Dragon Sd.Kfz. 164 Hornisse (7234)
by Cookie Sewell
1/72 Scale Armor Pro Kit; 191 parts ( 172 in grey styrene, 17 etched
brass, 2 in tan DS 100 plastic); price US $10.95
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene; amazing
amount of parts for a kit WITHOUT separate track; very nicely done detail
Disadvantages: gun is very involved and will take a great deal of care
to assemble correctly; brass ammo racks will require care in assembly;
tracks are slightly too long and will need cutting
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all small-scale German fans
When DML blew its first attempt at the Nashorn and Hornisse ten years
ago (and this reviewer missed its major boo-boos) many modelers were quite
upset and unforgiving of the errors and problems. DML, to their credit,
provided some immediate correction to the mistakes and three years ago
put out very well done ground-up corrections to those kits. Most modelers
were forgiving of the first kit in light of the new one.
Now DML has done the same in 1/72 scale, using the research that produced
the two new kits. The first variant offered is the Hornisse (early model
Nashorn) and it is an amazing kit for its size. DML has managed to provide
nearly all of the details that come on the larger model in a 1/72 scale
kit, and includes etched brass as well.
The kit provides the Gw III/IV chassis and also many of the parts that
will go with the other (probably) three partners for this kit –
the Nashorn and an early and late Hummel – in two sets of drivers,
exhausts, and associated details. Two different travel locks are provided
but while the directions show a separate forward barrel section for the
late-model (part F12) it has been gated off and is not present in the
kit, so you will have to get another kit to get the later barrel.
The gun consists of some 12 parts, with the rear half of the breech split
horizontally rather than vertically; if neatly assembled and sanded down
with a "Flex-i-File" this should cause no problems and does
remove the pesky ridge along the top of the barrel.
The wheels come pre-molded in pairs and with a separate center; this
idea has been popular, for it permits neat painting of the tires and center
sections separately to provide a clean separation line.
Brass parts are included for the fighting compartment floor ammo chest
(along with three single 8.8 cm rounds) and also for the side cooling
There is bad news and good news on the tracks. According to Al Boone
(who is working on one right now) the bad news is that the tracks are
too long and must be cut down. The good news is that they are made out
of DML's DS 100 glueable vinyl plastic, and so cutting them down is not
a problem as it is relatively easy to simply cement them to the wheels
Six different finishing options are provided: s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 525 (four
variants) and s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 560 (two variants).
Overall this an elegant little model and should please many German fans
in providing a first-class kit in 1/72 scale.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.