|CYBER-HOBBY - Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.C DAK w/Mine Roller|
A look at the latest white box release from Cyber-Hobby!
Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.C DAK w/Mine Roller
Material: Styrene & Photo-etch
Serial Number: 6752
Cyber-Hobby is a sister company of Dragon Models and Concord Publications, and owned by the same parent company UML. Dragon produces the plastic kits, and Cyber-Hobby has become an on-line retailer that sells their own versions of these kits as releases in any one of a number of different series. This particular kit is being released as a white box kit, i.e. it is a limited edition kit, and once it's sold out...it's gone. No more will be released...there will not be another production run....not unless a part is changed and it can be called something else.
The kit represents a Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.C of DAK origin, unusual in that it has a mine roller fitted.
The kit arrives as a fairly full box, as most Cyber-Hobby white box releases are by virtue of their origins and the practice of including sprues from various other kits to obtain the necessary parts for the specific release. In addition to all the various grey styrene sprues there are three small transparent sprues, three brass photo-etched frets, a pre-formed brass shovel bracket, five pre-formed wire parts, two small bags of individual Magic Track links, plus small decal sheet.
Of the sprues contained within the kit, most of course, are from earlier released versions, such as the Pz.Kpfw.II C & F, and Ausf. B/C, although there are brand new sprues to supply the necessary parts to make the mine roller itself. These consist of one small sprue consisting of the support brackets and fittings, and four identical small sprues that supply the rollers themselves plus their specific fittings.
There are some thoughtful detail touches on this one, including the usual familiar ones with Dragon/Cyber-Hobby kits, such as the 'Continental' logo on both the road wheel and return roller tyres. For example there's a very nice photo-etched guard provided for the exhaust, plus two bags of individual 'Magic Track' links in two shades of grey. The driver's compartment is provided fully detailed, including a full transmission, and the fighting compartment is also fully detailed, including floor panels with tread pattern, full radio set up and detailed engine firewall. All the periscopes and armoured vision blocks are provided in transparent plastic, and of course all of the hatches are provided as separate parts with moulded detail on their inner surfaces should you wish to display them opened.
Although the fenders are supplied already moulded onto the upper hull, we are given two complete sets of on-vehicle tools, one set with the 'Smart Series' type of clamps moulded in place, and one set moulded completely without clamps of any sort. For these we're provided with a full set of photo-etched clamps, although it does mean breaking out the stretched sprue to fill some of the locating holes moulded into the fenders.
The main gun is provided in full detail with a full breech assembly, as is the MG34 for the turret. The main barrel is slide moulded so no drilling out the end is necessary, although the small holes in the flash suppressor are moulded closed, so you might want to try and drill them out yourself, or replace the barrel for an aftermarket item.
Once the vehicle body itself is complete, assembly then turns to the mine roller assembly. The main structural elements of this assembly are provided on the largest of the three included photo-etched frets, and do require some long folds which will look pretty awful if not folded absolutely cleanly, so some sort of folding tool is almost a must have. They're too long to fold cleanly with flat-nosed pliers. Once the two A frames are complete, there are two sets of four rollers each to fit to the ends, and although the rollers themselves are provided in styrene, their brackets etc., are again provided in photo-etched brass. Cyber-Hobby omitted instructions on assembling the sets of rollers, but covered themselves with the inclusion of a small erratum on a separate slip of paper.
Markings-wise, we're just offered the one scheme in desert yellow of an unidentified vehicle from sometime during 1942. This vehicle is just displayed with a large 'R' either side of the turret. Although there are Balkencreuz and DAK symbols on the decal sheet, these are not used on the suggested marking scheme.
The Panzer II itself is an incredibly attractive little vehicle, but with the addition of the mine roller, something of a rarity on German WWII models, it almost makes it a must have. Certainly something out of the ordinary! Recommended.
My thanks to Cyber-Hobby for the review sample.