Saturday, January 21, 2006

I told you I've been busy buying.

Dragon has been pretty prolific, pumping out one kit after another. So next up is another Dragon kit; this time the Jagdpanzer IV L/70. It's one of many kits based on the Panzer IV chassis. Hasegawa released several Jagdpanzer IV's the last few years. Dragon's are far more complex.

The lower hull is nicely molded, with the exception of some annoying holes that will need to be filled.

Tools that aren't molded to the fenders! Now that's something I like to see.

The running gear is highly detailed, with lots of parts.

Dragon includes spoked and solid road wheels, just like on the reel tank. The road wheels are molded using Dragon's slide mold technology, saving the builder from having to glue the road wheels together. The faces of the spoked wheels are separate pieces, which makes painting the rubber rims much easier.

The tracks are Dragon's DS styrere, which are glueable and paintable. Detail is pretty good, but I might replace them with some link and length tracks from Revell's Panzer IV.

A nice surprise is the turned metal barrel. I hope Dragon has these in more kits.

Decals are by Cartograph. There are markings for 5 Jagdpanzer IV's

Next up is the Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D

Dragon follows their Ausf.C with an Ausf.D

While the lower hull looks the same, it's a completely new piece.

The upper hull is also new, it shares a few interior pieces with the Ausf.D

The running gear is also the same.

The tracks are identical, here is a view of the inner side of the tracks.

Dragon has included a piece of wire for the antenna, along with the same photo-etch gun shield.

Markings are included for 11 different Ausf.D's.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dragon Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. C

The next kit in my buying spree is the Sd.Kfz.251 C. I've already got a couple of Hasegawa 251's, but I must say that the Dragon kits look superior. Fortunately the Hasegawa 251's are different marks, and they aren't bad either. It's just Dragon's look nicer. Hopefully they will fit as well as they look.

The lower hull is nicely molded, with good surface detail.

The upper hull is also nicely done with lots of interior detail.

The suspension and running gear look great. This time Dragon used their slide mold technology in an intelligent way, making assembly of the running gear much easier, without sacrificing detail.

The tracks are made of Dragons glueable DS styrene. The detail is pretty good, and finally they are nice and straight.

A small photo-etch fret is included with a gun shield

Two good sized decal sheets come with the kit, and provides markings for 7 different 251's, and enough numbers to customize the markings even further. Those license plates are going to be fun.

...and then there was three

The Dragon T-34/76 model 1942 is the next in box preview of the day. There are a lot of new parts that make it different from the first 2 releases of the T-34/76. This builds into a T-34 model 1942, built at Factory 183 in the winter - spring of 1942. Although, I think all you have to do is sand off the rivets on the front top and bottom of the hull parts to make a summer 1942 T-34.

The lower hull looks to be unchanged.

Here's were the changes begin. The upper hull is completely new

The early style hexagonal turret is also new. It comes with two turret roofs, but the only difference being the location of the periscope on the roof.

The gun and manlet are all new.

The wheels are a mixed blessing. The good part is there are finally two new style road wheels. The bas news Dragon decided to use their slide mold technology so you don't have to glue wheels haves together. Unfortunately you'll need to drill out 10 holes in each steel rimmed road wheel, and 12 holes in the rubber rimmed ones! It would have been much easier to glue them together.

Tracks are all new, and in the glueable DS styrene. They are reasonably straight, and the detail looks pretty good. I wish they would go link and length though (like in their Elephant kit).

They give you an extra length of cable, and the photo-etch screen, which I've heard still doesn't fit

and finally another nice decal sheet with marking for 6 different tanks.

All in all another nice kit. This is the last Dragon T-34 [for now] I havent gotten their T-34/85 yet.

Next Up in the in box preview parade.... the Dragon T-34/76 model 1941. Dragon tweaked their models a bit corrected a few mistakes that were in the model 1940 issue, and added new "DS" styrene tracks (there glueable). This builds up to a T-34 model 1942 built at Plant 183 in the spring of 1941.

The lower hull looks to be the same as the model 1940.

The upper hull looks the same also.

They corrected the engine panel that was missing on the model 1940.

The turret hatch and gun details are new, and reflect the changes for a model 1941.

The wheels are the same also.

The new "DS" tracks are a big improvement over the ones in the model 1940. They have a little sharper detail, and aren't as wavy (they aren't exactly straight either).

The same cable material and photo-etch are included. Though I still don't know if it fits.

Another nice decal sheet, this one is more useful. I understand they relied on the old Squadron "T-34 in Action" book, and some of the marking might not be accurate for this mark. I'll have to dig it out of my library and see.