Step 1 – assembling the chassis. You will notice that the radiator group is integrated with one of the spars and is glued here. Almost right behind it is part E41 – the notch in its middle should point to the rear and up. It’s one of the attachment points for the engine block. My advice: align and glue all the spars to one of the girders first, then attach the second one.
The small subassembly in the lower right of step 1’s diagram is the engine alternator, used in the next step.
In Step 2 you will assemble the engine and gearbox. They are both very inaccurate in terms of shape and detail, and the fit is less than good. Ridiculously there is a driveshaft between the engine block and the gearbox – the designer is obviously no a driver.
A year after it’s done I am finally posting the gallery for this model.
Aside from the typical Dragon BS instructions that are supposedly there to keep you alert the only real problem to me is that insane idea of a gun shield. There is no simple way this is getting the proper shape and position the way people at DML HQ see it. And then there are those wingnuts…
The truth is the kit is a solid, high-value, good build that could turn to impressive completion by itself, in a vignette or a diorama. All it needs is a properly dressed gun crew and a few brass shell casings for you to scatter around.
Since I actually did build the thing about a year ago, I’ll post my thoughts about the construction sequence, and especially about the instructions and some peculiarities of the kit.
There are 23 construction steps and though they are logical I built my example in a bit different way. Also, I noted some errors I am discussing below.
Step 1: wheels – lots of them. Assembling the front wheels is no problem. The drive sprockets are handed (different) on the actual machine, but not in the kit. Dragon has issued you with 2 identical assemblies.
Sprue A – 90 parts for the suspension, engine covers and firewall, front lights, fenders, instrument panel, etc.
Dragon has put its favorite slide molding routine through its paces in this kit, and even without it the effort is still rather impressive. The cooling gills on the bonnet halves have been molded through – and most other kits will require a PE set for this. Also, the pattern on the radiator is discernible even if you look through the delicately molded guard grille.
The heat shield for the muffler also has its cooling gills molded as the real deal, so your weathering efforts here will be worthwhile. Delicate suspension parts and mirror supports, as well as lightbulbs molded in the bottom of the headlamp reflectors really contribute to the feeling you’re dealing with first-rate kit.
This kit is fantastic to the point that I am not afraid of building 1/35 anymore. It’s very detailed, yet builds together nicely, fitting pretty well, and looks accurate to boot.
Despite the serious part count building up of the main components/subassemblies is something a modeler can achieve within 8-10 hours. Clean molding means that filling and sanding will be done to a minimum. I’ve only used putty in a couple of spots, which can’t be said for most kits I’ve worked on in other scales (bar Eduard’s MiG-21 MF built last year).
After leading for years with its early model StuG IV, in the spring of 2012 DML has released a kit representing the late variety – a welcome addition to the fleet of German vehicles.
The model is a mix of sprues from existing sprues and a new parts that cater for the parts that are specific to the late production vehicles. Let’s go through the box.
The first thing you notice is that the box is packed with 29 (!) sprues, 4 sheets with metal parts and 216 Magic Link tracks for 1242 parts (if my counting is correct). Sprues are carefully packed together to save space, and putting them back in could turn to be quite the 3D puzzle 🙂