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Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60

DML 1/35 Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2015 Manufacturer DML
Subject Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6736 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $72.95

First Look

Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60
Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60
Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60
Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60
Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60
Panzer IV Ausf.D w/5cm KwK L/60

By 1939, the German Army had gained combat experience with the the Panzer IV Ausf.A/B/C types and Krupp was starting production of the Ausf.D with a run of 248 examples - more than the total production of all of the previous variants combined. With the Panzer IV Ausf.D came the official acceptance of the type in German service with the designation of Sonderkraftfahrzeug 161 (Sd.Kfz.161).

The Ausf.D retained the low-velocity KwK 37 L/24 main gun which demonstrated its lack of power against the Matilda tank during the Battle of France. This prompted testing of the 5cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun in place of the KwK 37. While testing was favorable and 80 examples were ordered, the fall of France prompted the order to be cancelled. The Panzer IV would not be up-gunned until before the start of Operation Barbarossa with the Panzer IV Ausf.F2, and the plans to reuse the earlier 5cm Pak 38 upgrades were abandoned after the first encounters with the T-34 and KV-1 tanks.

DML has released quite a few kits of the Panzer IV series with no less than five variants of the Ausf.D. This new release represents one of the evaulation tanks that was produced to test the adoption of the 3 cm Pak 38 L/60 gun as main gun for an updated Ausf.D. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 16 parts trees plus lower hull, one tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and two runs of vinyl track molded in tan. As with many of these later variants, DML mixes and matches different sprue trees from previous releases plus a few newly-tooled parts to render the new subject. The result is a number of parts for your spares box when finished.

Some key features of this release are:

  • Very detailed chassis and suspension
  • Detailed bow machine gun
  • Positionable viewports
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Movable turret
  • Detailed turret interior
  • Detailed Pak 38 (modified) main gun
  • Nice exterior details and pioneering tools
  • Positionable rear turret basket cover

Markings are provided for a generic vehicle circa 1942 at St. Johann, Tirol (now Austria).

This kit has a number of small parts to build up the interior and exterior details. This won't be a problem for the experienced modeler who wants to have one of the unique Ausf.D up-gunned prototypes.

My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!

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