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In-Box Review
135
5cm PaK 38 auf Pz.Kpfw.II
5cm PaK 38 auf Pz.Kpfw.II (Sf)
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]

Introduction

The Pz.Kpfw.II was a 'stop-gap' tank designed in Germany when it became apparent the the Pz.III and Pz.IV were delayed. The tank did go on to play an important part of the German Blitzkrieg, being the most numerous tank in the invasion of France. As the tank began to be removed from front line use, other uses of the chassis were developed, including mounting bigger anti-tank and howitzer guns. One attempt was mounting the 5cm PaK 38, which was designed in 1938 and was to replace the smaller 3.7cm. By this time the 7.5cm PaK 40 was available, and proved to be a better gun and were already being mounted on the Marder line, thus only a small number of the Pz.Kpfw.II's were converted to mount the 5cm. I was unable to find an actual number produced of this variant, as well as where they served.


Review

16 Plastic Sprues (including lower chassis tub)
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
1 Photo-etched Fret
2 DS Track Lengths
1 Decal Sheet
Instruction Sheet

Review

This new 5cm PaK 38 auf Pz.Kpfw.II(Sf) kit from Dragon is part of the their "Exotic Beast" series, and is definitely an interesting subject. Opening the box you are presented with the familiar Dragon grey plastic sprues, and there is quite a few of them. Initiail inspection of the sprues shows some very familiar sprues from previously released Pz.II, Marder, and the 5cm sprues. While most of the older Pz.II and Marder sprues are well molded with good detail, the 5cm PaK 38 sprues are starting to show their age, with soft moldings and details. Your spares box will be delighted, as there are many parts from sprues that are not used.

The kit does include a newly tooled and molded sprue for the upper open top hull. Again the parts are well molded, showing good details. Even the molding of the side wall look well done with thinner then normal thickness to represent the crew area.

Also included in the kit is a sprue of clear plastic for view ports, a small fret of photo-etched parts, and Dragon DS track. There is also an interior included, including the driver section and transmission. While the kit does include a couple of ammunition boxes for stowage, but there are no ammunition rounds included.

A look at the instructions, shows what looks to be a very straight forward build. Assembly starts with the lower chassis, suspension parts, and wheels. This is followed by starting to add the interior floor, transmission, and other details in the lower section.

The upper hull deck which is newly tooled, with its details, are then added before moving onto the gun assembly. It is real unfortunate that Dragon has not updated the parts for the 5cm PaK 38. As mentioned, the kit includes the older molded parts from the original Dragon release. While the kit is not all that bad, you can see the age in it. The gun shields from the gun are used, and they are a little thick, some sanding or replacement with photo-etched would improve the look.

With the gun assembly complete, the instruction then moves to a lot of the new molded pieces. This includes the newly tooled stowage boxes on the rear and the fighting compartment sides. These newly molded parts look to be well done, with the fighting compartment sides molded a little thinner then normal for a more scale look.

The kit does include the Dragon DS track, off which I am not a big fan, but must say the track included does look pretty decent. The track is pretty fine, and there has been issues with DS track splitting in the past, so in my case this would easly be replaced with an aftermarket set.

The instructions include paint schemes for three vehicles, Dark Yellow, Dark Grey, and a winter scheme, all from Unidentified units. The included decal sheet is small with three Balkankreuz and a single, what looks to be, a tactical marking.


Overview

Unfortunately I was unable to locate a lot of detail for what seems to be a very low produced vehicle, but this Dragon offering seems to fit the bill. With the use of well done older parts and newer tooled parts, this kit should build into a good looking example of this vehicle. The only real let down would be the use of the older, and not upgraded, parts for the PaK 38, also I would have like to see some ammunition rounds included as part of the extra stowage. I would highly recommend this kit, it is a good kit of a World War 2 German oddity.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great subject, nice molding, including newly tooled parts.
Lows: Use of older 5cm PaK 38 molds, no ammunition for stowage.
Verdict: A great looking model of a German World War 2 oddity, highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6721
  PUBLISHED: Oct 24, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.28%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.54%

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 Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright 2017 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

This kit has the same old 5cm issue as Dragon 6719, D7 with 5cm. I picked up the Eduard 35308 photo etch kit and most pieces are for the trailer, which is not used, so I'll only use about 20% of that kit, with the rest for practice. Also, there are a few metal barrels out there, I got the Jordi Rubio because that's what the vendor had in addition to Eduard, but not much ammo or other aftermarket.
OCT 24, 2016 - 03:31 AM
I have built the gun in a couple of kits, and it is lacking. The only ammo set I am aware of is Verlinden. I have one set left, and with the demise of Verlinden, I am now coventing it like gold.
OCT 24, 2016 - 06:44 AM
Oh goody, another one-off that is barely a footnote. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that literally EVERYTHING is seemingly available, but I can't see this one making Dragon any real coin as it was simply an (almost) one-off. It just seems to get silly after awhile. A new and updated PAK 38 would have been nice.
OCT 24, 2016 - 03:05 PM
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