Dragon 1/35 SdKfz 166 Brummbar (early) w/zimmerit

KIT #: 6596
PRICE: $58.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 650+ parts


The Sturmpanzer IV (also known as Sturmpanzer 43 or Sd.Kfz. 166) was a German armoured infantry support gun based on the Panzer IV chassis used in the Second World War. It was used at the Battles of Kursk, Anzio, Normandy, and helped to put down the Warsaw Uprising. It was known by the nickname Brummbär (German: "Grumbler", not "Grizzly Bear") by Allied intelligence, a name which was not used by the Germans. German soldiers nicknamed it the "Stupa", a contraction of the term Sturmpanzer.

A total of 60 early vehicles began rolling off the production line in November 1943, and they are easily identified by the lack of a machinegun in the glacis plate. Unfortunately, this also made them easy prey for tank-killer detachments. These early vehicles were crewed by four men, rather than the five of later vehicles. The driver’s position had the Fahrersehklappe 80 vision port from the Tiger I. These early vehicles were built until December 1943 but most were lost during the Battles of Kursk and Kharkov. Zimmerit appeared on all Brummbär vehicles built up till September 1944.


As most of you know, Dragon has embarked on a program of upgrading many of its kits. Currently, they are concentrating on doing vehicles that wore Zimmerit. This paste was applied to help prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the hull. In the past, replicating this was often time consuming and tedious. Now the Zimmerit is already molded in the hull and looks superb.

I particularly like the etched metal side skirts as they are superbly done and really add to the look of the vehicle. As usual, there have been additional improvements to the kit and those are listed below.

- Unique radial Zimmerit pattern pattern on the front replicate the real vehicle
- Two options of exhaust muffler types available
- Side-skirt armor produced to scale thickness in metal
- StuH. 43/1 L/12 main gun with slide-molded barrel
- Rifling inside gun barrel authentically recreated
- One-piece fighting compartment made by 4-directional slide mold; w/vision port for Brummbär Early
- 2-directional slide-molded lower hull w/Zimmierit on both sides
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Photo-etched part for engine-deck exhaust grill
- Periscope made from clear plastic parts
- Fully detailed gun w/breech assembly
- Gunner's seat w/realistic texture
- Accurately reproduced ball-shaped mantlet and gun mount
- Assembly options provided for fighting compartment hatches
- Interior detail such as hatch supporting arms and scissors provided
- 40cm Magic Tracks w/great details
- Dimensionally correct road wheels
- Road wheels, sprockets, idlers and return rollers authentically reproduced

Instructions provide 21 highly detailed construction steps. Be sure to follow them closely as there are differences depending on whether or not you add the side skirts. Color information is provided with Gunze or Model Master references. There are two markings options, both of them unknown units; one with and one without the side skirts. As so few of these early vehicles survived their initial deployment, it seems that there were few photos. As usual, there are a lot of left over bits for the spares bin.


This adds to Dragon's growing collection of Zimmerit kits and is a subject that I'm sure you will find to be quite interesting. For sure the completed kit will look superb.



October 2010

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. It can be found at your local shop or on-line retailer

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