Home > Reviews > German WWII > Dragon Jagdpanzer IV A-0 in 1/35 scale (9059)


Dragon Jagdpanzer IV A-0 in 1/35 scale (9059)

by Frank De Sisto

Contains: 555 styrene parts (including 240 individual-link tracks and four clear parts), one photo-etched brass fret, two paint schemes and eight pages of instructions in 16 steps. Price: $37.95 USD.

The prototype Jagdpanzer IV A-0 has been available for a number of years as a resin conversion for the Tamiya kit, from Scotland’s Accurate Armour. Not being a very “hot” subject, it is puzzling as to why DML would release this version. Be that as it may, if you like these low, sleek Jagdpanzers, this kit may be for you.

It is based upon the re-tooled components from previous DML Pz.Kpw. IV kits and includes a finely detailed lower hull pan as well as a fine suspension system with individual link tracks. Beware however, since the lower hull is designed for use on a number of variations of the Pz.Kpw. IV chassis and as such there are several spots that will need to be filled or sanded, depending on the version the kit is meant to represent. There is a glitch here as well: the hub caps for the road wheels do not match the type seen in photos of this Jagdpanzer, so they’ll need replacing. This is odd, since DML probably has them in their “system” of Pz.Kpw. IV kits. There are also un-used parts such as the entire front plate, L70 gun tube, command antenna mount, gun tube cleaning rods and “Flammentoeter” muffler system from previous Panzerjager kits. These can be consigned to the spares box, where I am sure they will come in handy.

The upper hull and superstructure is all new, as are the gun and mount, hatches and bow armor section. All superstructure hatches can be opened and are devoid of knock-out pin marks. Clear periscope parts are provided for that extra bit of finesse. The two conical swiveling cover plates for the pair of MG42 ports are separate and can be left open. If doing so, a pair of well-done MG42s are provided featuring separate receiver covers. The main gun features the option of a one-piece plastic tube or a turned aluminum tube. To either one is attached a slide-molded muzzle brake with internal locking collar detail. The new mantlet features very fine cast texture and there are two sizes of numerals attached to the “B”-sprue that can be shaved off and used as foundry numbers. The outer mantlet also features the four holes at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions for the set screws; these are a tad soft due to molding constraints, so the modeler should tidy them up with a drill bit. But, it is a detail that does indeed show that the manufacturer cares.

Probably the feature that will most raise eyebrows is the new fret of etched brass. It features the entire set of Schurzen plates as well as mounting brackets. These should not prove to be daunting to those with some experience with etched brass, while the novice may wish to pass on using them. Regardless, it is nice to see that DML has gone to extra lengths to provide for a complete mulit-media product. The Schurzen arrangement as shown in the photos of the assembled model on the kit box’s side matched the photos on page 9-17 in Panzertracts No. 9, where the first three sections are to the same level, with the fourth larger section mounted with the top edge slightly higher. So far, so good. However, the last plate was the same size as the others, so its bottom edge should also be higher. The problem is that the plate itself is too large, leaving its bottom level with the others. Cut it down or replace it with styrene. Still, DML spent time on this feature; it’s too bad they dropped the ball at the last minute.

The instructions are well drawn and since this is a fairly straightforward vehicle, there ought to be little in the way of problems. The markings by Cartograf of Italy, feature the “Schulungsfahrzeug” legend seen on photos of the vehicle as well as insignia for the 130. Panzer-Lehr Division, where it is thought this type may have seen service. There are also four Balkan crosses and a set of tac numbers. There are other photos of this vehicle with the numbers “244” on the superstructure sides, which is not covered in the instructions. Both vehicles mentioned were painted in overall dunkelgelb, while I have no reference for the Panzer-Lehr vehicle. Finally, all photos of this type show that Zimmerit was applied, there was spare rack stowed on the glacis, and two road wheels stowed on the rear part of the hull. Other photos show the track on the hull rear in place of the road wheels, which were moved to the top of the engine deck. If modeling “244” leave the Schurzen off; if modeling “Schulungsfahrzeug”, use them, after modifying the last section on either side.

DML has filled yet another small gap in their ever-expanding line of kits based on the Pz.Kpw. IV. In the end, this kit may be viewed as a fine example of what DML can do when they mix a bit of the old with a bit of the new. However, had they been slightly more careful, this would have been an excellent OOTB build.

Recommended with reservations.

DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.