Dragon 1/35 Sturmpanzer Ausf.l als Befehlspanzer
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sturmpanzer was a development of the Panzer IV tank designed to provide direct infantry fire support, especially in urban areas. The result was the Sturmpanzer, which used a Panzer IV chassis with the upper hull and turret replaced by a new casemate-style armored superstructure housing a new gun, the 15 centimetres (5.9 in) Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 developed by Skoda. It fired the same shells as the 15 cm sIG 33 heavy infantry gun. Thirty-eight rounds, with separate propellant cartridges, could be carried. It used the Sfl.Zf. 1a sight. The combined weight of the shell and cartridge (38 kilograms (84 lb) for an HE shell and 8 kilograms (18 lb) for a propellant cartridge) made the work of the loader arduous, especially if the gun was elevated to a high angle.
An MG 34 machine gun was carried that could be fastened to the open gunner's hatch, much like the arrangement on the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G. Early vehicles carried a MP 40 sub-machine gun inside, which could be fired through firing ports in the side of the superstructure.
The driver's station projected forward from the casemate's sloped frontal armor plate and used the Tiger I's Fahrersehklappe 80 driver's sight. The fighting compartment was (badly) ventilated by natural convection, exiting out the rear of the superstructure through two armored covers. Sideskirts were fitted on all vehicles.
Early vehicles were too heavy for the chassis, which led to frequent breakdowns of the suspension and transmission. Efforts were made to ameliorate this from the second series onwards, with some success.
In October 1943 it was decided that the StuH 43 gun needed to be redesigned to reduce its weight. A new version, some 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) lighter than the StuH 43, was built as the StuH 43/1. Some of the weight was saved by reducing the armor on the gun mount itself. This gun was used from the third production series onwards.
Zimmerit coating was applied to all vehicles until September 1944. This particular kit is an early variant based on the Panzer IV G. It is a radio tank so has the additional antenna used on these variants.
This is pretty much an upgrade of a previous kit produced by Dragon. The Brummbar was one of the first kits Dragon produced with the molded on zimmerit and so it is an old friend to many. It uses photo etch for the side skirts, fender areas, radio antenna mounts and a few other small items. The kit also uses Dragon's excellent DS tracks. While perhaps not quite a detailed as individual track links, these are just as easy to paint, easier to install and have excellent detail. Using these also keeps the parts count down to 400 instead of the usual 600+ with separate track links.
One can have the commander's hatch open as well as hatches in the back. There is no interior to speak of but you do get a very complete gun that includes the interior mount and breech area. If you do not wish to add the side skirts, you do not need to, but these are very nicely done from aluminum so they can be dented up if you wish.
Instructions are well done. There are several areas where some modification of extant parts is required and this is clearly shown. While two markings options are provided, no unit information is given. These vehicles were in a base color of panzer tan, often with camouflage applied in various patterns with green and/or brown. The small decal sheet is basically just insignia.
For many modelers, the Brummbar is a neat vehicle. This provides the opportunity to build a relatively rare variant of this vehicle. It also can be built as a regular sturmpanzer by simply leaving off the additional antenna. If you missed this kit in its earlier incarnations, you now have the opportunity to pick it up.
September 2015 Thanks to for the review kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page