DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.162 Jagdpanzer IV/70 Late Production Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.162 Jagdpanzer IV/70 Late Production||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7293||Primary Media||155 parts (152 in grey styrene, 2 DS plastic tracks in tan, 1 turned aluminum barrel)|
|Pros||Beautifully rendered kit with optional parts and parts selection; “slide molded” details very well done||Cons||Tracks are cut too long to allow for sag and thus require attention; a good deal of RP (right puny) parts will require a good deal of care for installation|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.95|
The Germans got into a bind in regard to tank destroyers, as towed antitank guns quickly showed their limitations on a mobile battlefield. As a result, they were one of the first nations to move a good number of guns to self-propelled mounts using redundant tank chassis. Of all of the early war antitank guns, the most effective were the 5 cm PaK 38 and 7.5 cm PaK 40. But as the war progressed, they needed longer range and greater penetration to deal with Soviet tanks.
As the war went on, their most prolific and flexible chassis was that of the Pkzw.IV. So as a result, it was the standard chassis for mounting many antitank guns as things tended to get worse in the East. The first dedicated antitank vehicle, the Jagdpanzer IV (also called the Sturmgescheutz neuer Art mit 7.5 cm PaL L/48 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV or Sd.Kfz.162) entered production in January 1944. Based on the Sturm IV design but with heavier, angled armor at the bow and on the sides, other than armored protection it offered little over the contemporary Pkzw.IV Ausf.H and J tanks, which still retained the same gun in a revolving turret.
The next stage was the Sd.Kfz.162/1 variant, also called the Panzer IV/70, which switched from the PaK 40 design to the 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 used in the Panther. This vehicle came in two models: The (V) made by Vomag, which used the standard Sd.Kfz.162 chassis, and the (A) from Alkett which used a similar casemate mounted on a standard Pzkw. IV tank chassis. The former was ballistically a better design with heavier protection, and it entered production in August 1944. They saw action during the Battle of the Bulge when at least 137 of the 930 built were available for combat. As time progressed, the design was simplified to speed production, and the late models were only fitted with steel road wheels on the first two stations per side and three return rollers.
DML’s kit of the late model vehicle is a small gem, with a lot of use made of their “slide molding” technique to provide nice touches such as exhaust pipes with interior details. The kit also has a wealth of very tiny (right puny) parts but some relief is offered. The kit has two engine decks – one requiring a lot of detail work and providing separate hatches, tools, etc. and another one-piece section that comes with most detail molded on. There is also a good deal of underside detail to the single-piece fender and engine deck mount molding, but it does have a good number of ejection pin marks. Happily, most of those will be hidden by the tracks.
While no “schurtzen” skirts are provided, the kit comes with all of the mounts for them. Both plastic and aluminum gun barrels are provided, along with a full selection of wheels. The lower hull is nicely done with the correct three return roller mounts, but there are two holes in the belly which appear to be used for the pre-built versions that come mounted on a small diorama base. These will need filling for the diehard “right belly” fans.
The road wheels come in the now-standard two-wheel molded units with separate faces, as well as a set of nine solid-steel road wheels. Four are required for a standard late production IV/70, but as some were seen with more DML has provided for “mix and match” replacement.
Other details include periscopic sights and viewers.
Markings and painting instructions are included for five different vehicles: unidentified unit, Hungary 1945; unidentified unit, Germany 1945; Pz.Abt.655, Germany 1945; and two more unidentified units in Germany, 1945.
Note that some parts require drilling holes in the model and are only called out by an odd little icon showing what looks like a ball writer tip.
Overall this is a nice little kit and one with a tremendous amount of detail for its size.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.