Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw II ausf B
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Panzer II, developed by Germany in the 1930s, was an improvement over the Panzer I, but it was still seen only as a stopgap measure in Germany’s goal of creating a powerful tank force. The Panzer II was widely used in early campaigns of WWII such as the invasion of Poland, the Low Countries and France, but by 1943 it had ceased production and the Panzer II chassis was being converted to other uses. At a maximum of only 16mm thick, the steel armor on early tanks proved inadequate. The main armament of most Panzer II variants was the 2cm Kw.K30 L/55 cannon and a coaxial MG34, although the main gun was mostly ineffective in the antitank role. A crew of three (commander, loader/radio operator and driver) operated the Panzer II. A 140hp six-cylinder Maybach HL 62 TRM engine powered the small tank to a maximum speed of 40km/h. The first series-production model was the Ausf.A, which appeared in July 1937. Sporting only superficial changes, the Ausf.B superseded it in December of the same year.
Those of us who like light tanks or early war stuff will be delighted at this new release from Dragon. It incorporates many of the well-known, high quality parts from some previous Panzer II kits, but with a number of new mold pieces specifically for this variant. Those who have built other versions of this kit know that it is not a curbside and comes complete with a fully detailed interior. Of course, there is a bit of modification needed to do this version, but experienced builders have come to expect such things from modern tank kits. As with most Smart Kits, this one includes separate Magic Track track links as part of the near 600 pieces that are included in this one. Here is a full rundown of the features of this kit:
- Newly tooled AA gun mount w/MG34 included
- Completely new upper hull for Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.B
- Newly tooled Pz.Kpfe.II Ausf.B turret
- Full of compartment interior details including the newly designed MG ammo storage, floor texture, radio equipment etc.
- Authentic details on turret bottom
- Fully detailed engine deck and fenders
- Gen2 MG34 w/gun mount
- 2cm Kw.K 30 gun w/correct detail
- Slide-molded gun barrel w/hollow muzzle
- Driver's visor can be displayed open/closed
- Rounded frontal hull fully detailed
- Well-defined detail on ZF-4 scope
- Antenna trough correctly done w/photo-etched brackets
- Photo-etched exhaust shield realistically produced
- Engine compartment ventilation grills exquisitely detailed
- Fenders w/detailed tread pattern
- Fuel tank reproduced w/firewall assembly
- Driver's hatch can be positioned open/closed
- Detailed suspension system
- Air filter w/delicated detail
- Photo-etched jack brackets w/accurate jack
- Accurate details on hull bottom
- Detailed drive sprockets
- Road wheels and return rpollers rendered w/full detail
- Detailed idler wheels
- Detailed injection-molded on-vehicle tools w/brackets
- Additional set of on-vehicle tools without brackets
- Highly detailed Magic Tracks
Markings for no fewer than seven different tanks from the 1940-42 time period are included. All of them are in overall Panzer Grey. This includes, in no particular order, 5./Pz.Rgt.35, 4 Pz Div Eastern Front 1941; Pz. Rgt.15, 11 Pz. Div. South Russia 1941; Pz.Rgt. 18, 18 Pz. Div Central Russia 1941; Pz. Rgt. 3, 2 Pz div, Greece 1941; I./Pz. Rgt. 24, 24 Pz Div, South Russia 1942; Pz. Abt 101 (Flamm) Central Russia 1941; 1./Pz.Abt.zBV40, Denmark 1940. The instructions are typical of Dragon and very well drawn.
If you like light tanks as much as do I, then this is one you should seriously consider getting. The Panzer II was quite prominent in the early war and despite its poor armor and light armament, was quite effective.
Dragon web site
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite shop or on-line store.
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