Manufacturer: Al.By/ESCI (CK 02) and Revell (03119)

By Marko Mäkinen.

The French firm Al.By makes an excellent partial resin kit of a late type Brummbär with a wide front wall. The cast is extremely detailed and crisp - for instance two delicate handles are cast as one piece with the hull. The product has been marketed alongside with an old ESCI Panzer IV kit as a combi-kit. ESCI sprues are supposed to contribute the lower hull, ground wheels, tracks and miscellaneous small parts to the model. Four pairs of steel wheels, two-spoked idler wheels and sprocket wheels are included in the Al.By resin parts. I did not accept the quality of the ESCI kit and decided to replace all of it with the new Revell Panzer IV Ausf. H parts. As the dimensions of these kits are different, this decision required that the Revell hull be lengthened with strips of plastic, 2mm in front of the rear idler wheels. Also for fitting reasons the original error with the ESCI kit had to be reproduced by adding some height to the Revell lower hull. The detail level of the kit was brought up with this kit-bash, but the price that had to be paid is that the idler wheels are now situated too far back and the lower hull is a bit too high. Overlooking these flaws, the model looks very good finished, especially when it is completed with items on the hull deck, mainly confiscated from the Revell kit. Some metal wire applications (hull hooks, spare wheel racks, cupola MG mount) and other small self made parts (sighting periscope, spare track holders, bow MG, antenna) were added, as well. Schürtzen-plates were standard installations on late Brummbärs, but they are left off this kit because of the lack of appropriate hangers and to show more of the vehicles sides. Some track sag would have been a nice effect, though.

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