Dragon 6823 1/35 Pz.Bef.Wg.1V Ausf.J With Zimmerit
The U.S.S. Kidd (DDG-993) was commissioned on March 27th 1981. The four destroyers of the Kidd class were originally built for the Shah of Iran, and were acquired by the US Navy following the Shah's overthrow in 1979. The US Navy acquired them in 1981 and 1982 after they were canceled by the succeeding Iranian government. For this reason they are often referred to as the "Ayatollah class".
Built for action in the Persian Gulf, these ships are oriented for general purpose operations rather than specialized anti-submarine war. The most formidable warship of her size ever to patrol the world's oceans, blending the best features of the SPRUANCE Class destroyers with the combat system of the VIRGINIA Class nuclear cruisers to produce a ship with unique characteristics:
A ship so quiet, and an ASW system so capable, that she operates offensively against submarines.
The most sophisticated medium-range AAW systems in the Fleet, quick-reacting and highly accurate, with the capability for today's air defense environment and the growth potential for tomorrow's.
An exceptionally reliable and responsive engineering plant.
A deadly surface-to-surface weapons capability.
These characteristics make KIDD a triple-threat, one of the few truly multi-mission ships, able to operate offensively, to deal with simultaneous air, surface, and sub-surface attacks. After over 16 years of service with the U.S. Navy, this ship was decommissioned on March 12th 1988.
Dragon offers a complete lineup of the popular Panzer IV family tree in 1/35 scale, but the company is gradually filling in some of the smaller gaps with special variants. This is the case with the newest Panzer IV kit from Dragon, an Ausf.J command tank. In fact, Ausf.J was something of a retrograde from the Ausf.H as construction was simplified to speed up production as the end of the war loomed and as materials became scarce. The Panzerbefehlswagen IV (Pz.Bef.Wg.IV) was a dedicated command tank with additional radio sets installed, mounting racks, transformers, extra antennas and an auxiliary electrical generator. At the same time, ammunition stowage had to be reduced to 72 rounds to house the extra communications gear. A total of 17 Pz.Bef.Wg.IV vehicles were built on the Panzer IV Ausf.J chassis in August-September 1944, while another 88 command tanks were based on other refurbished chassis.
This 1/35 scale plastic kit features a number of newly tooled parts needed just to recreate the Pz.Bef.Wg.IV Ausf.J. One example is a brand new antenna stowage box on the right side of the hull. To accommodate this new box, two side skirt brackets had to be redone as well. Furthermore, there are new photo-etched metal parts to represent various antenna mounting plates, as well as a new rack on the hull side for stowing spare track links. Additionally, there are two separate cupola designs, modelers are able to choose which version they want to employ on their particular command tank. For those model-makers wanting to take command of a new Panzer IV project, this Pz.Bef.Wg.IV Ausf.J is a timely release!