DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.167 StuG IV Late Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.167 StuG IV Late||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7260||Primary Media||126 parts (124 in grey styrene, 2 in tan DS plastic)|
|Pros||Very clean and "modeler friendly" kit; nice selection of features and options; amazing structure on wheel assembly; separate tools and OVM||Cons||No brass included, tiny parts not beloved by all modelers|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$8.95|
Just the other night I was watching the "Last Days of WWII" series on the History Channel and marveling that somebody recently found color German newsreels of the Wehrmacht digging in to defend the Seelowe Heights from the Soviets. One of the vehicles they had color shots of in a late-war three color scheme was the relatively rare late model StuG IV.
The StuG IV was an odd duck, created in the summer of 1943 to meet German needs after a heavy bombing of the Alkett factory basically ended production of the StuG III . The Germans mounted the casemate of the StuG III on the standard Pzkw. IV chassis to create the vehicle. While some could argue that it didn't make much sense to create a limited traverse vehicle carrying the same weapon as a tank, the Germans used their StuG weapons for different functions and purposes. It also provided them with at least parts compatibility with their primary tank of the period.
1,108 StuG IV vehicles were built new between December 1943 and March 1945 plus 31 conversions from Pzkw. IV tanks; while the Nibelungenwerke produced the converted Pz.Kpfw.IV models , Krupp produced only StuG IV vehicles after January 1944. The vehicles used Ausf.H chassis until July 1944 and then changed over to the Ausf. J chassis. The model depicts one of the later models with the J hull and twin exhausts.
DML has done a beautiful job with this kit, and it is another example of the moldmaker's art. The model comes with separate OVM, hatches, engine access hatch, and a rough-out 7.5 cm gun. The gun has DML's now traditional pre-bored muzzle brake (done by sliding a pin through the sprue runner when molding.)
For ease of painting tiny wheels, DML has really exceeded themselves. Each wheel set comes molded as one pair with the disk part molded separately; the modeler can thus paint the tire section black and then camouflage the centers, resulting in an easy and clean method of getting the wheels painted. A Plus for that one!
Tracks are the new DS plastic gluable vinyl, one section type, so many modelers will be happy not to wrestle with link-and-length units here.
The directions are not for beginners, as many steps appear to be assumed, such as how to assemble the road wheel bogies.
The model does not come with any brass parts or Schuertzen shields, so some modelers may be unhappy that they have been left out.
Finishing options are sparse; two vehicles are given with only "Balkenkreuz" markings, one in Yugoslavia Spring 1945 and one in Germany 1945. Based on the one seen on TV, however, they do not appear to have gotten too many fancy markings at that stage of the war.
Overall this kit is a gem, and will please many small-scale fans.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.