DML 1/72 Jagdpanzer IV L/48 Early Production Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2006||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Jagdpanzer IV L/48 Early Production||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7276||Primary Media||140 parts (136 in grey styrene, 2 etched brass, 2 in DS plastic)|
|Pros||Nice, new kit of this vehicle using DML's excellent series of Pzkw.IV based kits and parts; single piece etched brass side skirts bound to be popular||Cons||DS tracks will require adjustment, but since they cement up using plastic cement should not be a major drawback|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$11.95|
While the StuG III series of vehicles provided the Germans with a good all-around weapons system, the Pzkw. chassis was pretty much at the end of the line for further stretching, so the Germans then moved to change over to the Pzkw.IV chassis in late 1943. The initial vehicle, the StuG IV (Sd.Kfz. 167) was a good all around vehicle, but it was considered something of a waste as the chassis only carried the same gun found in the turreted Pzkw. IV models H and J. It also had the same basic problems with armor protection as the StuG III when used as a tank destroyer.
An alternative version, the Sturgescheutz neuer Art mit 7.5 cm PaK L/48 auf Fahrgestell Pzkw.IV or Sd.Kfz. 162, was proposed instead at the same time as the interim StuG went into production. The new vehicle, more colloquially referred to as the "Jagdpanzer IV L/48" (as an even more powerful version, designed to make use of the more powerful KwK 42 7.5 cm L/70 gun, was in the works), entered production in January 1944 and a total of 769 were built through November 1944, with changeover to the Jagdpanzer IV/70 beginning in August 1944. It used much thicker and more heavily sloped armor protection to assist it in its defined tank destroyer mission.
DML has now produced a kit of this vehicle using a mixture of bits from other Pzkw. IV kits in its 1/72 stable as well as new sprues. This is actually the standard production variant with interlocking hull sections and not the early model or "0-serie" with a rounded casemate.
The model uses both new molds for the casemate front and the gun itself, with slide molding providing both a simple barrel as found on the prototype as well as a muzzle brake for the standard production versions. (Both the early model mantelet with straight edge and the production version with scalloped left edge are provided, so a prototype version may well be in the works as well.) The muffler also comes with a hollow "slide molded" exhaust pipe.
This kit only comes with the detailed engine deck with separate doors, which translates as a lot of RP (right puny) parts to go on it.
Most people will be happy to know that it comes with one-piece side skirts, either in styrene or etched brass. All of the mounts are styrene, but it makes it easier to mount either choice rather than separate sections.
While all hatches are separate parts, there is no interior and only the most rudimentary internal mounting for the gun assembly.
Markings and finishing instructions are provided for four different vehicles: Pz.Jg.Abt. 228, 116th Pz. Div, Normandy 1944; Pz.Jg.Abt. 12, 12th Pz. Div., Normandy 1944; unidentified unit, Germany 1945; and Pz.Gren.Div. "Hermann Goering", East Prussia 1944.
Overall this is another nice kit and goes well with the previous DML Jagdpanzer IV/70 kit.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.