The Sturmpanzer IV (also known as Sturmpanzer 43 or Sd.Kfz. 166) was a German armoured infantry support gun based on the Panzer IV chassis used in the Second World War. It was used at the Battles of Kursk, Anzio, Normandy, and helped to put down the Warsaw Uprising. It was known by the nickname Brummbär (German: “Grumbler”, not “Grizzly Bear”) by Allied intelligence, a name which was not used by the Germans. German soldiers nicknamed it the “Stupa’’, a contraction of the term Sturmpanzer. The Sturmpanzer IV was a development of the Panzer IV tank designed to provide direct infantry fire support, especially in urban areas. The result was the Sturmpanzer IV, which used a Panzer IV chassis with the upper hull and turret replaced by a new casemate-style armored superstructure housing a new gun, the 15 centimetres (5.9 in) Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 developed by Skoda. It fired the same shells as the 15 cm sIG 33 heavy infantry gun. Thirty-eight rounds, with separate propellant cartridges, could be carried. It used the Sfl.Zf. 1a sight. A MG 34 machine gun was carried that could be fastened to the open gunner’s hatch, much like the arrangement on the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G. Early vehicles carried a MP 40 sub-machine gun inside, which could be fired through firing ports in the side of the superstructure. The driver’s station projected forward from the sloped frontal armor plate and used the Tiger I’s Fahrersehklappe 80 driver’s sight. The fighting compartment was badly ventilated by the natural flow of heat, exiting out the rear of the superstructure through two armored covers . Early vehicles were too heavy for the chassis, which lead to frequent breakdowns of the suspension and transmission. Efforts were made to solve this issue from the second series onwards, with some success. In October 1943 it was decided that the StuH 43 gun needed to be redesigned to reduce its weight. A new version, some 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) lighter than the StuH 43, was built as the StuH 43/1. Some of the weight was saved by reducing the armor on the gun mount itself. This gun was used from the third production series onwards. In the late series, The superstructure was redesigned in early 1944 for the fourth series, which used the chassis and HL120TRM112 engine of the Ausf. J, and was in production between June 1944 and March 1945. It featured a redesigned gun collar, as well as a general reduction in height of the superstructure. This redesign also introduced a ball mount in the front superstructure for a MG 34 machine gun with 600 rounds. The vehicle commander’s position was modified to use the hatch of the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G, which could mount a machine gun for anti-aircraft defense.This is the version this kit depicts,and at first look The parts are well-detailed and molded. Its tracks are the separate track-link type made of injection plastic. No photo-etched parts included with this version. But since this is a “Value Pack” kit, you do get a set of four German Grenadiers (East Prussia 1945), most likely I will use for another kit. Markings provided are  for one version. I will know more about it as construction begins.

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