DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D mit 7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2008||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D mit 7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6330||Primary Media||1,474 parts (1,075 in grey styrene, 288 “Magic Link” track links, 87 etched brass, 23 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire)|
|Pros||Another variant of a relatively small number of tanks; based on a handful of survivors; combines early and “Smart Kit” parts in one kit||Cons||Apparently non-combat vehicle used as a trainer|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$57|
All armies had armored vehicles whose service lives were effectively over as new technologies came on line, so they were either reduced to rear area vehicles, used for tank recovery or special purpose platforms, or upgraded to as close to current standards as possible. The German appear to have taken the few surviving Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D tanks left and upgraded them with the KwK 43 L/48 gun, then assigning most of them for use as tank trainers. But as the war progressed it appears they may have been issued back out and used as combat tanks.
More than 30 years ago the TV show “Saturday Night Live” had a running skit with Dan Akroyd as a sleazy manufacturer named “E. Buzz Miller” who was selling a toy called “Bag O’ Glass” – nothing but glass shards – for children to make things. Upon opening this kit box, it could be called “Box O’ Parts” as it is packed with some 300 more parts than the original Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D “3 in 1" kit (No. 6265) from March 2006. Happily this kit is not as nasty as “Bag O’ Glass!”
DML has combined a number of sprues from their various Pz.Kpfw. IV early models and the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F and later “Smart Kits” to provide a new version of the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D with upgraded “long-barrel” 7.5 cm gun. The kit proclaims it to be the L/43 gun but the reference sources I have indicate that when it was upgraded the gun of choice was the KwK 43 L/48. The difference here is in the muzzle brake and overall length, which is some 10mm longer in 1/35 scale than an accurate L/43 would be. Alas, I do not have good enough plans or measurements to determine (unbuilt) if this is the L/43 or L/48 tube, but as the sprues appear to be from the F2 kit it should be the former.
As with all DML Panzer IV kits, the model comes with a substantial basic turret interior and basket are included, and all hatches are separate pieces with interior detailing. The cupola now consists of an amazing 30 parts with options to display the visors either open or closed, as well as the hatches open or closed. All small details such as pistol ports and access hatches are separate and may be assembled open or closed.
The running gear here is a mixture of “Smart Kit” bogies and wheels with some of the early kit suspension components such as the armored covers included. “Magic Track” with 144 links per side of friction-fit tracks are provided, but as I noted with that kit they are “handed” with the pin heads on the inside and the “keepers” on the outside. They are bagged separately - always remember left side bag - left, right side bag - right. A jig for setting “droop” is also included.
The applique for the upgraded Ausf.D comes on two new dedicated sprues, one for the hull and one for the “schuertzen” on the turret. Brackets and small bits from the Sturmpanzer IV early are included to provide some of the other bracketing as well. The turret is apparently new to this kit (a D shell engineered to fit on the F “Smart Kit” parts) and the “schuertzen” is commendably thin.
A total of three different vehicles are covered in the painting and markings section. They include Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (green and red-brown spots over sand); NSKK, Germany 1943 (sand with “NSKK” and 5D on fenders); and 26th Panzer Division, Italy 1944 (sand overall with no markings). The Cartograf decal sheet very small and targeted.
Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, while I admit to not being able to verify if the kit has the right gun or not, it is a striking variant with the old hull, lots of applique, and the long-barreled gun.
Thanks to DML for the review sample.
- A 84 x 2 IV (wheels and suspension elements) (REDO)
- A 91x2 IV Smart road wheels and bogies
- A 37x2 IV Smart Drivers, idlers and return rollers
- B 32 IV (armored final drives)
- B 24 IV (bow section)
- B 43 IV Smart Turret base and details, gun breech
- C 32 IV Smart OVM and pioneer tools
- C 8 IV Smart Jack and details
- D 88 IV (fenders and details) (REDO)
- E 55 IV hull top (REDO)
- F 44 IV (turret interior)
- F 61 Sturmpanzer IV Early schuertzen hangers, fender details
- F 8 Spare track links
- G 52 IV Smart turret and hull ports, smoke grenade launchers
- H 57 IV Smart Engine deck and details
- J 55 IV D/E Specific Parts
- K 53 IV D mit 7.5 cm Kwk 40 L/43 turret and applique parts
- L 10 Turret “schuertzen” stand-off armor
- L 144 “Magic Track” left side
- P 17 Clear styrene
- Q 25 IV cupola (REDO)
- R 144 “Magic Track” right side
- R 6 Clear styrene
- U 3 Cupola
- X 1 IV lower hull
- Z 1 Twisted metal wire
- MA 19 Etched brass
- MB 56 Etched brass
- MC 12 Etched brass
- TE 4 German generic tools