Dragon 1/72 Panzer IV ausf H with Schurzen
|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.
Dragon has produced several of the earlier variants of the Panzer IV including the F and G before this. However, it is nice to have the final major variant available to us in 1/72 scale. This is particularly true when the kit comes with the armor plating around the turret and on the sides. Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, this kit does not have zimmerit, though I do not doubt that will be done in the future.
Most of the parts count is in the suspension and road wheels. I appreciate that the road wheel faces are separate inserts as that makes painting the road wheels that much easier. For a full list of features from Dragon, read what is below.
- Newly produced Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H w/astonishing detail
- Newly produced commander's hatch w/well-defined detail
- Delicate armor skirts produced for Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H
- Well-designed radio antenna
- Finely detailed 7.5cm KwK.40 L/48 gun
- Realistic turret roof rendered w/brackets for armor skirts
- Well-defined turret skirts can be assembled separately
- Sharp detail on front hull
- Full detail such as exhaust system on rear plate
- Detailed spare wheels w/rack on side of upper hull
- Subtly detailed on-vehicle tools can be assembled on fender
- Slide-molded fender w/crisp detail
- Detailed lower hull made by 2-directional slide mold
- Bolts and rivets delicately represented on hull bottom
- One-piece upper hull w/engine deck detail
- Authentic one-piece return rollers are easy to assemble
- Road wheel hubs are separate pieces, allowing unparalleled crispness of detail
- Dual road wheels are perfectly molded in one piece
- One-piece DS tracks
Instructions are well done and provide information on what is needed to modify the parts to match what is on a Panzer IV H. Markings are for five vehicles. All are overall panzer yellow with various patterns of green and brown over the upper surfaces. Two are unidentified units on the Eastern Front, two are from the 2nd Panzer Division at Normandy in 1944 and the fifth is from the 3rd Panzer Division in Ukraine during 1943. The decal sheet is nicely done and I have darkened it so you can see the white bits.
A You really cannot go wrong with these sorts of kits. They offer a lot of detail and yet are not going to be a fiddly mess to build. The DS tracks make painting easier, though I would recommend a good primer before applying the final paint to them.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours now at your local shop or retailer.
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