Home > Reviews > Small Scale > Dragon Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn (7292)


Dragon Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn (7292)

by Frank De Sisto

1/72nd-scale injection-molded styrene kit containing 171 plastic parts, two lengths of DS100 tracks, one photo-etched brass fret, seven decal/markings options and six pages of instructions in eight steps.

DML has modified some of the parts from their previous self-propelled 8.8cm PaK43 on the hybrid G.W.III/IV chassis, to make the later version called the “Nashorn”. The wheels on these kits deserve repeated mention since each dual road-wheel and return roller is molded as one piece, with the proper separation achieved through the innovative use of slide-mold technology. To ease painting, the hubs are separate parts that should be added after they and the main parts are painted in their respective colors. This technique has also been used to produce an opened muzzle brake.

Being an open-topped vehicle, the Nashorn has quite a “busy” gun compartment. DML has done a fine job of capturing this aspect of the vehicle, while also providing some options including opened or closed ready-round ammunition racks and a gun that elevates and traverses. The compartment’s rear doors are separate and can be depicted opened or closed. Aside from ready-rounds in their racks, there are also three separate rounds. The remainder of the compartment is detailed with tool and equipment boxes and lockers, AA machine-gun mounts (but, unfortunately, no MG34s), radio, antenna mount, MP40s, internal gun travel crutch and stiffeners for the superstructure side plates. The gun mount is very nicely done and includes seats, sights, hand-wheels and operating spring cylinders.

The walls of the fighting compartment are commendably thin at the top, because the part is engineered with a very subtle bevel. Unlike many other bevels, this one is positioned very low down on the part, so it will not be easy to see once all stowage is in place. The jack and its block as well as head-lamps, spare track storage racks, exhaust pipes, tow hooks, hand-holds and external gun crutch are all separate parts with very nice detail. The driver’s compartment hatches and forward visor can be shown opened or closed, while the two small view-ports on either side of the driver’s hood are separate parts, ensuring sharp details. The final option is the choice of plastic or etched-brass parts for the engine vents on either side of the fighting compartment.

New parts include the simplified exhaust system which dispensed with the large cylindrical muffler, having only pipes. The area where the muffler formerly resided, on the hull rear plate, is now occupied by new spare wheels and storage racks.

I mentioned the road-wheels earlier; the remainder of the suspension system consists of two styles of Pz.Kpfw.III-type drive sprockets as well as separate final drive housings. The idler wheels are in two halves and there are also boxed-in mud flaps for the rear end. The tracks are each in a single length and are made of the DS-100 material, which can be glued with standard liquid cements.

Overall, the details on this kit are crisp and quite fine. There are no ejector pin marks on any exterior part. Likewise, they are noticeably absent on the interior surfaces of the superstructure panels. There is one pin mark on the insides of the driver’s hatches, but they are above the surface and will sand off in a few seconds. Just about the only thing I’d replace are the molded-on lifting hooks on the superstructure sides. I did a “dry” parts fit check of the major components, and every thing seemed OK. However, the two superstructure side panels will need care where they butt up to the other panel parts.

The instructions are of the “drawn style” and are improved (compared to the Hornisse kit) with a few more steps to make things less confusing. In particular, step 3 has been revised to show the proper position of the gun tube related to the recoil slide. The markings schemes are well-done and include quite a variety of options. Two sets are for H.s.Pz.Jgr.Abt.525 (Army Heavy Tank Hunter Battalion 525), one each is for H.s.Pz.Jgr.Abt.560 and 519. Two sets depict panzerjagers from H.s.Pz.Jgr.Abt.88, while the final example is from an unknown unit. Color schemes range from overall dunkelgelb, to winter white-wash over the base colors. The remaining schemes depict variations of the dunkelgelb base with rotbraun and/or olivgruen stripes, blotches or mottle pattern. One is a late-war hard-edge pattern of olivgruen over dunkelgelb. The decals are from Cartograf of Italy, and have excellent register, detail and color saturation. There will be plenty of left-over decals (especially Tac numbers) for the spares box as well.

This kit has plenty of detail, plenty of options and a fine assortment of finishing options. What more could you ask for? (I know: that’s a loaded question!)

Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.

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