Dragon 1/35 PzKpfw IV L/70(A) Final Production

KIT #: 6784
PRICE: $70.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


The Jagdpanzer IV, Sd.Kfz. 162, was a tank destroyer based on the Panzer IV chassis built in three main variants. As one of the casemate-style turretless Jagdpanzer (tank destroyer, literally "hunting tank") designs, it was developed against the wishes of Heinz Guderian, the inspector general of the Panzertruppen, as a replacement for the Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III). Guderian objected against the needless, in his eyes, diversion of resources from Panzer IV tank production, as the Stug III and Sturmgeschütz IV were still more than adequate for their role.

The final production version was the Pak 42 L/70 armed Jagdpanzer IV. In order to send Pak 42 L/70 armed vehicles to the front as soon as possible, in July 1944 Hitler ordered an interim solution to speed up Nibelungenwerke's transition from Panzer IV production to Panzer IV/70 production. "A" stands for Alkett, a manufacturer of the StuG III, that was ordered to redesign theJagdpanzer IV superstructure to be mounted onto a standard Panzer IV chassis. The Vomag design used a modified chassis permitting a very low silhouette, mounting the superstructure onto the original Panzer IV chassis required additional vertical steel plates mounted onto the chassis to counter height differences. The resulting vehicle was about 40 cm taller and lacked the sharp edged nose of the Vomag variant. Only 278 were built by Nibelungenwerke from August 1944 to March 1945.

Now we have another nicely done kit based on Dragon's excellent Panzer IV. This is the Jagdpanzer variant that was a dedicated tank killer and thanks to the lack of a turret, it was able to achieve its success much like later StuG IVs; and that is by hiding in ambush and then quickly retreating to a new position once the deed was done.

This particular kit consists of over 680 parts, thanks in part to the individual track links that look so effective when properly draped over the return rollers. There is also a nicely done photo etch fret, much of it required for the mesh side skirts. These side skirts are provided in rectangular sections and one simply uses the guide that is provided to cut them to the proper shape prior to attaching them to the etched frame. The kit also has a newly tooled hull to properly represent the slightly higher profile of this late war variant. There are many more features to this kit and I will defer to the Dragon PR folks to provide that information:

- Newly tooled hull roof rendered w/bolt detail
- Newly tooled one-piece slide-molded lower hull

- Pz.Kpfw.IV L/70A rendered w/excellent detail
- Gun Travel lock can be assembled in either combat/travel modes
- Vorsatz P mount w/MP44 realistically presented
- Realistic sight rail provided
- Roof hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Gun mantlet made by 4-directional slide mold
- Side-skirt armor plates can be installed separately
- Side-skirt armor (w/photo-etched parts) produced in meta for true-to-scale appearance
- Fully detailed brackets for side-skirt armor produced
- Realistic return rollers included
- One-piece superstructure realistically reproduced w/slide mold
- Brake access hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Gun barrel w/hollow muzzle
- Periscope made from clear part
- Gun sight and hand wheels w/well-defined detail
- Gun breech fully detailed
- Side fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
- Injection-molded fenders made to thinnest possible dimensions
- Both one-piece and separate hinges for periscope cover to allow open or closed assembly
- Flame-dampening exhausts included
- Hatches on engine deck can be assembled open/closed
- Finely detailed rear hull made by slide mold
- Intricate OVM arrangement
- Extendable jack w/separate parts
- Resilient steel road wheels and return rollers
- Sprocket and idler wheels w/delicate detail
- Road wheels and suspension w/multiple components exhibit crisp detail
- Magic Tracks are detailed on all surfaces

There are markings for a single vehicle as shown on the box art. Decals simply consist of insignia as there is no unit information provided as to the lone markings option. Typical of Dragon instructions, this set are well drawn and use Gunze paint references.


Many modelers of the type have wanted a late version of the Panzerjaeger IV without having to resort to aftermarket resin and now you have a very nice one.



November 2013

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