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In-Box Review
135
Panzer IIC Mineroller DAK
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by: Robert Blokker [ FAUST ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

After WWI and the arrival of the tank on the battlefield the tactics changed dramatically. And a lot of countries started to experiment and design new ways of putting the armored menace to a halt, which delivered to the world the landmine. Soon these new inventions would be used all over Europe. Some to prevent tanks going directly at their goal. To be used to slow down enemy advance or guide the enemy to a clear field of fire for AT guns. And they were often used to protect fortifications as it was a relatively cheap and easy method to secure a perimeter around your important bunker.

Now this in term proved to be a bit of a problem to solve for the forces encountering the landmines as they needed to be detected, cleared and or otherwise made inactive. A task that in the early days was put in the hands of the sapper who had the ungrateful and time consuming task of finding them by probing with a stick or knife, digging them out and making them inactive. A highly dangerous task as the mine could easily turn you into pink mist when something was not done correctly, but it also placed the sapper in a vulnerable position for the enemy to take potshots at. This meant that most countries started to experiment with a more mobile form of mine clearing and a whole range of specialized vehicles sprung to life, often used by the engineers to clear the path for the troops. WWII Germany had a whole range of these specialized vehicles. Some specially made for this task but more often than not the role ended up in the hands of the vehicles that were not suitable for the job they were officially designed for.

Which brings me neatly to the Panzer II C of this review.
At the time WWII rolled around the block the Panzer II C, which was officially designed for battle, was pretty much only useful for supporting the infantry and reconnaissance. Even up-armoring did not make them more suitable to go out with the big boys. Eventually it was one of the first chassis’ the Germans used in different roles as self propelled guns like the Wespe and the Marder II. And, as one picture proved, as a mine clearing tank in Africa.

The kit

The Panzer II base kit for this one of a kind version is exactly the same as the up-armored Panzer II DML released a few years back as kit# 6432. Minus the decals, and the jerry can rack with jerry cans seems to have disappeared too. As is usual with Cyberhobby’s white box releases the box is filled with several sprues from several different kits to make the designated vehicle. And the box is very full indeed for such a small vehicle. There are several sprues that come from their earlier released Panzer II kits like the B,C the F and the Marder II. Along with some new sprues, PE, tracks and clear parts.

In total you will find 516 parts in the typical grey styrene Cyberhobby/DML use, spread over 18 sprues. 2 bags with Magic track single track links, 101 PE parts divided over three frets. Three pre-bent pieces of metal wire. A preformed shovel blade holder and 45 clear parts on three sprues. One decal sheet with a selection of decals and the well known instruction booklet DML offers with all their kits, showing the assembly in 24 steps.

Suspension and hull:
The lower hull tub comes as a one piece mold with sidewalls molded onto the floor with holes in the bottom where the suspension fits into. The axles for the return rollers are also molded on the tub. On the bottom you will find 5 inspection /maintenance hatches which will only be seen when you place the vehicle upside down, but still a nice detail. The kit comes with brand new leaf springs for the suspension which are way more suitable for this vehicle then the reinforced leaf springs from their Marder kit. However the kit comes with two leaf spring sets so pay attention to which one you actually use. Also nice is that the kit comes with new idlers.

The tracks are the Magic Tracks which have no pushout marks and are ready to assemble. Watch out though and don’t open the bags at the same time as these are handed tracks, right and left. They are distinguishable by the fact that each bag holds a separate color of styrene with one being slightly darker, so pay attention here that you don’t mix them up as that could cause problems eventually.

The road wheels and return rollers each have really nice details such as very small weld lines and lettering on the tire sides. As is usual with DML kits the lettering says Continentau which of course needs to be Continental but due to copyright issues they changed it in such a way that if the modeler wants it the correct way he or she only needs to slice the right leg of the U to get the L. Keep in mind that the tires are not that big for a Panzer II so the work can be pretty finicky.

The back plate and frontal armor are added to finish the tub. The upper structure is, again, pretty much molded as one piece with the fenders. A lot of details like hatches, armor plates with vision ports, antenna with a nicely rendered antenna tray and stowage bins are to be added to it. The exhaust is really well executed and the PE mesh that goes over it really finishes it off.

