Platz 1/35 'Girls und Panzer' Panzer IV Ausf D
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Cyberhobby kit|
Girls und Panzer (ガールズ&パンツァー Gāruzu ando Pantsā) is a 2012 Japanese anime television series created by Actas. The animation is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and produced by Kiyoshi Sugiyama. Takaaki Suzuki, who has earlier acted as a military history advisor for Strike Witches and Upotte, has revealed that he is involved in the production of the anime. The series initially aired in Japan between October and December 2012, with two additional episodes airing in March 2013 and an original video animation in production. A manga series by Ryūichi Saitaniya launched in Media Factory's Comic Flapper magazine from June 5, 2012. A 2014 film has been announced.
The story takes place in a universe where girls participate in Sensha-dō (戦車道, lit. "Way of the Tank"), the art of operating tanks, as a traditional martial art. Miho Nishizumi, a girl who has had a bad experience with Sensha-dō, transfers to Ōarai Girl's High School to get away from it. However, soon after joining, the school revives Sensha-dō and Miho, being the only student with any experience in operating a tank, is ordered to take part. Despite being initially reluctant, Miho soon comes to enjoy Sensha-dō again and, joined by her new friends; Saori, Hana, Yukari and Mako, enters a national Sensha-dō championship where they face off against various other schools.
Hey, it could happen....
This is a reboxing of one of Dragon/Cyber-hobby's superlative armor kits, brimming with detail and well over 500 parts. As you can see from the parts layout diagram, there are a considerable number of bits that will make their way into your spares box. Allow me to quote from Dragon on this kit's many features:
- Turret roof rendered w/delicate details
- Turret side-skirt armor produced to scale thickness
- One-piece 3 directional silde-molded turret for Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D
- Side-Skirt door can be positioned open/closed
- Realistically detailed side-skirt armor brackets
- Includes hollowed out undercut on turret bottom
- 5 directional slide-molded commander's cupola authenticall recreates structural details
- Incorporates toothed turret ring in turret interior
- Complete gun assembly w/full detail
- Finely detailed 7.5cm Kw.K.40 L/43 gun
- Rifling inside gun barrel is finely reproduced
- Detailed gun muzzle brake
- Gun sleeve w/delicate weld and bolt detail made from 3-directional slide molds
- Mantlet view port can be modeled open/closed
- Mantlet w/aerial deflector for long gun barrel is new
- Mantlet guard can be removed and gun unloaded as on the real vehicle
- Additional armor for driver's and radio operator's panel
- Driver's and radio operator's hatches w/interior detail and external rubber bump stops
- Driver's interior periscope assembly in fine detail
- Realistic double-layered air intake
- Air-intake covers have option of injection or photo-etched parts
- Side fenders w/tread pattern on both sides
- Fans and coupling modeled in several parts to provide interior detail
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Photo-etched parts for engine-deck exhaust grill
Lower Hull, suspension, wheels:
- Detailed chassis formed from multiple parts w/bolt detail
- Additional armor on frontal hull
- Fine detail newly tooled rear hull
- 40cm Magic Tracks
- Delicate detailed sprocket and idler
- Separate armored cover for final-drive housing
- Realistic suspension w/multiple components
- Transmission system w/excellent detail
The kit has markings for one tank. This is the tank for the main characters in the series from Ōarai Girls High School's Sensha-dō team. Their cartoon logo is an angler fish. They started with a Panzer IV D and upgraded it to an F2 and later an H. The large decal sheet (large for a tank) is nicely printed and includes the five girls from the team. Instructions are in Japanese which is a bit too bad as there is an additional sheet that provides background for the series and there are segments of the sheet where the crew members provide advice. The instructions are pretty crowded as things go so care needs to be taken during construction. The side of the box also provides cutouts of each of the characters with a fold over stand.
Plastic model tank kits and toys based on those within the anime have topped sales charts in Japan, hence Dragon USA's importing of these to the US. It will be interesting to see how these fare.
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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