Dragon 1/35 SdKfz 167 StuG IV (mid production)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sturmgeschütz IV resulted from Krupp's effort to supply an assault gun. As Krupp did not build Panzerkampfwagen IIIs, they used the Panzerkampfwagen IV chassis in combination with a slightly modified Sturmgeschütz III superstructure. From December 1943 to May 1945, Krupp built 1,108 StuG IVs and converted an additional 31 from battle-damaged Panzer IV hulls.
The StuG IV became known as an effective tank killer, especially on the Eastern Front.
The StuG is one of my favorite armor types. It is also a type of vehicle that did not go much past WWII as it was a bit of a dead end when it comes to armored vehicles. Much better to have a turret with enhanced crew protection. However, the StuG was a perfect ambush vehicle and most tank encounters were just that.
As one expects from Dragon, the kit is superbly molded using extant sprues from similar vehicles as well as a number of newly tooled bits and pieces. I particularly like the etched metal side skirts that this one offers. I also like that the other photo etch fret that is included is not too extensive. This isn't a kit for a beginner, thanks to the small bits, individual link tracks and the 650 parts that are included. Just to give you a rundown on its various features, I'll let Dragon's PR folks loose:
- Newly tooled
StuG.IV Mid Production fighting compartment authentically reproduced w/extra
- Newly tooled gun mantlet rendered w/realistic cast texture surface detail
- Brand new 40cm Magic Track w/fine detail
- Side-skirt armor plates can be installed separately
- Side-skirt armor produced in metal for scale thickness
- Armor brackets realistically detailed
- MG gun shield accurately reproduced w/bolt details
- MG 34 gun included w/authentic detail
- Optional butt stock realistically reproduced
- Easy-to-assemble upper hull
- Multi-part upper hull offers maximum detail
- Fighting compartment armor w/accurate weld seams
- Optional rain guard on fighting compartment
- Multi-directional slide-molded superstructure
- Radio set and seat included
- Realistically reproduced lower hull made by 2-directional slide mold; bolts and rivets delicately represented on hull bottom
- One-piece gun barrel
- Slide-molded muzzle brake
- Cannon can be elevated up/down
- Gun breech and recoil guard fully reproduced
- Gun sight and hand wheels w/delicate detail
- Recoil and recuperator cylinders accurately represented
- Muffler at the rear w/great detail
- Roof armor w/accurate weld seams
- Screw heads finely reproduced
- Driver's hatch w/interior detail can be assembled open/closed
- Slide-molded engine deck w/bolt detail
- Hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Commander's hatch w/interior details can be assembled open/closed
- Fuel tank is included
- Fenders w/tread pattern on both sides
- Two types of fender frontal segment provided
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Photo-etched parts for engine-deck exhaust grill
- Slide-molded periscope sight made from clear parts
- Commander's cupola periscopes made from clear parts
- Spare-track rack on frontal armor of lower hull
- Duct flaps reproduced w/photo-etched parts
- Detailed idler wheels w/cast texture
- Photo-etched parts for idlers to accurately represent undercut detail
- Road wheels, sprockets, idlers and return rollers authentically reproduced
As you can see, this is a superbly detailed kit and so the instructions are equally complex. However the build illustrations are superbly drawn and if one takes one's time, no real problems should ensue. There are five markings options provided. Starting on the top row is an unidentified unit in East Prussia during 1944. Next is a 10 Panzer Division vehicle on the Eastern Front from 1944. Next is one from the 17th Panzer Grenadier Division at Normandy in 1944. The small decal sheet has one set of number and crosses.
I'm sure that this kit will sell as well as all of Dragon's offerings. Having be a StuG will only add to its desirabliltiy.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. It is available now at your local shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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