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In-Box Review
135
Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70 (A)
1:35 German Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70 (A) Final production
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by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (A) was an interim solution to convert existing Pz. IV hulls into Jagdpanzers. The Alkett factory came up with the design, where an Jagdpanzer chassis was build right on top of a normal Pz. IV hull. This made the vehicle about 40 cm taller and lacked the sharp edged frontal armor, which was found on the (V) variant produced at the Vomag plant. Fewer than 280 were built from August 1944 to March 1945.

Contents

The kit comes in the familiar sized box from Dragon models, with a nice box art from good old Ron Volstad, who always delivers first class art work, on the sides and on the bottom of the box, all the great special features are depicted. All the sprues and other parts come in clear plastic bags. There’s over 680 parts in the box, but as usual, a lot of them are not to be used for this kit. The kit contains the following:
  • 20 sprues molded in grey styrene
  • 2 sprues molded in clear styrene
  • 1 zip lock bag with part of the gun mantle and steel road wheels
  • 2 bags of MagicTracks
  • 1hull tub
  • 1 engine deck
  • 1 fighting compartment
  • 1 photo etched fret
  • Pre cut mesh skirts
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • 1 instruction booklet

Review

This kit is from Dragon models “Smart Kit” range, which means less small parts and easier assembly. There are 20 different sprues and a lot of parts not for use, so it might get a bit busy on the work bench.

Suspension
The construction of the boogies is pretty much straight forward. Dragon models give you several options for the road wheel set up. The choices are either to use ordinary rubber rimmed Pz. IV road wheels or use the solid steel wheels provided in the kit. These steel wheels are excellent, and each wheel consists of no less than 7 parts. You can choose to use either two or four pairs of steel wheels on the front boogies of the vehicle. There are also three different return rollers to choose from, all in steel variants, and the idler wheel in both mid-production and late version. The late version idler wheel has PE parts.

Lower hull
Dragon models provides the lower hull tub in one slide molded piece, which is loaded with details, especially the many rivets are looking good. The rear armor plate has some nice details as well. There’s an optional tow hook and two optional exhausts to choose from, but I personally can’t see the difference between the two.

When fitting the arm for the idler wheel, leave it loose, this might come in handy, when fitting the tracks later on. The frontal armor plates come in one piece, and since it’s from an earlier model of the Pz. IV’s, there are holes where the front tow hooks are to be fitted, which needs to be filled. On the front top armor plate, you can choose either styrene or PE holders for the spare track, and the transmission inspection hatches can be made with the armored ventilation clock, or with just a grab handle.

The Fenders
These are really great looking fenders. There are excellent details on both sides and some nice options to choose from. One of the best details is the small wing nuts molded onto the ventilation plates. This is really well thought out by Dragon models, because the ones that are usually provided looks rather big for the scale, and the PE ones from the aftermarket sets, tend to go “pling” into the abyss of the carpet monster. There’s two different tail lights provided, and the “cat’s eye” on the left back fender comes in both styrene and PE. The holders for the “Thoma shields” are very fine cast, and you probably need to be real careful when removing them from the sprue.

The Tracks
This kit come with Dragon models superb MagicTracks. This is a great choice for this vehicle, because the tracks need a bit of sagging between the return rollers, which really can’t be done proper with the DS tracks.

The Engine Deck
Again a place with some nice detail. The engine hatches can be open or closed, but since there’s no engine detail provided in the kit, it’ll look better closed. The pioneer tools included in the kit have the tool clasps molded on, and this adds a bit more realism to the build.

The Main Gun
The KwK L/70 gun looks really nice. The barrel is slide molded and is hollow in the end and has some fine rifling inside, which again adds to realism. The only down side is, that it’s real difficult to clean up the mold line on the barrel, without “flattening” it. Maybe Dragon models add a metal barrel in the Premium set. The gun also holds some excellent details on the gun breech and mount, but apart from a ventilator on the rear wall, this is the only interior provided. Some radios and ammo bins would have been nice here.

The Upper Hull
The front and sides come in one in one slide molded piece, which has some great looking weld seems and cut armor details. All the hatches can be open or closed, and the periscope, scissor binoculars and gun sight comes in clear styrene. The loaders hatch can be fitted with a rather strange looking bend barrel for a MP 44. A different, but nice detail. The rails for the side skirts are very nicely cast; They are very thin and the round tube rails are hollow in the ends.

The Side Skirts
The kit come with the late war mesh skirts, the “Thoma shields”, and these are pre-cut, which is a really good thing, because the metal meshes would be a pain to cut our selves. The edges of the mesh are provided in PE, and Dragon models have invented a very clever bending tool for these; an ingenious way to help the modeler, who doesn’t have a PE bending tool. The shields come in two versions.

Painting and Marking
Dragon models only provide one “Unidentified unit, Eastern front 1945” option for this vehicle, which I personally think is a bit few, to say the least. It doesn’t take much searching on the internet, to find at least a handful or more pictures of these vehicles from both the Eastern and Western front, so more options in the Premium edition, thank you.

Conclusion

A really nice kit, with lots of details and different options for the builder. Built OOB it makes a great representation of the Pz.Kpfw. IV L/70 (A), but it is not a kit for beginners, because of the mesh and PE shield, which can be quite fiddly to construct. Beginners might also have some problems with the MagicTracks, but I personally find these tracks very usable. I highly recommend this kit.

SUMMARY
Highs: Lots of detail and options. the pre cut mesh shields and the special designed PE bending Tool.
Lows: A bit more interior parts. More options for painting and marking.
Verdict: A great looking kit with loads of details. This kit can easily be made into a great looking model OOB. It might not be a starter kit, because some of the assemblys can be tricky, such as the mesh shields.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6784
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 04, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.11%
  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 Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse (Hederstierna)
FROM: NORDJYLLAND, DENMARK

Copyright ©2017 text by Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]. 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 would hope the etch Thoma shields would be easier then the old Plastic mesh that had to be cut to size. Now that was horrible. Seven parts per wheel is crazy too, IMO.
JAN 04, 2014 - 03:55 PM
this kit and the previus dont came with the same support of return roller seen in the example of Saumur.. so you never can build the only example survive in this days.
JAN 07, 2014 - 10:40 AM
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