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Sd.Kfz.173

Italeri 1/72 Sd.Kfz.166 Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2007 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Sd.Kfz.166 Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7050 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build, nice detail Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $15.00

First Look

Sd.Kfz.166  Kit
Sd.Kfz.166  Kit
Sd.Kfz.166  Kit
Sd.Kfz.166  Kit
Sd.Kfz.166  Kit

The Sd.Kfz.166 Sturmpanzer IV Brummbar (Grizzly Bear) was an adaptation of the Panzer IV chassis to support a 150mm assault mortar on a self-propelled chassis that also provided the crew with a fully enclosed fighting compartment. The main gun was the StuH 43 L/12 gun on earlier production vehicles, but the sheer weight of the weapon caused problems using the Panzer IV chassis. The redesigned StuH 43/1 L/12 gun was fitted to a later mark Panzer IV chassis with greater success in the field.

With a crew of five, plus the size of the weapon itself, there was not much room left inside the vehicle for ammunition. The Brummbar could only carry 38 rounds of 150mm ammo before having to withdraw to reload.

Italeri has released this nice rendition of the Brummbar self-propelled mortar in 1/72 scale. Like most of the kits in this series, this kit is a reissue of the ESCI kit. This is a good thing as the ESCI kits were easy to build and had lots of details to work with.

The kit is molded in styrene and presented on four parts trees, three molded in desert yellow, one in silver. The kit has neither rubberband track nor individual track links. Instead, the ESCI kits would provide styrene track sections for as long as the track was straight, and individual track links where the tracks curve around the drive sprocket and return roller.

If you look closer at these parts trees, you'll see that this is actually a complete Panzer IV kit that includes an addition sprue tree (top) to replace the upper hull with the Brummbar modifications, the additional side skirts, and that big gun.

This kit provies a nice set of details including:

  • Movable main gun
  • Positionable crew access hatches
  • Optional armored side skirts
  • Two ptional figures

Markings are provided for four different vehicles/color schemes. The instructions provide good color and marking profiles for these vehicles and no two are similar in color or camouflage pattern.

Here's another nice addition to the 1/72 collection whether you are a modeler or a war gamer. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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