Yesterday I have paid visit to Dave’s Hornet Hobbies store again. I must say that every time I visit that place I feel like a kid in the candy store. This time I picked up 3 kits that I brought home and of course I have spent some time inspecting them yesterday – Dragon’s Panzer IV/70 (A), Tiger I Mid version (Winter 143 Production) Command Vehicle by the same producer and T-26 by Hobby Boss. In the next few posts I will try to summarize my impression from these kits, starting with the Panzer IV/70 (A) aka Jagdpanzer.
Open bottle of champagne and sound some fanfare… This kit was announced almost 2 years ago and then it mysteriously disappeared from the news feed from Dragon for long time. Not sure what has happened, I really needed that kit about a year ago, but finally I had to use the L70/(V) version instead (Tristar has released their version of the vehicle in the meantime but as much as I had high expectations of it, I was deeply disappointed with the quality).
So now finally the kit is here and it is a real treat for modelers. It is typical Dragon stuff all around. Dragon has of course leveraged their previous molds, so if you have any of their Panzer IV range, you know what I am talking about. It is just getting better with every single kit. The level of details is superb, quality of molding is unmatched and if I should judge based on my own experience, “buildability” should be also first class. It is one of those kits, that when you take them out of the box, you will have trouble putting them back. A lot will be left for your spares box. I have counted three sets of metal frame tubes for Thoma schurzen included in this kit, and they are actually hollowed at the ends.
I am little concerned about the side skirts as the provided pre-cut mesh feels little too stiff, hopefully some annealing will help. One thing I noticed in the instruction is that this mesh has edges made of photoetch parts which are to be bent into U-shaped profile so that the mesh fits inside the groove. Dragon has very conveniently provided a jig to do this, making the shaping much easier. The jig consists of two parts – one into which you insert the photoetch piece and the second part, which you then press from the into the first part shaping the photoetch piece in the process. Lovely!
I would prefer if Dragon would offer photoetch replacements for the molded-on toll brackets, but apparently the company is targeting modelers that want to avoid playing with photoetch parts (and German tool brackets are one of those lovely miniature pieces that fly so nicely when catapulted by tweezers…)
Number of markings are offered for the kit, with and without skirts, camouflaged as well as one plain dark yellow. Could you wish for more?
You can find more information about this kit on Dragon’s website here.