Dragon 1/72 Panzer IV ausf F1
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Armor Pro series|
Panzer IV is the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the late 1930s by Germany and used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen IV (abbreviated PzKpfw IV) and the tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 161.
It was initially designed as an infantry-support medium tank (Begleitwagen, mittlerer Panzer), to work in conjunction with the Panzer III which was intended to engage enemy tanks. Later in the war it was up-gunned and up-armored and took over the tank-fighting role while Panzer IIIs were either put into infantry support duties or converted into other vehicles. The Panzer IV was the most common German tank of World War II, and was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, such as tank destroyers and self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. The Panzer IV was the workhorse of the German tank corps, being produced and used in all theatres of combat throughout the war. The design was upgraded repeatedly to deal with the increasing threats from enemy forces. The Panzer IV has the distinction of being the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout all of World War II, with over 8,500 produced from 1937 to 1945.
The Panzer IV ausf F1(of which 462 were produced in 1941-42) was identical in terms of armament and armor to the Ausf E version. The major difference is that construction was simplified by removing redundant pieces or combining multiple piece constructs into a single piece.
Dragon is one of those companies that doesn't forget that there are many who like to model in smaller scales. This particular kit was released about a year back in 1/35 and now we have it in 1/72.
Thanks to new molding technology, 1/72 kits can have as much visual detail as their larger brothers. This kit benefits from having those great DS soft styrene tracks to help keep the parts count to about 100 pieces. Also included in the kit are a few photo etch parts for the exterior, but not so many that one is swamped with them. For modelers like myself, few is better than a lot when it comes to P.E. bits.
You get all the usual Dragon detailing with this one and the parts definitely show it. The turret and main cannon are particularly well molded. Some modification will need to be done, but the Dragon instructions show you what those few items are. Nothing more taxing that a bit of molded on detail removal and a few additional holes drilled.
Markings are provided for quite a few tanks. in a variety of schemes. All are from the 1941/43 time period and include tanks that are mostly from the Eastern Front, though there is one from North Africa. Camouflage schemes range from Panzer Grey to Yellow to White, though most are in Panzer yellow with additional green and/or brown disruptive markings. The small decal sheet should provide no surprises.
I have built several of these Dragon small armor kits and each one has been not only a lot of fun to build, but they look great when you are done. This is yet another in a growing catalogue of fine kits.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours today at your favorite shop or ask them to order it for you
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