Sd.Kfz.167 Stug. IV ‘LAST PRODUCTION’

Published: September 21st, 2014     
Box art
Box art
Reviewed by: 
Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $59.95
Product / Stock #: 6647

History

(From the Dragon web site) The Sturmgeschutz IV (also known as Sd.Kfz.167) was an assault gun produced in similar fashion to the more numerically common StuG.III. However, as its name suggests, it was based on the hull of the Panzer IV tank rather than the Panzer III. This came about because Alkett (a manufacturer of the StuG.III) was bombed in November 1943. Therefore, in an effort to increase assault gun production numbers, Krupp installed slightly modified StuG.III superstructures on the chassis of the Panzer IV. After production was approved on 6 December 1943, Krupp proceeded to build 1,108 StuG.IV vehicles between December 1943 and May 1945. While this number was far less than the StuG.III, Krupp did help ensure continuity of assault gun production. Crewed by four men, the StuG.IV proved an effective tank hunter. It weighed 23 tonnes and was armed with a capable 7.5cm StuK40 L/48 gun.

The Kit

Upon opening the box you are confronted with a whole lot of plastic & metal (Over 700 parts)! 12 sealed bags containing 21 various sized sprues of grey and 1 sprue of clear styrene, 1 fret of photo etch & decals, 1 set of vinyl tracks, 1 set of P/E skirts and an 8 page fold out instruction sheet. The plastic is crisply molded free of flash and the photo etch is thinner than the previous Dragon kits I have worked with. The instruction sheet looked, at first glance, pretty good and well detailed.....until I started construction!

Construction

Steps 1-8 Deal with the lower hull, suspension, exhaust and wheels....and step 1 is where I ran into the first problem.  The instructions call for pieces B2 & B3 to be used on the idler control arm housing but in step 3 they show to use B18 & B19. Do NOT use B2 & 3! B18 & 19 are the correct parts and I had to gently try to pry off the others (with limited success). The exhaust that are shown(D2 & 4 or 12 & 14) need to have the lower pipe cut off and replaced with parts H 16 & 17 so they can fit into the brackets(parts H15 & 14). The instructions did not show this and I ended up grinding some of the plastic out of H15 & 14 so they would fit. Also in step 1 there is a small box dedicated to the building of the hitch on the rear of the vehicle and there are two versions to choose from. (Pieces H45, 59 & B9 or D9, 10 & 11) No problem here except that in the main view it shows piece H23 for the hitch, which is wrong. Finally in step 5 you are shown to drill 5 small holes in the glacis plate......DON'T!! This same piece is used in other kits and has track links that are placed on there, you are not given these links in the kit.....at least my boxing didn't have them (So now I have some holes to fill or cover over!). One more item to watch for is the 'tail light' fixture that is on the left rear fender. You are shown 3 different options (Pieces K3, K4 or P9) but after 3 searches I could not find P9 anywhere in my box. One thing that I really like about Dragon kits is the crisp small detail especially on the tools but sometimes they go a bit too far, (My opinion) for example, the jack is made up of 7 pieces! I decided to put the fenders on before placing the tracks and had no problem there so if that's what you want to do, you're safe. As far as the tracks go...OUTSTANDING! I admit I'm lazy so one piece vinyl tracks are a blessing and these are so easy to work with it almost, ALMOST makes me want to build more armor kits! So far, other than the instructions, I have had no problems building this kit as everything has fit just about perfectly.

Steps 8-15 deal with the interior & upper hull starting with the gun. The 7.5cm StuK40 L/48 is made up of approximately 26 pieces and well detailed. As for the rest of the interior, you are given 3 nicely detailed radios, a smoke ejector fan, periscopes and handles for the hatches...that's it. Kind of bare if you want to pose all of the hatches open, especially the drivers compartment. A tricky part here is when attaching the main piece of the upper hull (D1) to the lower hull. I decided to place the gun first and then slip the upper hull over it....that was a mistake. I had a less than joyful time placing the mantlet on after that so lesson learned! Once the upper hull is on you can turn your attention to the skirts. This is where I ran into a small problem. The supports for the rails that hold the skirts are all in plastic, EXCEPT, the rear supports. You have a choice of plastic or 2 pieces of P/E and I'm not sure why. The instructions are a bit vague as to which way you are to bend the P/E and I decided to just go with the plastic. The skirts went on easily after I had enlarged the hole in them just a bit. The instructions for this part of the build were much better and construction went smoothly and quick, as before everything pretty much fit perfectly.

Finishing

The interior was painted with Testors Acrylics, Panzer Interior Buff and a mix of Earth Red & Insignia Red for the floor (My best attempt at the German primer color). I used Tamiya acrylics for the camouflage on the vehicle and skirts. The skirts were primed first with good old rattle can Ace Hardware Primer. The tracks were finished with a primer coat of Tamiya Aircraft Aluminum followed by a coat of Testors Acryl rust then dry brushed with Testors Enamel Steel.

Conclusion

This is at least the 20th boxing of a Stug. by Dragon, with 5 of those being Stug. IVs and because of that there are many, many extra pieces, also it may account for the problems with the instructions. With the exception of the instructions being a bit 'off' this kit was pretty easy to build and should not pose any problem for experienced modelers.(Hey, I'm an aircraft guy, and this still came out looking like a Stug!!)

I would like to thank Dragon Models USA for providing this kit, the review corps for letting me build it and all of you for reading it.

  • Skirts
    Skirts
  • Box contents
    Box contents
  • P.E.
    P.E.
  • Front view
    Front view
  • Left front view
    Left front view
  • Left side view
    Left side view
  • Rear view
    Rear view
  • Right rear view
    Right rear view
  • Right side view
    Right side view
  • Top view
    Top view

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