Dragon 1/35 Aufklärungspanzer 38 (t) mit 7.5 cm Kw.K.
|KIT:||Dragon 1/35 Aufklärungspanzer 38 (t) mit 7.5 cm Kw.K.|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes photo etched parts|
One of the most interesting conversions of the basic Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t) was Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) - Sd.Kfz.141/1. They were used as reconnaissance vehicles fitted with "Hangelafette" turret (20mm KwK 38 L/55 gun and MG42 - used in armored cars) or armed with 75mm KwK 37 L/24 (and MG42) gun mounted in the modified superstructure. Only 50 to 70 Aufklarungspanzer 38(t) armed with 20mm gun were built from late 1943 to early 1944 and only 2 Aufklarungspanzer 38(t) armed with 75mm gun were built in 1944.
An interesting proposal was made by Krupp to mount Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) with Panzerkampfwagen IV's turret, but it proved to be impossible to carry out. German designers also started the development of their own improved version of Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) chassis designated PzKpfw 38(d) but only prototype stage was reached. German design had wider hull and was powered by 210hp Tatra 12-cylinder Diesel engine. It was to be used as a base for various vehicles including those of the E-Series.
This is one of Dragon's kits released under the Cyberhobby.com label. As one expects from Dragon, you get a superbly molded kit that is free from the usual molding glitches, though one does find a few ejector pin marks that will either be hidden after construction or can be easily removed. Once again, with the large number of sprues, it is easier to show the parts layout diagram from the kit.
In line with other kits based on the PzKfw 38 (t), this one includes a full fighting compartment, something especially useful as you can see through the open top with some ease. There are new sprues for the new upper hull configuration as well as a superbly molded 75mm gun.
Photo etch is used sparingly for things like engine cooling screens, tool boxes, heat covers and a few other items that really help spruce things up. A sprue of new slide molded tools and machine guns is part and parcel of the kit. Dragon's superb Kwik Tracks are also includes so you can have the proper sit of the tracks on the rollers. There are a number of other detail items produces specifically for this variant so that you can have the most accurate model possible.
Instructions are superbly printed with Gunze paint references and well drawn construction steps. Smaller detail drawings are provided to be sure you'll get things in the proper place. Markings consist of basic crosses as with only two of these built, I don't think they had time for much else. Both were apparently painted in overall panzer yellow without any other additional camouflage.
As we aircraft modelers like it when a company produces a prototype or little used aircraft, so armor modelers appreciate these limited production armor vehicles. This should make into an interesting addition to anyone's collection and being a 38(t), won't take up a ton of shelf space.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours today at your local shop or ask them to order it for you.
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