Kit Ref: A1376
Full Review with Rob Ruscoe
Bear with a sore head!
The Sturmpanzer or assault tank, was an armoured infantry support vehicle based on the reliable Panzer IV chassis and was produced between 1943 and 1945. The nickname ‘Brummbär’ (loosely translated as ‘bad tempered bear’), was bestowed on the Sturmpanzer by allied intelligence and was not used by the Germans who actually named it the ‘Stupa’, a contraction of the term Sturmpanzer.
A shade over 300 vehicles was built and assigned to four independent battalions. Armed with a 15cm StuH 43 L/12 howitzer and a single MG34 machine gun, the Sturmpanzer first saw action during Operation Citadel, the German attack on the Kursk salient. It also saw action after the Allied landings at Anzio. The main use of the Stupa, of course, was after the Normandy landings where, although it proved effective in its designed assault role, it’s large, high profile made it vulnerable when meeting allied tanks.
The 15cm low velocity howitzer was particularly effective against buildings and dug in troops but, because of the gun’s high angle of fire and the use of a separate powder charge, it proved difficult to load in spite of the provision of two loaders in the crew of five. Also in action, the fighting compartment would quickly fill with noxious fumes, necessitating the opening of the rear casement doors, making the crew vulnerable to enemy infantry. A total of four Sturmpanzer IVs survive in various museums.
Just before we get started, here’s a quick look at how it all turned out…
This is a re-boxing of the Academy kit dating from 2020 so is well engineered and detailed although one omission is the lack of moulded-in Zimmerit anti magnetic mine paste with which most vehicles were coated.
The kit arrives in a fairly sturdy, top opening box which contains eight sprues of tan coloured styrene, separate casemate, two rubber band type tracks, a small decal sheet for two options (Academy provided three), and an instruction booklet. The plastic, as expected from a fairly new mould, was completely flash free and with ejector pin marks in non-noticeable places. The instructions are not in Airfix’s new style but are easy to follow. The two options have nice colour profiles with colour callouts for Humbrol paints only.
Geoff C has done an In-Box Browse video that’s worth a look if you haven’t seen the full box contents.