Tag Archive: Dragon


Spraying the “Tri-Camo”

I just finished spraying the two camo colors,they were both Vallejo Model Air German Panzer Colors. I let set for two hours and then sprayed Testors Clear Lacquer Glosscoat, for weathering purposes. I chose Lacquer for it’s fast and tough finish. You can really work it.

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Dragon 1/35 Flakpanzer V Coelian

The Flakpanzer Coelian was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun design by Rheinmetall during World War II for the German armed forces. It was intended to be armed with two 3.7 cm FlaK 43 gun in a fully enclosed, rotating turret on the hull of a Panther medium tank but was not built before the end of the war in Europe.

In the first years of the war, the Wehrmacht had less interest in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, but as the Allies developed air superiority, the need for more mobile and better-armed self-propelled anti-aircraft guns increased. The Wehrmacht had adapted a variety of wheeled and half-track vehicles to serve as mobile forward air defence positions to protect armour and infantry units in the field as well as for temporary forward area positions such as mobile headquarters and logistic points. As Allied fighter bombers and other ground attack aircraft moved from machine gun armament and bombing to air-to-ground rockets, the air defence positions were even more vulnerable.

The answer was to adapt a tank chassis with a specialized turret that would protect the gun crews while they fired upon approaching Allied aircraft.

As a consequence, the German Army High Command issued a demand for an anti-aircraft tank based on the chassis of the Panther tank design. Rheinmetall developed “Coelian” in various versions, including one with four 20mm MG 151/20 guns, but kept having to revise designs based on changing government requirements (such as demands for more modern guns with longer barrels). Eventually, in May 1944 a turret with a single 5.5 cm gun was developed, together with another with twin 3.7 cm FlaK 43 guns.

However, it soon became clear that no chassis would be available for Flakpanzers for a variety of reasons, including the Allies’ landing in Normandy, the increasing Allied strategic bombing offensive, and raw material shortages. By mid-February 1945, only a wooden prototype of the desired 5.5 cm turret model on a Panther D hull had been created.

The Kit

This is a reboxing of the Dragon Flakpanzer V kit in Cyberhobby’s orange box, with a set of tank riding figures to added to the deal. There are 13 sprues of various sizes, the two hull halves and a bag of Dragon “Magic Tracks”,insructions and decal sheet.

The hull is very clean,the upper and lower hull fit with no problem.It is covered in typical Dragon style detail, including a fine patina to represent the rolled steel armour. Some rather chunky interlocked seams are also moulded with recessed weld seams nicely done. The various vents and grilles on the rear deck are provided as separate parts, with a corresponding recess below each one, although little would be seen of this after the louvers are in place.There are no photo etched covers for the engine vents.

The turret is a slab-sided unit, with moulded in weld seams and torch cut ends to the individual plates. The part count here is fairly low, with a 3-piece mantlet holding two injection moulded 37mm Flak 43 barrels. The barrels themselves are moulded in one piece. It would be wise to purchase aftermarket barrels with the correct flashcovers.

Roadwheels are supplied abundantly, as well as some extras that aren’t used in this particular build. In fact, the order of the day for this kit seems to be use half the parts and discard the rest, as it is an combination of a number of sprues from various kits. The roadwheels are depicted with rubber tyres, which is more appropriate for an early to mid-war vehicle (the prototype was a Panther D afterall), as rubber was a strategic material, and its use in roadwheels was reduced dramatically towards the end of the war by making roadwheels fully steel. The casting texture on the final drive assembly is nicely rendered as is the welding seams on the turret. It comes with a set of “Magic Tracks”,that fit together with ease.

Conclusion

A nice re-release of the Dragon kit, with additional sprues for figures and plenty of scope for the modeller to use their artistic license with the paintjob. My only real gripe is the Flak 43 barrels, which need a lot of careful drilling to make them suitable for use by the discerning modeller and the absence of the PE mesh engine vent covers. Construction is simple, and even without the addition of any aftermarket parts will build into an impressive and interesting “Paper Panzer”. Construction is simple, and even without the addition of any aftermarket parts will build into an impressive and unusual model.

