Dragon 1/35 Panzer IV ausf H (mid-production w Zimmerit)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
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 1/35 scale plastic kitfeatures a number of newly tooled parts, one example being the turret side skirts that have their own layer of readymade Zimmerit. Also brand new is the frontal armor plate containing the steering-brake hatches. This too bears a coating of Zimmerit, which is nicely sculpted and looks quite authentic. The inclusion of Zimmerit on this kit is certainly a highlight, as it saves modelers from the time-consuming task of recreating the texture themselves. The box comes with a generous selection of Cartograf decals, all of which cover those panzer divisions operational in Normandy, including the Hitlerjugend and 2nd Panzer Divisions.
Here is a rundown of the kit's features:
- Newly tooled turret skirt molded w/Zimmerit
- 3 directional slide-molded gun sleeve newly molded w/Zimmerit
- Turret roof rendered w/turret skirt armor brackets
- Turret skirt and side-skirt armor plates can be installed separately
- Brackets for side-skirt armor relistically detailed- Great detail on hull rear
- Intricate spare tracks on rear armor plate
- Spare-track bracket on glacis w/optional photo-etched and plastic parts
- Slide-skirt armor produced in metal for scale thickness
- Side armor for air filter reproduced
- One-piece 3-directional slide-molded turret
- Commander's cupola recreates structural details
- Cupola vision blocks can be assembled open/closed
- Air filter reproduced
- Air-intake covers have option of injection or photo-etched parts
- Spare-wheel rack w/spare wheels on upper hull side
- Finely detailed 7.5cm Kw.K.40 L/48 gun
- Detailed gun muzzle brake
- Injection-molded fenders made to thinnest possible dimensions
- Zimmerit molded on the top of side fenders
- Final-drive housing w/details on both sides
- Sprocket wheels w/breathtaking detail and multiple delicate parts
- Idler wheels have detailed parts
- Road wheels and suspension w/multiple components exhibit crisp detail
- Injection-molded on-vehicle tools w/crisp detail
Once again that popular 'unidentified unit' from the Eastern front is provided as well as the HJ division for several, 2 Panzer Divistion and 20 Panzer Division. Several of the options include the side skirts and the decal sheet offers a variety of numbers for the side. 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.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours now at your local shop or retailer.
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