Dragon 1/72 Panzerfahre (second prototype)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
In its combat operations during WWII, the German Army faced countless water obstacles, especially in the undeveloped tracts of Russia. Many attempts to overcome such water tributaries were made, and one of them was via amphibious vehicles. Though not as well known perhaps as the Landwasserschlepper, one of these amphibious vehicles was known as the Panzerfähre, which translates as “armored ferry.” This vehicle was essentially an armored amphibious tractor that was designed as successor to the aforementioned unarmored Landwasserschlepper. The Panzerfähre (PzF) was designed to work in pairs, with a self-floating pontoon nestled between them. In this way, they could ferry vehicles and light tanks across water obstacles. The PzF utilized the hull of the Panzer IV. However, as Germany’s tanks gained in weight as the conflict wore on, plans for the Panzerfähre were dropped in 1942 as it wasn’t capable of carrying the heavier tanks then being produced. All in all, only two prototypes were completed, and the Panzerfähre never entered series production. Both examples saw service on the Eastern Front from mid-1942 onwards.
Take a Panzer IV running gear and attach it to an all new upper and lower hull and you have the Panzerfahre. Well, there is a bit more to it, but that is the basics. As you know, the Panzer IV has a bunch of road wheels. Well Dragon has made this part of things a bit easier by providing separate inserts. That means you can pretty well paint the tire area without having to sweat slopping paint onto the wheel itself. The kit also includes Dragon's excellent DS tracks. Here is a full list of details from the Dragon folks:
- Panzerfahre Gepanzerte Landwasserschlepper is authentically produced.
- Chain links on front and rear of hull.
- Rivets on upper hull are detailed and realistic
- One-piece DS tracks reproduced.
- Idler wheels with correctly detailed parts.
- Air intakes accurately presented.
- Commander's compartment intricately produced.
- Spotlights exhibit extreme detail.
- Detailed assembly with 3D-designed engine exhaust mufflers.
- Well-detailed cable drum.
- Crane is intricately represented.
- Sprocket wheels with breathtaking detail.
- Road wheels and suspension with accurate details.
These two vehicles were painted in two shades of grey with most of the deck and upper hull painted in a lighter shade. I know the box art shows the raft, but that is not included in the kit. There is a small decal sheet that provides white insignia.
Looks like Dragon has decided to do a bunch of the less usual subjects when it comes to recent kits. These are most welcome to those of us who like to build something that is different from the norm, and this one surely fits in.
Dragon web site May 2013
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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