Manufacturer: Dragon Models Ltd
Item Code: 6259
Medium: Plastic Injection
Review Publication Date: April 28th 2009
This was my first plastic injection mould vehicle review, and boy did I find this difficult. Despite being comfortable with figure subjects and reviews, I found writing this review quite challenging. It was almost losing my review writing virginity all over again. The sheer number of parts, unfamiliar genre and subject, and being all too aware of the pressure to write a fair and objective review for a difficult audience really took me out of my element. All in all though, the Armorama Reviews Editor was very happy with the review - which means I'm happy. Time will tell how readers perceive the value of the review. I hope it's well received.
The ‘Bison’ and ‘Grille’ are generally accepted names for Germany’s self-propelled 15cm schwere Infanteriegeschütz 33 (sIG33) vehicles from World War II. One of Germany’s chief weapons manufacturers, Rheinmetall, introduced the schwere Infanteriegeschütz 33 (sIG33) in 1927. With a firing range of 4.7km it was the most powerful support weapon for the German infantry, and in Januray 1940 the first attempts were made to adapt it to a tracked vehicle. The entire gun carriage, complete with wheels, was mounted on the Panzer I Ausf. B Chassis, with tall shields of armour plate added to protect the front and sides. Six companies of these vehicles were deployed on the Western Front, with each company having six self-propelled guns. The sIG33 auf PzKpfw I Ausf. B (“Bison I”) stayed in service until 1943. Thirty-eight examples of this vehicle were built.
Until recently, January 2009 to be precise, modellers wanting to reproduce one of Germany’s first self-propelled support vehicles (to be produced during the war) in 1/35 scale were limited to the plastic injection mould Alan kit, resin conversion kits, or to a combination of these together with a better, more accurate Panzer I Ausf. B hull and suspension by another manufacturer. Enter Dragon Models Limited with kit 6259 “15cm s.IG. 33 (Sf) auf Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B”.
Readers will note that I have elected not to discuss the subject of accuracy. Accuracy of kits tends to be a contentious issue, and I am by no means an expert of this subject, the sIG33 auf PzKpfw I Ausf. B. Thus I will leave it to others more knowledgeable than I to discuss this. What I will say is that with my limited research and reference material (noted below) the kit appears to be an excellent depiction of the vehicle – and DML’s PzKpfw I Ausf. B, of which many sprues are included in the kit, is considered by many to be the definitive kit of the Panzer I Ausf. B.
It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to review a DML plastic scale model kit, and having been very critical of DML in the past, this kit has left me thoroughly impressed. The subject is unique; DML have offered two options regarding the superstructure and corrected the previous Pz. I Ausf. B idler wheel; the sIG33 is a thing of beauty; and the casting is excellent with barely a cast seam in sight.
I highly recommend this kit to modellers interested in the Early War period, vehicles based on the Panzer I chassis, self-propelled artillery, or even those simply looking for something different to build.
Click here for my full review on Armorama