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Flakpanzer IV Ausf.G w/Zimmerit

DML 1/35 Flakpanzer IV Ausf.G w/Zimmerit - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer DML
Subject Flakpanzer IV Ausf.G w/Zimmerit - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6746 Primary Media 646 parts (586 in grey styrene, 21 etched brass, 19 clear styrene, 18 "Magic Track" single links, 2 DS Plastic track runs)
Pros New variant of this kit makes numerous small changes; uses new mold Flak 43 gun and mount; uses slide molded turret halves like the previous Wirbelwind kit Cons No zimmerit; comes with DS Plastic track runs
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

As the war situation worsened for the Germans, more and more emphasis was placed on mobile air defense weapons to protect troops and weapons systems. But they also needed some armor protection for the crew, as often they found themselves dealing with ground troops. The solutions were found in using the Panzer IV chassis as it could support a large turret and reasonable weaponry. Two different designs, the Wirbelwind with the 2 cm Flakvierling 38 and the Ostwind with the 3.7 cm Flak 43, were designed and prototypes built in the summer of 1944. But neither one had a long production run – totals for the Wirbelwind were only 122 units from conversions and 43 for the Ostwind (36 conversions and 7 new construction).

Fourteen months after releasing their late-model Ostwind kit (No.6550) DML has finished the series out with the early conversion on the Panzer IV Ausf. G chassis with Zimmerit. The pattern on the hull suggests they based it on the preserved Wirbelwind at Camp Borden, Ontario, Canada.

Note that neither of these weapons - either the Ostwind or Wirbelwind – had zimmerit on their turrets as it would add weight and would have slowed it down when traversing, a problem most armored turrets had when tracking enemy air targets.

The kit swaps out a large number of parts from the late-model kit to match the early conversions on the G hull with Zimmerit. There are 53 parts with zimmerit applied in the kit, but some are for gun tanks and therefore superfluous.

The kit uses the tried-and-true mid production Panzer IV running gear on four sprues. The upper hull again consists of a deck and framework with applique sides, front and rear engine intake components and fenders.

All ports and hatches are separate parts so they can be posed open. This kit provides more of an interior than most DML Panzer IV kits with what appears to be ammo lockers and braces inside the hull. The firewall for the engine compartment is also included. The bow also comes with the machine gun and ball mount. Note that all ports have clear styrene inserts as well.

Like its predecessor the turret is a DML gem; they split it vertically at the joint between the front four panels and the elongated rear two. The upper sections are respectively thin - DML's "Razor Edge" moldings – and the joint here is easier to hide than the old horizontal splits used by Monogram and Tamiya. The upper turret race fitting for the upper race is molded as part of the front section, a truly unique design.

The 3.7 cm Flak 43 is their new-mold weapon. The main gun comes in a single piece with slide molded barrel and flash hiders. But unlike past DML antiaircraft gun offerings, if carefully assembled this one appears to offer free elevation. Some things are ill explained; parts Q49 and Q17 appear to be charging or barrel change handles but no directions are given as to which is which; they are just shown as "either/or" items. A large catch bin is formed from styrene braces and etched brass basket sides. Four ten-round clips are provided.

This kit has only a tiny sheet of etched brass and goes back to the earlier Smart Kits that rely on better styrene moldings.

Tracks are now the single DS Plastic runs which some modelers do not like (the others do not like "Magic Track" snap-together-then-cement types so you cannot win.) 18 "Magic Track" single links are provided as spares for the front glacis rack.

Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Thomas Anderson, Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Four finishing options are provided: s.Pz.Abt.507, 1945 (three color banding) and three "Unidentified Unit" ones with different tricolor schemes. A small sheet of Cartograf decals is provided (three crosses) but again none of the examples given uses them!

Overall, this is a "complete the record" kit for late production German self-propelled AA guns.

Thanks to Freddie Leung 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 37 Ostwind - turret base, seats, basic fittings
  • C 21 Pzkw. IV - OVM, pioneer tools
  • D 38 Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind - turret race, internal fittings
  • E 25 Pzkw. IV Ausf. H - OVM, turret components
  • E 29 Pzkw. IV - upper hull parts, sides, upper glacis
  • E 8 Upper glacis, hatches, braces
  • F 2 Pzkw. IV - fenders
  • G 56 Pzkw. IV - turret and hull ports, smoke grenade launchers
  • H 57 Pzkw. IV - engine deck and details
  • J 1 Pzkw. IV - main upper hull
  • M 15 clear styrene
  • Q 1 Ostwind - 3.7 cm Flak 43 gun
  • Q 57 Ostwind - Flak 43 mount, ammunition clips
  • R 4 Clear styrene
  • S 29 Brummbaer Zimmerit - small details
  • T 3 Pzkw. IV Zimmerit - front and rear panels
  • T 13 Pzkw. IV Zimmerit - hull sides, turret parts
  • T 7 Pzkw. IV Ausf. G Zimmerit - front and rear panels
  • V 18 "Magic Track" single 40 cm links
  • X 2 DS Plastic 40 cm track runs
  • Y 1 Lower hull pan with Zimmerit
  • Z 2 Ostwind - turret halves
  • MA 18 Etched brass
  • MB 3 Etched brass