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Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.A w/Interior - Smart Kit

DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.A w/Interior - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2013 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.A w/Interior - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6687 Primary Media 834 parts (551 in grey styrene, 216 'Magic Track' links, 36 clear styrene, 31 etched brass, 1 pre-bent steel wire)
Pros DML continues with its line of Pzkw. II family kits Cons Daunting number of parts for a relatively small vehicle; consideration should be giving to using DS Plastic tracks for smaller vehicles such as this one
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $52.95

First Look

After several "pre-production" series Panzer II tanks (series a/1, a/2, a/3, and b) the c model basically defined what would become the first full scale production tank. The c was modified with a new transmission in 1937 and essentially embodied what would be the standard tank with the only major external changes being a new bow and a commander's cupola (added during the A/B/C production runs) for the Ausf. F version. A total of more than 1,100 of all four types were built.

While the vehicles were nimble and fast for their time, they were not the weapon of choice and even in the Polish campaign it was discovered they were easily knocked out by antitank rifles. Still, the Panzer II remained in service as a scouting vehicle for some time.

In 2008 DML released their Kit No. 6432, Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C mit Zusatzpanzer, which was one of the remanufactured vehicles with added armor protection. They have now gone back and produced a straight Ausf. A based on their Ausf. B kit (No. 6572) from 2010. Like that it comes with the early thin armor protection and also some odd bits not usually seen, such as the short-lived antiaircraft machine gun for the commander.

As previously noted with Kit 6432, DML has made use of their Marder II, Bison II, and Pzkw. II Ausf. F kits and made the necessary changes for this kit. First and foremost are a new hull with "rolled" lower glacis plate and new springs which more accurately represent the lighter tank ones and not the reinforced self-propelled gun springs which came with the Ausf. F.

As before this kit comes with a full interior. Again it comes with a number of J sprues, with most of the interior parts. Bins and hatches all have separate lids so the interiors can be displayed, but no tools, rations or internal "chaff" is provided for the stowage bins. The model also offers tools with molded on straps and tools without, as well as all of the proper etched brass straps and mounts for affixing them.

The turret sports the original split-flap hatches for the commander as well as the earlier viewer covers for the turret view blocks. The 2 cm is complete and the model uses a complete MG-34 from the generic German weapons sets. This comes with the ground mount for the bipod and ground sights, which should be removed prior to installation but may not be necessary (it uses flaps vice an aperture installation). Note that the AA MG mounts low on the right side of the casemate and not on the turret – I think I understand why this feature was dropped from the original vehicle's "options" list!

 As noted the running gear here does differ from the Marder II, and provides both new springs and mounts as well as new idlers. The kit again uses the "Magic Track" single link type, which may be the one area where the Tamiya kit – with its already ballyhooed link-and-length tracks, retains an advantage. With the links being no larger than a good sized medium tank's tracks in 1/72 DML should give serious thought to making a set of DS tracks for these kits. As usual "Magic Tracks" links differ slightly by color (but the easier way is left side on the header card – left, right side – right.)

Technical assistance on this project was provided by Nick Cortese, Ed Kusiak, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

A total of six finishing options are shown – however all are solid grey: Pz.Rgt. 3, 3rd Panzer Division, Greece 1941 (white crosses, white R02); Pz.Abt. 101 (Flamm), Central Russia 1941 (white crosses, white 300); Pz.Rgt. 18, 18th Panzer Division, Central Russia 1941 (large white crosses, white 704); Pz.Rgt. 15, 11th Panzer Division, South Russia 1941 (black crosses, red dot, white 2); Pz.Rgt. 10, 8th Panzer Regiment, Russia 1941 (white crosses, white II); Pz.Rgt. 25, 7th Panzer Division, Russia 1941 (black crosses, red 14 III). A very nice sheet of Cartograf decals covers these targeted markings.

Overall, this continues the Pzkw. II family. Happily DML has a different box artist for this kit (Filip Zierfuss) and it is a vast improvement over the sorry effort on the B kit!

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

Sprue Layout:

  • A 57 Pzkw. II Ausf. F - upper hull and details
  • B 49 Pzkw. II Ausf. F - turret and armament
  • C 113 Marder II - interior parts and engine
  • C 16x2 Bison II - road wheels and details
  • D 14x2 Pzkw II - road wheels and springs
  • E 9x2 Pzkw II - drivers/idlers
  • F 14x2 Pzkw II - road wheel backing and details
  • G 20 Pzkw II - final drives and spare rivet heads
  • H 5x2 Pzkw II - bump stops
  • J 38 Generic German tools and lights
  • J 12 Generic German tools
  • J 38 Pzkw. II - interior parts
  • L 10/15 Pzkw. II Ausf. B/C springs and idler wheels
  • M 14 Clear Styrene
  • N 41 Pzkw. II Ausf. B/C upper hull and turret shell
  • P 21 Pzkw. II Interior - ammo boxes, magazines, spent casing bags
  • P 108 "Magic Track" links - left
  • Q 108 "Magic Track" links - right
  • S 19 Pzkw. II Ausf. B bow section, early details
  • S 4 Pzkw. II AA MG mount parts
  • X 22 Clear styrene
  • Z 1 hull
  • MA 35 Etched brass
  • MB 1 Pre-bent steel wire
  • RB 9 German Generic Radio - mounting components
  • RD 14 German Generic Radio - radio sets
  • WC 4 German Generic Weapons - MG-34