Dragon's 1/72 scale StuG IV Late will be
available online from Squadron.com
Just the other night I was watching the "Last Days of WWII" series on the
History Channel and marveling that somebody recently found color German
newsreels of the Wehrmacht digging in to defend the Seelowe Heights from the
Soviets. One of the vehicles they had color shots of in a late-war three color
scheme was the relatively rare late model StuG IV.
The StuG IV was an odd duck, created in the summer of 1943 to meet German needs
after a heavy bombing of the Alkett factory basically ended production of the
StuG III. The Germans mounted the casemate of the StuG III on the standard Pzkw.
IV chassis to create the vehicle. While some could argue that it didn't make
much sense to create a limited traverse vehicle carrying the same weapon as a
tank, the Germans used their StuG weapons for different functions and purposes.
It also provided them with at least parts compatibility with their primary tank
of the period.
1,108 StuG IV vehicles were built new between December 1943 and March 1945 plus
31 conversions from Pzkw. IV tanks; while the Nibelungenwerke produced the
converted Pzkw. IV models , Krupp produced only StuG IV vehicles after January
1944. The vehicles used Ausf. H chassis until July 1944 and then changed over to
the Ausf. J chassis. The model depicts one of the later models with the J hull
and twin exhausts.
DML has done a beautiful job with this kit, and it is another example of the
moldmaker's art. The model comes with separate OVM, hatches, engine access
hatch, and a rough-out 7.5 cm gun. The gun has DML's now traditional pre-bored
muzzle brake (done by sliding a pin through the sprue runner when molding.)
For ease of painting tiny wheels, DML has really exceeded themselves. Each wheel
set comes molded as one pair with the disk part molded separately; the modeler
can thus paint the tire section black and then camouflage the centers, resulting
in an easy and clean method of getting the wheels painted. A Plus for that one!
Tracks are the new DS plastic gluable vinyl, one section type, so many modelers
will be happy not to wrestle with link-and-length units here.
The directions are not for beginners, as many steps appear to be assumed, such
as how to assemble the road wheel bogies.
The model does not come with any brass parts or Schuertzen shields, so some
modelers may be unhappy that they have been left out.
Finishing options are sparse; two vehicles are given with only "Balkenkreuz"
markings, one in Yugoslavia Spring 1945 and one in Germany 1945. Based on the
one seen on TV, however, they do not appear to have gotten too many fancy
markings at that stage of the war.
In summary, this kit is a gem, and will please many small-scale fans.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2005 by Cookie
Page Created 08 May, 2005
Last updated 08 May, 2005
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