Dragon 1/35 Flakpanzer IV 'Ostwind'
KIT #: 6550
PRICE: $63.50 MSRP
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" (East Wind in German) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the Panzer IV tank. It was developed in 1944 as a successor to the earlier Flakpanzer IV/2cm Vierling Wirbelwind.

The Panzer IV's turret was removed and replaced with an open-top, hexagonal turret which housed a 3.7 cm FlaK 43. In addition to its intended role as an anti-aircraft weapon, the fast-firing gun was highly effective against light vehicles and minor fortifications. A closed-top design would have been preferable, but this was not possible due to the heavy smoke generated by the gun.

The Ostwind's main improvement over the Wirbelwind was the FlaK 43's increased range and stopping power over the 2 cm Flakvierling 38 and slightly better armoring on its turret.

Although an order for 100 vehicles was placed in August, 1944, only 44 vehicles were completed (37 converted from existing Panzer IV's and 7 new production vehicles) from December 1944 to March 1945, all work being carried out by Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia.


Earlier, Dragon kitted the Wirbelwind AA tank with the four 20mm. It was only natural that they would also do the 37mm AA tank and now we have it. Not surprisingly, much of the kit is based on their Panzer IV so those who have built one of those kits will find a lot of familiar pieces. Due to that, you will have a lot of spare bits when this is done. What is new on this kit is most of the parts from the upper decking up. As you can see in the features list below, this includes a new upper deck, new turret and a number of other new bits and pieces.

As with previous new kits, this one has two nicely done, though small photo etch frets that are appropriate for the detail being represented. As is often the case, the builder has a choice to use injected plastic in place of the p.e. if he wishes. The kit also includes their Magic Track individual link tank tracks. These are molded in slightly different colors for the left and right, something that is much appreciated. Since the fighting compartment is open, you do get a very nicely detailed gun and mount. Here is the rest from the Dragon PR folks:

- Newly tooled 2-directional slide-molded turret for Ostwind
- Newly tooled photo-etched parts on turret
- Great detail on newly tooled hull rear
- Newly tooled spare barrel case included

- New scale-thickness fighting compartment armor has extra-thin top edge
- One-piece upper hull; 2-directional slide-molded w/new engine-deck design

- Slide-molded one-piece gun barrel w/hollow muzzle
- Turret w/realistic weld seams
- Gun-sight cover can be assembled open/closed
- Turret ring accurately produced
- Delicate gun mounting platform
- Spare-track brackets on glacis plate w/photo-etched and plastic options
- Interior and fuel tank parts for Pz.IV
- Hull reproduced w/internal detail
- Hatches on radio operator's housing can be assembled open/closed
- Spare-track brackets on front of lower hull
- Photo-etched parts for engine-deck ventilation grills
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Injection-molded fenders made to thinnest possible dimensions
- Side fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
- One-piece lower hull made from slide molds
- Hull bottom fully detailed
- Injection-molded OVM w/clasps
- 40cm Magic Tracks are detailed on both sides
- Extendable jack w/separate parts
- Accurately detailed idler adjuster mountings
- Road wheels and suspension w/multiple components exhibit crisp detail
- Complete MG w/workable ball mount
- Return rollers realistically reproduced
- Idler wheels have detail parts
- Final-drive housing w/details on both sides
- Separate armored cover for final-drive housing
- Sprocket wheels w/breathtaking detail and multiple delicate parts

The kit provides five different markings options. Only the top two in the image to the right are known units. These are both assigned to the s.Pz.Abt.507 at Nove Bentaky in 1945. The small decal sheet provides only insignia as these vehicles were apparently pretty much devoid of any markings at all. The Dragon instructions are up to their usual standards with nicely drawn construction steps and paint references using both Gunze and Model Master paints. I am sure there will be a small construction glitch in there as it seems there is at least one in every Dragon/Cyber-hobby kit!


Those who are into mobile AA or Panzer IVs or even just want something a bit different from the norm will find this to be a very nicely done kit. They all wore rather striking camouflage schemes so will look great on your display shelf.

September 2012

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can get this one today at your local retailer or have them order it for you.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note toContributors.

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