Dragon 1/35 SdKfz 234/4 Panzerspahwagen
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The combat experience of the existing 8-wheeled armoured cars during the German invasions of Poland and France, indicated some deficiencies in the current design. Therefore, in August 1940 an improvement program was started, based on a new set of requirements learned from these combat experiences. The result was the SdKfz 234.
Developed from the Büssing-NAG SdKfz 232, design of the Sd Kfz 234 began in 1940. It was to have a monocoque chassis with eight wheels, like its predecessors, and an aircooled engine for use in North Africa
Chassis were built by Büssing-NAG in Leipzig-Wahren, while armoured bodies were provided by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke of Krefeld and turrets by Daimler Benz in Berlin-Marienfelde and Schichau of Elbing, with engines from Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG of Nesseldorf.
The /4 version with the 7.5 cm Pak 40 was built in very small numbers, but used on both fronts.
These big armored cars have been a popular subject with modelers for a long time. This one is particularly nice as it offers a bit gun without having to sweat tracks and road wheels. It comes with a very detailed suspension and since it is an open topped vehicle, you get a well appointed interior. The gun is also superbly detailed as you'd expect from Dragon. A rather neat option is that you can pose the wheels in something other than straight ahead. This vehicle could turn both the front and rear sets of four wheels.
Here is a full list of options:
- Authentically recreated suspension and steering assembly.
- Wheels made from multiple parts for maximum details
- Exhaust pipe can be optionally assembled on either left or right.
- One-piece upper hull complete with weld seams and bolt pattern.
- Three directional slide-molded hull bottom provides superb detail.
- Slide-molded side fenders for Sd.Kfz.234/4
- One-piece chassis frame is slide molded to give finer detail.
- Detailed spare tire mount.
- Wheels can be adjusted to different positions.
- Wheel hubs are finely detailed.
- Wheels made from multiple parts for maximum details.
- Engine deck ventilation louvers with open or closed option.
- Detailed instrument panel and radio face.
- Drivers vision ports can be assembled open/closed.
- Working gun travel lock.
- Interior details of PaK 40.
- Detailed breech can be assembled open or closed.
- Both front and rear steering controls superbly reproduced.
- Delicate PaK 40 mount reproduced.
- Interior details on escape hatches are accurately modeled.
- Stowage box molded on fender.
- Double-layer ultra-thin gun shield with rivets.
- Finely detailed front engine compartment cover.
- Transparent parts for vision ports contribute to great interior detail.
- Detailed transmission cover.
- Authentic multi-part muffler.
- Cleaning rods and on-vehicle tools reproduced.
- Additional on-vehicle tools without clasps.
- 2 types of plastic ammunition shell casting, ammo tubes (open/closed) and metal cases.
- Three kinds of slide-molded muzzle brakes.
- Extendable jack made up of separate parts.
- Ammo boxes can be assembled open or closed; optional loaded or unloaded ammo rack inside.
Markings are provided for four vehciles. All of them are unidentified units from various parts of the shrinking fronts in 1945. All have different camouflage schemes so you are sure to find one that you like. The decal sheet consists of instrument dials for the interior as well as a set of generic plates and a selection of numbers so you can do your own.
For those who have a liking for wheeled armor, this is would be an excellent choice. It is not only a pretty good size, but has all the detail you expect from a Dragon AFV kit.
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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