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Tamiya SdKfz 166 Brummbär

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model armor kit
This kit should not be confused with Tamiya’s early version of the Brummbär in the 1970s. This latest is basically an all-new tooling, though there are some parts from Tamiya’s recent Jagdpanzer IV and older Panzer IVs.

The molding is typical of Tamiya’s work — clean and flash-free. There are two crew figures and separate parts for the side armor plates. A separate set for Zimmerit antimagnetic coating is available (No. 12673); I used it here.

Since this vehicle has no turret, most of the parts and work goes into the chassis and suspension. The lower hull is completed with front and rear components. Suspension mounts are one-piece parts and easy to install. The two-piece bogie wheels use vinyl keepers, which allows them to be added or removed during painting and construction. The tracks are provided as single pieces of vinyl and can be glued with standard styrene cement; detail is good and pops with painting.

The massive gun casement is completed with a separate roof, commander’s cupola, rear doors, exterior gun, and ball mount, but there is no interior detail. The gun detail is simplified, limited to a gunsight.

The rail mounts for the side armor are well done. All of the armor plates are individual parts. Separate parts for the mounting brackets are added to the back of each plate, allowing the plates to be added or removed at will.

The Zimmerit is a textured self-adhesive plastic-like material. Cutting guides are printed to the shapes that need to be cut out. The adhesion is good, so you need to take care when placing a piece; you will not have much chance to move it. Painting this material was no problem. The effect is a bit soft but looks good.

I painted my Brummbär with Tamiya spray-can and acrylic paints.

Decals are provided for two vehicles. They applied well with the help of some decal solution.

I thought the model looked good against the drawings and photos in Sturmpanzer, by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle (Panzer Tracts, no ISBN).

I completed my model in 40 hours. I enjoyed the build; it can be managed by most builders, though adding the separately available Zimmerit may challenge beginners. Nevertheless, I highly recommend Tamiya’s Brummbär.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2018 issue.


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