • K 47 StuG IV fenders and details
  • K 10 German Generic Antenna and tail light set
  • L 8 Pzkw. IV spare road wheels
  • M 32+22 Schuertzen hangers and brackets
  • N 5 StuG III Generic cleaning rods and OVM
  • Q 6 Spare track links
  • R 8 Three muzzle brake styles
  • S 26 Brummaer with zimmerit hull plates and details
  • T 3 Pzkw. IV stern plate and upper bow with zimmerit
  • T 7 Pzkw. IV small detail plates with zimmerit
  • T 12 Pzkw. IV side plates and turret mantlet with zimmerit
  • V 14 “Magic Track” single link tracks
  • X 1 Lower hull pan with zimmerit
  • Y 2 DS Plastic single track runs
  • Z 1 Twisted metal wire
  • WC 6 German Generic Weapons - MG-34
  • MA 63 Etched brass
  • MB 5 Etched nickel shields
  • MC 5 Etched nickel shields
  • MD 6 Etched nickel shields