by: Mike High [ ]
IntroductionPolish manufacturer Aber has introduced a 1/72nd scale turned aluminum barrel for the Dragon Jagdpanzer IV. In this instance, the barrel will replace the kit barrel of the “Command Version,” kit number 7238. The set is simple and consists of a single aluminum turned barrel and a small, simple to follow instruction sheet.
The ReviewAber’s instructions are simplicity; cut, drill, attach. Aber has you cut off the small round half-tab on the “breech” (kit part D9) and, using a 1.5mm drill bit, drill out the hole for the barrel’s small shank. The shank is inserted into the “breech” and secured with CA glue. The resulting assembly is then slid through either part B6 or B9 (depending on version) and finally, slide the mantlet over the barrel and snug it up. The kit barrel and “breech” are approximately 56 mm and the Aber barrel and “breech” are approximately 58 mm in length, so it's recommended that you check references for which is the correct length.
I do find that the very light recessed band near the business end of the Aber barrel looks much better than that of the kit barrel. Additionally, the barrel end is adequately bored out and the wall of the barrel is much thinner than the plastic barrel and is a more realistic representation.
ConclusionI probably spent half again more time gluing and aligning the kit barrel to the “breech” than I did removing the tab, drilling for the shank, and putting the Aber barrel in. I did not bother to clean the seam lines on the kit barrel as it will not be used on this vehicle. The upgrade is simple, quick, and easy to install to produce a more scale effect vs. the kit-supplied item. Recommended.