Dragon 1/35 Panzer IV ausf E 'Tauchpanzer'

KIT #: 6402
PRICE: $59.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


Literally meaning “diving tank”, the Tauchpanzer was a novel German armored vehicle. From July to October of 1940, a total of fort-two Panzer IV Ausf.Ds were converted to operate as submersible tanks for Operation Seelowe (Sea Lion), the planned but unrealized invasion of the UK. The Tauchpanzer could safely operate in water up to fifteen meters deep, and its maximum underwater speed was around 3mph. A few Auf E versions were also converted to Tauchpanzer, the total of these variants converted is unknown. These tanks were only used in combat in their intended role when the 18th Panzer Regiment crossed the River Bug during Operation Barbarossa in 1941.


This 1/35 scale kit is based on Dragon’s superb Panzer IV E, but it includes all the necessary modifications like sealed openings, snorkel tube and exhaust valve to make it into a swimming tank. For added convenience for modelers, separate parts with and without waterproof covers are provided. Another key aspect of this kit is the addition of a Betriebsstoffanhanger, a fuel trailer. Like the tank itself, this small two-wheel trailer with fuel drums has been reproduced in extremely fine detail.

As you can imagine, the number of newly molded bits for this kit is rather long. It includes all of the parts of the trailer  and the fuel drums. There is photo etch as well to help duplicate some of the straps and additional plates needed for the water-proofing. Optional fenders with and without tool mounting holes are provided as are add on side armor plating. All the detail you have come to expect from Dragon is here in this kit. Magic Tracks add to the kit's realism and level of detail. It is interesting to note that the waterproofed gun mantlet and commander's cupola are both made out the same flexible material of Dragon's one piece 'Smart Track' system. This provides a look that cannot be precisely duplicated with standard injected plastic.

Instructions are very well done and rather complex as one would expect from a kit with 950 parts. Just about all the parts on the sprues are used in this build, so a week-end construct it is not. Markings are provided for two tanks in Russia during 1941, with the 6th and 7th Panzer Division, both in overall Panzer Grey. One has tactical number and the other does not.


As with other Dragon Smart kits, this will not be a quick build, but patience and attention to the instructions will result in a model that is second to none in overall detail and accuracy.


August 2008

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. You can get this one from your local shop or on-line at the link.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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