DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.164 Hornisse Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Kit Number||7234||Primary Media||191 parts (172 in grey styrene, 17 etched brass, 2 in tan DS 100 plastic)|
|Pros||First kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene; amazing amount of parts for a kit WITHOUT separate track; very nicely done detail work||Cons||Gun is very involved and will take a great deal of care to assemble correctly; brass ammo racks will require care in assembly; tracks are slightly too long and will need cutting|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.95|
When DML blew its first attempt at the Nashorn and Hornisse ten years ago (and this reviewer missed its major boo-boos) many modelers were quite upset and unforgiving of the errors and problems. DML, to their credit, provided some immediate correction to the mistakes and three years ago put out very well done ground-up corrections to those kits. Most modelers were forgiving of the first kit in light of the new one.
Now DML has done the same in 1/72 scale, using the research that produced the two new kits. The first variant offered is the Hornisse (early model Nashorn) and it is an amazing kit for its size. DML has managed to provide nearly all of the details that come on the larger model in a 1/72 scale kit, and includes etched brass as well.
The kit provides the Gw III /IV chassis and also many of the parts that will go with the other (probably) three partners for this kit – the Nashorn and an early and late Hummel – in two sets of drivers, exhausts, and associated details. Two different travel locks are provided but while the directions show a separate forward barrel section for the late-model (part F12) it has been gated off and is not present in the kit, so you will have to get another kit to get the later barrel.
The gun consists of some 12 parts, with the rear half of the breech split horizontally rather than vertically; if neatly assembled and sanded down with a "Flex-i-File" this should cause no problems and does remove the pesky ridge along the top of the barrel.
The wheels come pre-molded in pairs and with a separate center; this idea has been popular, for it permits neat painting of the tires and center sections separately to provide a clean separation line.
Brass parts are included for the fighting compartment floor ammo chest (along with three single 8.8 cm rounds) and also for the side cooling air louvers.
There is bad news and good news on the tracks. According to Al Boone (who is working on one right now) the bad news is that the tracks are too long and must be cut down. The good news is that they are made out of DML's DS 100 glueable vinyl plastic, and so cutting them down is not a problem as it is relatively easy to simply cement them to the wheels when done.
Six different finishing options are provided: s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 525 (four variants) and s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 560 (two variants).
Overall this an elegant little model and should please many German fans in providing a first-class kit in 1/72 scale.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.