Dragon 1/35 Panzer IV ausf H (mid-production 1943)

KIT #: 6526
PRICE: $60.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart kit


Despite the fame of designs like the Panther and Tiger, Germany’s most important tank was the Panzer IV. As well as being the most numerically common tank in German service, it was also a very capable design that underwent continuous improvement during its lifespan of 1936-45. One of the versions was the Ausf.H (Sd.Kfz.161/2), which began rolling off factory floors in April 1943. A total of 3,774 Ausf.H tanks were eventually made. It also had the six-speed SSG77 transmission from the Panzer III fitted. This increased the tank’s weight to 25 tonnes. So popular was the Panzer IV that it  and derivatives based on its chassis were used by many armies long after the war. Some were still in service with Syria in the late 1960s.


It is always great to see another variant of a popular armor kit from Dragon. The Panzer IV has been kitted in a number of variations and I'm sure there are even more yet to be done. One thing about armor, the different versions and sub versions of a long built vehicle seem almost endless. This, of course, is due to the constant modification and upgrading of vehicles on the production line that have resulted from combat experience or the addition of improved systems.

This variant was built from September to November of 1943 and required Dragon to retool several parts on the hull to match the differences from the earlier and later versions. As it is a Smart Kit, it has the  Magic Track individual link tracks and also includes the nicely done photo etch side skirts. There are seriously a ton of sprues in this kit and while not all bits are to be used, there are over 800 that are.

Here is a rundown of the kit's features: 

- Newly tooled air filter
- Newly tooled side armor for air filter
- Newly tooled spare-track bracket on glacis w/optional photo-etched and plastic parts
- One-piece upper hull made from 2-directional slide mold w/new engine-deck design
- Slide-skirt armor produced in metal for scale thickness
- One-piece 3-directional slide-molded turret
- Turret roof rendered w/Turret-skirt armor brackets
- Turret-skirt and side-skirt armor plates can be installed separately
- Complete gun assembly w/full detail
- Mantlet guard can be removed and gun unloaded as on real vehicle
- Detailed gun muzzle brake
- Finely detailed 7.5cm Kw.K.40 L/48 gun
- Gun sleeve w/delicate weld and bolt detail made from 3-directional slide molds
- brackets for side-skirt armor realistically detailed
- Hollowed-out undercut on Turret bottom included
- Incorporates toothed Turret ring inside Turret
- Commander's cupola creates structural details
- Cupola vision blocks can be assembled open/closed
- Driver's and radio operator's housing w/splash guards
- Hatches w/internal detail
- Injection-molded fenders made to thinnest possible dimensions
- Side fenders w/pattern detail on both top and bottom surfaces
- Great detail on hull rear
- Intricate spare tracks on rear armor plate
- Photo-etched parts for engine-deck ventilation grills
- Engine hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Spare-track bracket on lower hull front
- Two types of side-skirt armor plate w/bolt detail
- Spare-wheel rack w/spare wheels on upper hull side
- OVM arrangement on fenders included
- Injection-molded OVM w/crisp detail
- Air-intake covers have option of injection or photo-etched parts
- Realistic double-layered air intake
- One-piece lower hull made from slide molds
- Hull bottom fully detailed
- Final-drive housing w/details on both sides
- Sprocket wheels w/breathtaking detail and multiple delicate parts
- Complete MG w/workable ball mount
- Idler wheels have detailed parts
- Road wheels and suspension w/multiple components exhibit crisp detail
- Detailed towing-eye brackets w/separate parts
- Extendable jack w/separate parts
- 40cm Magic Tracks w/detail on both sides

Once again that popular 'unidentified unit' from the Eastern front gives the lone markings option as is shown on the box art. This is in panzer yellow with large areas of green and brown camouflage. Instructions are quite intensive with the usual excellent drawings and color information. It also means some rather crowded illustrations so one needs to be careful during construction.


I'm sure that tank fans will be very pleased with this one. The Panzer IV seems to be quite popular on the contest tables and this one will be no exception, I'm sure. It will provide many hours of modeling enjoyment during construction and look great when it is done.


Dragon USA

July 2011

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours now at your local shop or retailer.

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