Bison II 15cm s.IG 33 (Sfl.) auf Pz.Kpfw.II

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While the Panzer II was outclassed as a tank following the outbreak of WWII, the chassis spawned a succession of other armored fighting vehicles for the Wehrmacht. One of those was the Bison II 15cm s.IG 33 (Sfl.) auf Pz.Kpfw.II. This was a self-propelled howitzer mounting the well-known 15cm s.IG 33 infantry gun that had a range of 4,700km. The first Bison II prototype was produced in July/August of 1941, and the design featured a lengthened hull (with an extra road wheel each side) to accommodate the howitzer. It employed a Bussing-NAG engine, which proved problematic in moving the 16-ton vehicle around the battlefield. A crew of four operated the Bison II, but they were given little armor protection. The limited numbers produced were shipped to Libya in early 1942 for combat use in North Africa. The Bison II was eventually replaced by the better-designed Wespe.

Dragon has produced a high-quality 1/35 scale model of this interesting and rare self-propelled howitzer. There are many newly tooled parts exclusively created for this kit for example, the chassis, upper hull and fighting compartment are brand new. As a Smart Kit, there is widespread use of slide molds in its production. The open-topped fighting compartment is particularly well detailed, with Dragon's proprietary Razor Edge technology used to produce true-to-scale armor plates. The road wheels have also been updated. Its firepower is improved after Dragon's highly praised s.IG 33 gun receives a new shield. With the addition of Magic Tracks, this kit of a vehicle that operated in North Africa's desert terrain is certain to be a hot item.