One of the driving factors behind Germany’s power at the beginning of World War II was its innovation and development of heavy equipment. While they still had the resources they were constantly redesigning and upgrading their equipment. As a result of German engineering the Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" was developed as an upgraded version of less powerful Wirbelwind. The vehicle was given the longer range and harder hitting 3.7 cm FlaK 43 whereas the Wirbelwind had the smaller 2 cm Flakvierling 38.
Out of the 100 vehicles ordered in August of 1944 only 44 were ever completed. 37 of these were converted from existing Panzer IV's and 7 completely new vehicles where build between December 1944 and March 1945.
has followed up on their earlier release of the Ostwind, this time providing us a variant with Zimmerit.
In The Box
You will see from the pictures attached that this box is stuffed full of styrene goodness. But don’t get your hopes up, more than half of what’s in there will end up in your spares box. You will notice that the sprue guide provided in the instruction manual gives a very good indication of what won’t be used via Dragon Models
standard “Parts not for use.” blue shading.
The contents included
- 16 Standard grey sprue
- 2 Clear parts sprue
- 18 Individual links of track
- Pz IV Hull
- Top Deck
- 2 Sheets of Photo Etch
- DS Styrene tracks
- 2 Piece turret
Armorama has provided us with plenty of reviews on earlier Dragon Models
Pz IV’s as well as the prior Ostwind offered so I won’t bore you with the details of the build steps. Instead I’d like to point out some of what I think the kit’s strong points and, more importantly, what its weak points are.
First and foremost, Dragon Models
molding process is second to none. You will notice that there is no flash or soft detail on any of the sprue. I always laugh a little when I read Dragon Models
marketing material, “Complete with authentic-looking injection-molded Zimmerit detail, crafted with a modelers touch.” Well, in this case the proof is in the pudding, I think they got the look of it just right.
This brings me to my second point; while they got the look and scale of the Zimmerit right they did seem to make a mistake in where the Zimmerit molding stops. Upon inspection of my reference material I noticed that the Zimmerit coating goes all the way up on to the top deck and hatches. Dragon Models
seemed to really drop the ball on this, again they simply provided the standard Panzer IV Late top deck.
My next point is unfortunately another criticism of the kit and it’s an important one, the tracks! I have no idea why but for some reason Dragon Models
decided to include DS tracks in this one. Now, DS are great if you like quick and easy but they do not have anywhere near the level of detail one would expect from this type of kit. The modeler is provided 18 individual links for the spares but other than the pin marks they are so far superior they make look out of place compared to the DS. The other thing I cannot stand on both the DS and the individual link, the guide horns should be hollow. You’d hope Dragon Models
would have provided better. To top that off the DS is covered in flash! It will take a lot of careful trimming and sanding to try and get them to look ok. Just to keep things simple, I’d definitely recommend looking into a set of aftermarket tracks!
I could go on to complain about the instructions but if you’ve build a Dragon Models
kit before you know that they are the absolute worst. To top that off, I really do have a hard time with the sheer amount of wasted sprue that goes into this box.
It’s hard not to get excited when I hear that there’s a new variant being released. In this case I really hoped Dragon Models
would have learned from the mistakes they made on their first Ostwind release and tried to fix them for this. Unfortunately I think they only made matters worse by adding the DS tracks! At the end of the day the parts are still crisply molded and the detail is sharp so I do think this could be an okay representation strait out of the box. With that being said there are just way to many little inaccuracies that cannot go unnoticed.