 

Box Art

Black and White Photo One

Black and White Photo Two

 

Painting and Weathering

I was finally given the opportunity to finish this project.  In short the kit was a “real” joy to build. I had no problems whatsoever. I used the Modulation Process. I primed it first with Floquil Lacquer Primer  White. Checked for imperfections,and if needed be  correct them.Then I sprayed a mixture of  Testors  Model Master Enamel Black/Brown for the shadows. I let dry for about two days. I sprayed the red primer,Model Master Enamel (ROT) RLM 23. I then started the process each time lighten it with white. 

When I was satisfied at that point I sprayed  Testors Clear Gloss Lacquer,to seal it for the wash.  I then let sit for about another 48 hours and applied the pinwash.  The next day I sprayed a coat of  Flat Clear Lacquer. Set for two days and did the details,tracks, and used MIG 502 Abteilung Snow White and Primer Red Mixture for the worn out and faded areas.  I drybrushed the raised details. Did some light chipping with Floquil Enamel Grey. I first did the tracks with grey enamel, did a dark brown wash, and then a rust wash. Used MIG pigments for the tracks with  dust and dirt pigments.  

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Upper body and bed and lower wheels,track,and suspension ready for paint. I used several photo etched sets including the one from Dragon. Note: when assembling rear end make sure you fit the drive train and wheels before completing  the multi- piece differential. Obviously you have to paint the engine before installing the front driver section on.

Here are several shots of the construction process of Dragon’s Panzer II Ausf.F. This kit is very precise with it’s beautiful details such as it’s clean weld beads. The links are “Magic Track”,which to me was a snap to assemble, but just remember to handle them carefully because of their size.
The leaf springs in this kit are the same as that included in the Marder II kit. As most will know the suspension springs on the Marder II were wider to take the additional weight while those on the Panzer II were the original narrower leaf springs which is noticable in 1:35 scale for those concerned with accuracy.The major issue with the drive sprockets supplied in that they only have 25 drive teeth when the actual sprocket has 26 drive teeth but there is little you can do about this other to live with the incorrect sprockets unless someone want’s to make resin replacements with the 26 drive teeth. Added to the fenders are the various storage boxes and pioneer tools which have separate etched brackets and clips for good detail definition with the four part jack having a choice of plastic or etched mounting brackets depending if you want a quick build or more finer detail.The interior of the gun tank is not as visible as with the Marder II but Dragon still gives you a fairly comprehensive interior with some parts such as the forward vision ports and rear bulkheads added to the underside of the upper hull.
The transmission assembly is in ten parts that go together without any problems with the brake drums in multiple parts with good details added into the lower tub as are with additional gear levers and the driver’s seat, foot pedals added to the separate floor panel with fine tread plate pattern for a very busy interior.
The side engine bulkhead is in five main wall parts with additional smaller items and the main parts fit together without any problems as do most of the smaller details but watch the parts J37, J38 as there are no locating pins for these and you have to cut off a couple of small bolt heads for part J38 to sit flush.
The two part air cleaner has additional etched mounting brackets added but watch the lower bracket (part MA30) as this has to be bent “away” from the engraved bend lines and not “into” them as is the normal procedure for etched parts. If you bend these the “wrong” way they will break off when bending back the other way due to the thin metal so ensure you bend them the correct way first time, which is with the triangular indent for part MA25 facing outwards.
All the sub-assemblies go together without any real problems and also fit neatly into the lower tub and of course there is scope for adding finer details for those wanting the detail up the kit further.
The small equipment boxes and radio located on the tub side walls have straightforward assembly but need care when fitting as its location is not clearly marked as mentioned and fitting after the floor has been fitted should make it easier to line up. The turret is packed with parts, which is surprising when one considers how small it really is. The 2 cm is complete and the model uses a complete MG-34 from the generic German weapons sets. This comes with the ground mount for the bipod and ground sights, which appear to be removed prior to installation and that makes sense. Alas, the directions do not indicate making that adjustment, so anyone who fails to do so will have a major problem in assembly. There are 72 parts in this assembly alone. For the cable I used twine,and cable ends that I had laying around. I went ahead and improvised my own “jerry can”rack,with photo etched parts. The front glacis plate track rack,was cut from a photo etched fret. At this point I am very satisfied with the progress. One more note when installing the transmission,make sure it fits all the way in place or everything at that point will not fall into place.  

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