dragon resurrected dn models scale model masks

Dragon Models Resurrected?

Dragon Models is a Hong-Kong based model maker, that started its glorious journey back in the late 80s. First several years of its existence the company dedicated to making exclusively military models, some of which are considered state-of-the-art to this very day. Later on, Dragon expanded its line, but their fame remained mostly of their armor kits and most specifically – their WWII line of Wehrmacht machinery. Of course, Dragon have much more than that, but thanx to their serious approach to detail, as well as their relatively high accuracy – 1/35 armor models is what we think of when it comes down to DML AKA Dragon Models Limited. Not planes, helicopters or anything else. Armor.

dragon resurrected dn models scale model masksTiger I is among the models who made DML legendary

Over the years and metaphorically speaking, many brave heroes tried to slay the mighty Dragon. Some even proclaimed themselves DragonSlayers even before they introduced their kits to the market. Thus far however, very few came close to that goal, but in actuality not one managed to kill them in the proper sense. Rye Field Model, Border Model, MENG, Takom and few others tried, with RFM actually being very close to succeeding. They even made the kill, considering their Panzer IV and StuG III lines, but not to the full extent. Even though their kits are superb, they cannot compete in full with DML, who have produced more than 1000 different kits of the span of 35 years or so. Producing one or couple of versions of one /better tooled/ tank or similar, does not make you a DragonSlayer. You barely cut off a hand, or a finger maybe. After that, the Dragon is still alive and flapping its wings.

dragon resurrected dn models scale model masksRye Field Model came dangerously close, producing this remarkable kit of Pz.IV

Lately, DML are somehow awakening. We know, that over the last decade they made an attempt to introduce DS tracks /which was a step in the wrong direction/, as well as offering kits that are not among the most interesting subjects. However, with time, their old releases started to become more and more rare, therefore more valuable. At some point, DML #6644 was costing nearly $200 or even more, simply because it was nowhere to be found. Same goes for many of their Panzer IVs, not to mention their first Tiger I releases. Not producing them or limiting the market took its toll.

dragon resurrected dn models scale model masksThis is how it looks revived

In 2022-2023, seemingly Dragon started to reviving their lines and they are doing it on all fronts. That means that they are re-releasing many interesting and wanted kits, featuring additional parts as well as Magic Tracks, which was one of the features most valued in their kits. In other words, they are somewhat correcting the DS tracks mistake, but that is not all. They are re-imagining their kits to some extent and reminding the Armor Modeling World, that the Mighty Dragon is still alive and far from slayed. Maybe they learned their lesson from the competition, who knows?

dragon resurrected dn models scale model masksThe famous DML #6644 StuG with Winter Tracks

One of the best examples for a kit being overly interesting and now re-issued is abovementioned StuG with Winterketten DML #6644. But there are many more. That specific StuG is still available if your order from China and its original packing, something that many trust more. However, no matter how much you would like to have the original release, the new releases are upgraded. They feature improved wheel tooling, 3D muzzle brake and extra metal parts among those upgrades. So no matter how nostalgic one might be, the Dragon 2023 and onwards seems more promising than before. Not significantly, but considering the scarcity of the originals, this seems like a resurrection of a sort.

Besides the StuG mentioned, Dragon have superb Panzer IVs in many of its numerous versions. They also have one of the very best Panzer III kits ever released. Actually the whole Pz.Kpfw.III line is superb. And somehow all that is returning to being available, simultaneously bringing troubles for the new competitor companies. The players, who harsh critics titled: “Mice, playing while the cat is away”. But that was maybe too harsh of a judgement. All of the armor makers like Takom, Border, Miniart and especially Rye Field Models worth their price. They can be found everywhere and that is not a problem that Dragon managed to fix yet.

dragon resurrected dn models scale model masksPz.Kpfw.III boxart – one of the many interesting variants DML produced

But instead of conclusion…

DML haven’t said their final word yet. They are releasing their old kits with MT after the original number and that is one way to tell they are the new ones. But that is not necessary the case. Not all of the improved kits have MT lettering. However if you happen to see Magic Tracks, Newly Tooled or 3D on the boxart… you’re in for their new, upped game for sure. Also, it is a good idea to look for kits with numbers in pair. Like 6644, 6600, etc. Those were always most popular for some reason. Who knows, it might be a numbers game. Or just a coincidence. One thing is certain – Dragon are far from slayed. More likely they are just waking up from a log nap. So stay alert. The Dragon might breathe fire.