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In-Box Review
135
Pz.IV L/70 (A)
Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70 (A)
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

history

From August 1944 to March 1945 , Germany constructed 278 Pz.Kpfw.IV L/70(A) (Sd.Kfz.162/1) also known as the Jagdpanzer IV/70(A), were made. A low profile tank killer based on the Pz.Kpfw.IV chassis platform, was originally designed to replace the Pz.Kpfw.IV and StuG Brigades. With slow production rates and opposition Inspector-General of the Panzertruppen, the Jagdpanzer IV/70(A) was never created in the mass numbers that were hoped and resulted in having little outcome on the results of the war. Most of the L/70(A) served primarily on the eastern front as an anti-tank support for regular panzers.

The Kit

From the first opening of the box, you notice this is what we have come to know from all of Dragon’s Pz.IV smart kits; power packed box of parts. Upon looking at the parts legend, you notice straight away the over abundance of extra parts included in the kit. Close to half of the parts included in the kit are marked in blue on the legend and classified as not used. The kit boasts “over 680 parts" in the kit. I counted 714 not including the photo etch sheet marked “MA” that are to be used.

Upon inspection of the parts trees in the box, all parts are crisply molded and free from flash. There are 25 sprues, the lower hull section, one packed photo etch sheet, six metal mesh schürzen side skirts and two bags of Magic Track links.

If you are accustomed to constructing any of Dragon’s Panzer IV Smart Kits, then the entire lower end will be very familiar to you with exception of the added front road wheels and return rollers molded to depict the steel road wheels of the Pz. IV L/70 (A).

The superstructure section of the kit includes all the characteristics of the Pz. L/70(A) and all hatches from the engine deck to the commander’s hatch can be modeled in the open or closed positions. There is a lack of interior parts to this kit, however, the detail on the 75mm L/70 breech fills the empty void as seen through the commander’s hatch.

After receiving this kit, I needed to research the Pz.IV L/70(A) to compare likenesses to the original. Along the way a couple of small, quirky items arose. One being the mantlet fit issue that was brought up on a number of forums. This part originally did not fit into the front armor plating resulting in a small section of the front plate needing to be removed. One of the first things I did was test fit this part to the front of the superstructure. It fit like a glove. DML apparently has corrected this problem…no need to worry about this with kit no.6689.

The second item I came across was an issue with the rear plate. This is the part listed as N18 and installation of this part is actually missing from step 4 and is shown installed in step 5 of the instructions. The kit is missing part C8, which has the reinforcing triangles on each side for the rear tow hooks. DML provided the sprue from the late Ausf.J kit with the vertical exhaust which has part N18 on it but is missing the reinforcing triangles as it is for use with the hulls with the sides extended for towing. As part of this review I have attached a snippet of the instructions from DML’s Panzer IV Ausf.J Mid Production kit no.6556 to help explain what the problem is. In this picture you can see the triangular pieces attached to the part labeled C8.

To correct the problem you have essentially 3 options:

1 – Use part B1 from the kit and scratch build the small triangular tow hook supports from Styrene strip stock and then add the rivets to represent the bolts that hold this piece on.

2 – If you have built previous and saved the spare parts left over from one or more of these DML kits; Panzer IV Ausf.J Mid Production kit no.6556, Pz.Kpfw.IV Panzer IV Ausf. J Initial/Early Production kit no. 6549, Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J Last Production kit no. 6575 or the 3.7 cm Flak 43 Flakpanzer IV “Ostwind” kit no. 6550. You will only need to use the spare part C8 to correct the problem.

3 – Contact Dragon Care: http://www.dragoncare.com/chsmain.asp Explain to them the missing part and they should be able to help you replace it.

Looking further into the kit; Dragon’s newly tooled Vorsatz P mount w/MP44, a machine gun which is attached to a curved barrel that protrudes through the top plate of the superstructure for close combat support is molded very nice and looks fairly spot on to the original. The two, one-piece fenders have molded details on the top and bottom still allowing for separate tools and equipment to be added afterwards.

Painting and Markings:
This kit includes the instructions and decals to represent one of seven different painting and marking schemes:

1 of 3 different unidentified units – Eastern Front 1945
1 unidentified unit – Hungary 1945
1 unidentified unit – Bohemia 1945
1 unidentified unit – Germany 1945
1 unidentified unit – Western Front 1944

Conclusion

Even with the rear plate shortcomings in need of correct the missing rear tow hook support angles, this is a tremendous kit and assembly should be straight forward and fun. There is an amazing amount a detail packed onto DML’s Pz.Kpfw.IV frame and should build up to an excellent representation of this fearful tank killer and should be a joy to anyone who has a fondness to the Pz.Kpfw. IV or SPG’s in general.

