Tamiya 1/35 Stug IV

KIT: Tamiya 1/35 Stug IV
KIT #: 87
PRICE: $
DECALS: yes
REVIEWER: David Carley
NOTES:  

HISTORY


As with most things, I was always confused by the seemingly vast array of WWí2 German vehicles. There seemed to be no end to them, and they seemed virtually the same, but with different names. I'm talking about the likes of the Marder family, the Wespe, the Hummel, and the nashorn. Which to my untrained eye all appeared to be a open top tank, virtually indistinguishable apart from the name. Same sorta went for the Jagdpanzers, Jagdpanthers, and Stugs, all enclosed tanks with various tops and bottoms. I didnít have a clue!!!


Of course now Iím an expert! As we all are.!! The Stug IV was a way of utilising some spare capacity of PzIV chassis production and mating it to spare Stug III superstructures. Some had concrete armour added in front of the drivers box, and I believe some late war versions had wire mesh schurtzen, as in the Pz IV Ausf J. These assault guns came under the Artillery arm, and hence the crews had different uniforms. Personally I think Stugs look great

THE KIT

Quite an early kit this, it comes in sand coloured mouldings, which are crisp and detailed. There are lots of Ďsparesí to cover the outside, and alternate parts to mull over before building. The kit comes with rubber type tracks, which I have to say I donít mind at all. I believe this kit is re marketed by CMK,  which really speaks for itself.

CONSTRUCTION

Normal clear and helpful instructions, (unless your  reading the Japanese print)!! Anything requiring pre painting is noted,
and colours given. Lots of alternative choices for you to muse over. Build quality is pretty good, I donít think I used filler once on this kit. Assembly is pretty straight forward, and in a logical order. The box artwork is pretty good, and can be used as a further guide, both for construction and painting.

 This kit was originally built by my stepson, so its actually a rebuild. I found it in a sorry state at the bottom of the wardrobe, and decided to tackle it!!  I started by removing the tracks and any loose parts, keeping them safe. I  checked a few pics of Stug IVs and decided to model it without the side skirts (I think it looks more purposeful that way). Next I cleaned up the old paint job by sanding lightly, then washing with mild soapy water. The barrel had been broken, so needed to be replaced. Luckily the italieri jagd IV lang contains the early barrel on its sprues, so I used that. The upper machine gun shield was missing, and this has been made by using cardboard, cut and bent to the correct shape.
 All in all I didn't have to change much on the kit. It builds into a nice looking model straight from the box. Given that it was a rebuild I was very pleased with the resuilts. Perhaps knowing this makes it easier to take risks and try new methods.

COLORS & MARKINGS

Ok, as far as Iím concerned, any colour variation on sand, red brown and green canít be ruled out. Paints were thinned by petrol or water, and applied using spray, brush, or just thrown from buckets!!  Weather and terrain would have played their part as would the pace of the unit.

Here Iíve opted for a basic sand finish, weathered to portray an overworked, battle weary tank, probably fighting in Italy or the Balkans. Paints were Revell and Humbrol enamels. The basic sand colour has been mixed with other shades to show weathering on certain panel areas. Iíve deliberately kept the markings to a minimum, showing only crosses. Itís been heavily washed in black /brown /red with thinned turps, and dry brushed with light grey/beige.

CONCLUSIONS

A very good kit, reasonably priced. Easy enough for the beginner, but with enough scope to keep a intermediate happy!!   Over  1,000 of this variant were built so camouflage variations are limited only by your imagination. This 'rebuild' was good fun, and I was very pleased with the result. The kit generated quite a lot of interest, when it was sold on evil-bay.

David Carley

November 2007

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