Interior:
Yes it does come with an interior, a lot of it comes from the Marder II C sprue (kit# 6262). The floor comes from the Panzer II F kit. Also included to kit out the interior are the RD sprue which holds two very nice radio sets, the J sprue which holds the firewall parts along with the air filter. All in all you will find that the kit supplies you with enough to fill the inside of the vehicle with a full interior, bar the engine. From the transmission to the driveshaft to the aforementioned air cleaner everything is there. There are a few pushout marks but the clever people at DML hid them where they won’t be visible after the build.

The Turret:
Another fine point to this kit is the turret. The turret is molded as one piece without the bottom plate with the ring. Again the kit provides a full interior for the turret, most of which can be found on the B Sprue and finished off with the clear parts that make up the vision ports. Also on sprue B is the retrofitted commanders cupola of the Up-armored Panzer IIC. The 2 cm gun is very nicely rendered and with the slide mold technology there is no need to drill out the barrel. However the small holes in the supressor are molded, but not through and through. So if you care for every detail you either have to drill them out or replace it with an AM barrel. The MG is one of their brilliant Gen2 offerings. All the workings of a Panzer II turret are there which makes for a pretty cramped turret. Almost unbelievable that a commander could be in there as well.

The Mine Rolling device:
Finally we ended up with what separates this panzer II from the rest; the mine rolling device. This is a mixed media affair where you have to combine styrene with photoetch. The styrene parts are to be found on 5 sprues labeled with “K” but one of them holds different parts. The stranger among the K-Sprues holds the bar that attaches to the tank onto which you add the arms of the roller and the housings, which the adjustment springs for the rollers themselves attach to. The other K Sprues have the wheels and axles and the height adjustment springs. The arms are completely made of photoetch.

The four biggest parts of the arms are to be folded in “C” irons which are held together by smaller PE parts that need to be bent as angle irons. A lot of the parts here are very large which will not be a problem for the more seasoned modeler that has access to a bending device like a Hold-n-Fold. But for those not in possession of such a tool may have a problem indeed, as it will be neigh on impossible to get clean folds by using flat nosed pliers. Also the instructions are rather vague with where exactly the whole contraption is to be attached to the front of the tank. There is exactly one arrow that points to the middle of the front plate and that’s about it. So some care with alignment and such is needed.

Instructions and Decals:
As I have not yet started building the kit I can’t comment much on the accuracy of the instructions more of that will come to light in the build log. The instructions provide you with one painting option when it comes to color…. Sand… from an unidentified unit in Africa in 1942. The only decal option featured here is in the form of 2 black “R’s” on the turret sides.

Accuracy:
I checked it up with several references and 1:35 drawings I have of the Panzer II and, even though they do not agree fully with each other when it comes to dimensions and angles, the kit seems to match up pretty well. The interior of both hull and turret do match up very good as well with the reference I have available. The new leaf springs are very nice and do match what was on the II C.

All the pioneer tools are available double in the kit, one with the tool clamps molded on and one without where you spice them up with clamps from PE in the kit. The details are nice and crisp and in the places where they belong, along with weld lines and nice bolt detail. All is there to keep the detail painter happy. If you buy this kit in the hopes of making a standard Panzer II C you will be disappointed as the way this kit is engineered with all the up-armored parts almost integrally molded onto the kit the only version you can make with this kit is the up-armored (Zusatzpanzer) Panzer II C.


Conclusion

With only one vehicle like this to be known that existed this release fits right into the style of Cyber Hobby with their long line of “one off’s”, and they make the best of it. The amount of parts for this little vehicle is staggering. A very good interior (don’t know yet how much is visible of that in the end). Sadly you have to raid the spares box to fill the vehicle and it’s storage bins with personal stuff from the tank crew. Another fun point is that since the contents of the box comes from multiple other releases from Dragon it will also be a nice extra for the spares box, if you see the amount of parts not to be used in this kit you will know exactly what I mean.

