Dragon 1/35 Panzerjäger I (early)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Smart kit with photo etch bits and individual track links|
The Panzerjäger I ("Tank Hunter I") was the first of the Panzerjäger designs for German tank destroyers in the Second World War. It was based on the converted chassis of the Panzer I Ausf. B and was armed with the Skoda 47 mm PaK L/43 anti-tank gun. The Panzerjäger proved to be a cheap and fairly effective solution to help counter French tanks, and served to extend the usable lifetime of obsolete Panzer I tanks.
As with most early tank destroyers, the crew was highly vulnerable, their only protection coming from a frontal gun shield; the gun also had a very limited traverse.
202 Panzer I tanks were converted, 132 by Alkett and 70 by Skoda. The Skoda conversion is recognizable by its seven-sided gun shield versus the Alkett model's five-sided shield.
They were first used in France, and continued to see action in North Africa and on the Eastern Front. After being replaced by better self-propelled guns in 1943, the Panzerjägers were relegated to missions patrolling occupied Europe such as operations against partisans in the Balkans.
The Panzerjäger's formal name was 4.7cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I. The (t) stands for "tschechisch" (German for "Czechoslovakian") and the (Sf) stands for "Selbstfahrlafette" (German for "Self-propelled carriage").
Let me quote from Dragon on all the detail features of this kit:
- Newly tooled multi-piece upper hull and engine deck for authentic details
- Newly tooled one-piece fighting-compartment armor made by 3-directional slide-molds
- "Ultra-Slim" injection-molded armor plate
- New fighting-compartment interior w/photo-etched parts
- Easy-to-assemble upper hull
- Engine deck exquisitely detailed
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Realistic ammo box, gasmask container, radio and first-aid kit included
- Photo-etched engine deck stowage bracket
- Delicate ammo boxes w/finely detailed crewman's seat
- Realistically reproduced brake cooling pipe w/fine detail
- Upper hull view port can be assembled open/closed
- Driver's vision port can be displayed open/closed
- Lower hull formed from multiple parts for greater detail
- Side fenders w/detailed tread pattern
- MG bracket finely represented by photo-etched parts
- Muzzle brake reproduced by slide molds
- Delicate 4.7cm PaK(t) reproduced
- Gun breech and recoil guard fully reproduced
- Fully detailed gun w/breech assembly
- Gun sight in fine detail
- Realistic elevation mechanism allows gun to elevate
- Gun shield comes w/bolt detail
- PaK(t) gun carriage accurately represents the real one
- Driver's compartment interior includes details such as instrument panel, transmission, battery and driver's seat
- Ammo box including ammunition rounds can be shown open/closed
- OVM w/molded-on clasps
- Hollowed exhaust pipe w/photo-etched exhaust cover
- Coil spring suspension has fine detail
- Intricate idler wheels accurately reproduced
- Realistically reproduced road wheels w/photo-etched rings
- Highly detailed suspension system
- Magic Tracks in great detail
As you can see, that is a lot of stuff and that is what helps to make this such a great kit.
Markings are provided for seven vehicles in a variety of camouflage schemes though the predominant color is panzer grey. Across the top from left to right:
Pz.Jg. Abt 521 in France during 1940, Pz.Jg.Abt 670 during the same time, Pz.Jg.Abt 'LAH' on the Eastern Front in 1941, Pz.Abt.521 at Stalingrad in 1943, Pz.Jg.Abt 643 in France during 1940, Pz.Jg.Abt 670 also in France during 1940 and finally Pz.Jg.Abt 4, 14 Pz Div at Stalingrad in 1942.
In all, an outstanding kit with everything you need to make a superb model of this widely used fighting vehicle.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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