SUMMARY
Highs: Clean, crisp details surrounding Dragon’s high standard Pz.Kpfw IV kit chassis into a very nicely molded Jagdpanzer IV/70(A) superstructure.
Lows: Dragon’s standard misprints and omissions within the instructions and the omission of the correct rear, Pz. IV rear plate from the parts supply can be a bit frustrating at times.
Verdict: I think this is an exceptional representation of the Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70(A) and aside from the rear plate needing to be reconstructed or changed is well worth the purchase and time spent on constructing this kit.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6689
  Suggested Retail: $59.95 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Nov 21, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.48%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

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 Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2017 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. 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

I build the old one from Dragon years ago, maybe it's time to take another go at this hybride. Your review temps me to buy this. Jacob
NOV 21, 2012 - 04:11 AM
Interesting-sounding kit! Actually one I have in my "buy-sights" ever since I first saw the old DML thing! And I am more than mildly pleased to see that that gun mantle problem has been addressed in the production kit! THAT was a real turn-off . Thanks for posting this! I would like to offer up a historical comment: This vehicle was one of two competing designs - Alkett and VoMag each put up a design to address the new specs for a tank-destroyer built on the later Pz IV chassis. The Alkett version (this L/70(A)) came out first as a short production run (I think a total of around 300 or so were eventually built), while the VoMag item completed its development. Some folks have labelled this A unit the "Zwischenlosung" or "intermediate" Jagdpanzer IV L/70. Implying, I suppose, that this A version was just an intermediate pending the final V version. Actually a competitor design or maybe an alternative design? The Alkett was a simpler conversion which involved adding that boxy superstructure and gun-mount onto the complete extant Pz IV hull in place of the turret (I think the hull deck with its ring and hatches was entirely removed for this mounting). This created a somewhat higher profile and retained the basic ballistic properties of the original hull, but was quicker and easier to produce then the VoMag unit, which replaced all of the IV crew hull above the fender line with a sloped superstructure. Both A and V versions carried the same "better" gun (the primary intent being ability to support the 7.5cm L/70 gun). Both A and V were actually effective weapons but both suffered from being a little heavy and clumsy, given that longer barrel out front. As I understand things, the A was actually a little less front-heavy and so experienced less nose-diving and heavy steering than did the V... The Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V) VoMag unit turned out to have better ballistics / armor and a lower profile, but took a little time getting into production. The majority of Jagdpanzer IV L/70 were VoMag (maybe 975 or so V units made?). I would not say that it was clearly a better vehicle, but it did look sexier and maybe sleaker and more-deadly! Hey! Ask any old army from years - past... appearances do count in war. Looking properly ferocious is half the battle! To me, the Alkett version has always appeared more "interesting", if a bit slip-shod and "improvised" - looking, like that first Marder III with the Russian gun sort of plopped on top of the Pz 38(t) hull. Looks like this could be quite a nice addition to the shelf! Bob
NOV 21, 2012 - 10:48 AM
I am building the challenging Tristar version. It is a monster and not for the faint of heart. Very, very detailed parts, confusing instructions and great figurines...but, what a pain to build
NOV 21, 2012 - 08:42 PM
Hi Jacob! Thanks for the comments! I hope to actually break into this shortly...you know how it is...too many things on the bench!! Cleaning the bench real soon!!! Hi Bob!! Thank you for checking out the review as well as the kind words!! Always appreciate the offering of more information on a subject! I agree the V does have a "sexy" look to her while the A has some nice attributes of her own. I admit being a fan of the Pz. IV....umm, all of them I look at these two as being the nice extension to their family!! I believe you are correct with about 975 of the V's getting to the line. Full agreement also with appearance!! Some of these SPG's are just scary, mean machines!! Hi DJ! Sorry your having a tough go at the Tristar. Personally, I have not built one of the one your on, but like you said, very detailed! A good thing and a curse of sorts. Sometimes its nice to have a shake 'n bake kit like Tamiya, toss the glue in the box, kick it across the florr and out pops a finished model! Thanks for the heads up of sort on the instruction...something they have in common with DML it seems. Thanks gents!!
NOV 21, 2012 - 08:58 PM
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