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Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.B mit Beobachtungsturm

DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.B mit Beobachtungsturm - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review November 2008 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.B mit Beobachtungsturm - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6295 Primary Media 859 parts (532 in grey styrene, 200 “Magic Link” tracks, 88 etched brass, 36 clear styrene, 3 pre-bent steel wire)
Pros Nice new kit of the early war version of the Panzer II with full interior and all of the bits of the previous kits plus some corrections and modifications; optional position hatches Cons Daunting number of parts for a relatively small vehicle; cannot be built as a regular Ausf. B
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $41.99 via Dragon USA

First Look

The latest “boutique” kit from DML’s affiliate is a modified version of the Pzkw. II Ausf. B with a fixed observation cupola - “Beobachtungsturm” in German – mounted over the commander’s hatch. Permit me to state right up front that the turret has bee modified specifically to mount this conversion assembly and cannot be built as a straight Ausf. B, which is still on most modelers’ wanted lists. The hatch combing inside the cupola is set up for this assembly and is too far forward to convert it over to a straight B.

The kit uses the modified Ausf. B/C kit parts DML created for their last Pzkw. II kit (No. 6432) and their earlier Marder II and Pzkw. II Ausf. F kits with 24 new parts added specifically for this kit. These include the cupola of five parts, another new rolled armor bow with hatch openings in it (thanks to “slide molding”) amd the hatch flaps and hull details for the B model in specific.

As before this this kit comes with a full interior. Bins and hatches all have separate lids so the interiors can be displayed, but no tools, rations or internal “chaff” is provided for the stowage bins. Also as noted the running gear here does differ from the Marder II, and provides both new springs and mounts as well as new idlers. The kit again uses the “Magic Track” single link type, which may be the one area where the Tamiya kit – with its already ballyhooed link-and-length tracks, may have the advantage on it. But so far other than tedium I have not heard too many complaints about the “Magic Tracks” other than figuring out which run is left and which is right!

(Hint: left side on the header card – left, right side – right.)

The 2 cm is complete and the model uses a complete MG-34 from the generic German weapons sets.

The kit does have a large amount of leftover parts due to the use of the Marder, F and B/C sprues, but most do appear to be useful with light armor projects.

Technical assistance on this project was provided by Ed Kusiak, Thomas Anderson, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

A total of two finishing options are provided: two different (or so it would seem) Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (either Panzer Grey with white outline crosses or black with white outline). A tiny sheet of Cartograf decals is provided.

Overall this is another odd choice for a member of the Pzkw. II family, but I think (and hopefully one is coming from DML instead) a straight B model of the tank would have been a better choice of subject.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 57 Pzkw. II Ausf. F - upper hull details
  • B 48 Pzkw. II Ausf. F - turret and armament
  • C 113 Marder II - interior parts and engine
  • D 14x2 Pzkw II - road wheels and springs
  • E 9x2 Pzkw II - drivers/idlers
  • F 14x2 Pzkw II - road wheel backing and details
  • G 20x2 Pzkw II - final drives
  • H 5x2 Pzkw II - bump stops
  • J 38 Generic German tools and lights
  • J 38 Pzkw. II - interior parts
  • K 5 Beobachtungsturm parts
  • L 10/15 Pzkw. II Ausf. B/C springs and idler wheels
  • M 14 Clear styrene
  • N 42 Pzkw. II Ausf. B/C upper hull and turret shell
  • P 100 “Magic Track” links - left
  • Q 100 “Magic Track” links - right
  • S 19 Pzkw. II Ausf. B parts
  • X 22 Clear styrene
  • Z 1 hull
  • MA 87 Etched brass
  • MC 1 preformed etched brass
  • MC 3 pre-bent steel wire
  • RD 14 German Radio Generic - radio sets
  • WC 4 MG-34