Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw II aust A
|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
Those who are more serious followers of armor kits than I probably knew this one was coming. What Dragon has done is basically taken sprues from their previously kitted Panzer II and their Bison II kits and combined what was needed to provide this kit. In other words, there are no new tool bits in this one (at least none were listed on the box). "But what about the interior?". That can easily be explained by the Bison II kit. That is an SPG and so does not have a fully covered fighting compartment. That would mean that Dragon had to provide an interior as it could be seen from the outside.
A very nicely done interior it is as well. It includes a full driver's compartment as well as the transmission and a bunch of other areas inside. This includes the radio system as well as ammo storage. Most of the photo etch is for the interior, this includes the storage bins for the ammo. The large piece is the guard over the exhaust muffler. Other small bits are used for the main gun and other areas. The kit also comes with three wire 'grab handles' to go along the side just above the fenders.
The two guns that come with the kit are the main 20mm cannon and an MG 34 coaxial machine gun. As you'd expect from a kit with a full interior, the complete guns and their mounting hardware are included in the kit. It makes for a very busy fighting compartment and I'll be willing to bet that most tankers who operated these vehicles were not tall people. This kit also has individual link Smart Tracks. They are color coded for left and right sides which will help with construction.
Decals are provided for six vehicles. All are from 1941 and all are in overall panzer grey. They are, from the top left; 11 Panzer Division, South Russia; PzAbt 101 (Flamm), Central Russia; 8 Panzer Division, Russia; 2 Panzer Division, Greece; 18 Panzer Division, Central Russia; 7 Panzer Division, Soviet Union. Decals are nicely done and show no registration issues.
Those who like their Panzers small and with a ton of detail cannot go wrong with this 580 part kit. The end result will be an excellent model to add to your display shelf.
Dragon web site
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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