Overall the kit is quite accurate, the details are very good as can be expected from this company. The only problem I can see from this point is with beginning modelers who buy this kit but are not in the possession of a bending device like an Etch Mate or a Hold-n-Fold as the PE parts for the mine roller device will prove to be a serious problem to get it right, straight and nice looking. Still looking at what you get and the quality of the kit I’d recommend this kit highly. And am looking forward to building it.
SUMMARY
Highs: Very unique subject. Impressive detail. Full interior. Lots of spare parts.
Lows: The PE parts for the roller device will be very hard to do without the right tools.
Verdict: Very nice and complete release.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6752
  Suggested Retail: $ 49.99
  Related Link: DragonUSA item page
  PUBLISHED: Jul 15, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.50%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Robert Blokker (FAUST)
FROM: NOORD-HOLLAND, NETHERLANDS

Started modelling when I was about 7 or 8 years old had a little break in between (school, girls partying) and eventually returned when finding this site in 2002. Main interest WW2 German army, wheeled vehicles and radio and communication troops or every other thing that manages to catch my interest...

Copyright ©2017 text by Robert Blokker [ FAUST ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Nice review Robert! I wasn't quite expecting the roller arm frames to be composed entirely of PE, but it looks like they are going to be very impressive when properly formed.
JUL 15, 2012 - 05:33 PM
Robert, what about the sprocket and the tracks? Are sprockets with 25 teeth or 26? In Bison II kit the sprocket is correct but it doesnt fit the tracks, which were designed for wrong sprocket.
JUL 24, 2012 - 05:06 PM
@Jeremy. Thanks for the comments. I agree. Fiddly as the arms for the mineroller may be I think they will look awesome when finished. @ Roman. I have to check that out tomorrow. I heard similar stories from a fellow modeler. But that was after i submitted the review. I will come back at that. And if needed update the review
JUL 24, 2012 - 05:38 PM
@ Roman I checked the sprocket visible in my pictures and that one has 26 teeth. But also visible in that picture is another set of sprockets. I'll check that when I get home. But I will also check which set you actually have to use according to the instructions.
JUL 25, 2012 - 02:02 AM
@Faust; Nice review, Robert! Looks like this one should get onto my stack and get built! Of course, as there seems but one of these ever built that all of our kits must sport exactly the same paint-scheme (barring where you add your dirt!) and perforce look like clones. "How boring, that!" @Roman: Uh oh. Is this another one of those odd track issues? So which Magic Track set and which sprocket wheels did the D / CH use here? I somehow find it hard to imagine that the D created "new tool" another set of Panzer II Magic Tracks just for this kit... IF CH took those tracks AND that 26-tooth "correct count" sprocket from the Bison II kit, I would guess that we'll get the same maybe subtle mismatch of track-pitch and sprocket apparently seen therein! IF D created a NEW 26-tooth with different pitch to better meet that of the track set - great! As Robert noted, there IS a 26-tooth sprocket here... I'm not sure which - a sprocket short one tooth from real but fitting with the tracks supplied in a kit and thus making a nice, "easy install" running gear which will look good without fuss (but which will tease the accuracy-minded and tooth-counters), OR a "correct-count" sprocket which creates accuracy but which needs surgery and fuss to fit its tracks - is the better deal. Bob
JUL 25, 2012 - 08:21 AM
Bob, I cut few teeth on my Bison and then glued them back when the tracks were set at place >) This is not noticeable on the finished model.
JUL 25, 2012 - 10:15 AM
@ Bob. Lol. So much for diversity. Still with only 1 photograph available of this vehicle there is some freedom. We don't know how long it served and what happened to it during his service life. Maybe the vehicle was transferred from europe in panzer grey. Slowly being revealed by the sandblasting of the desertyellow. During non working hours the crew dressed it up as a bedouin tent (we all know the stories right ) for all i know in a moment of boredom the crew painted Rembrandts Nightwatch on the shadowside of the vehicle Options enough Id say. On to more serious matters. I checked the building manual and it lists both sprockets as option you could use. One is the standard type. The other is thereinforced type with a lot more bolts added to the toothed rim of the sprocket. One thing they have in common though is the fact that they have 26 teeth. So at least the correct number. I can't comment yet on how the tracks are going to fit yet. That will be a detail that will pop up during the built.
JUL 25, 2012 - 04:38 PM
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