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In-Box Review
172
Pz. Kpfw. IV, Ausf. G Early
Pz. Kpfw. IV, Ausf. G Early Production
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by: Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Panzer Kampfwagen IV was designed as a medium infantry-support tank. Eventually the armor and main gun were improved so that the IV could take over the primary tank-fighting role of the Panzer III. Ultimately the IV became the most common German tank of WWII, with more than 9,000 produced from 1939-1945. There were a number of different versions of the IVs produced with roughly 1,687 of the Ausf. G being produced between 1942-1943.

the kit

The kit consists of 165 parts molded in light grey styrene, of which only two (2!) will be relegated to the parts bin, four photo etch parts, two DS tracks, and decals for five vehicles.

The Review

The instructions are well-printed and easily understood; if followed, they will yield a very clear sequence to the build.

Each bogie consists of five parts that are easily assembled and because of the separate hubs, will facilitate the painting of the rubber portion of the road wheels. There is a molding piece on the back of each hub that will need to be removed (with a little sanding required too). The first major visual option encountered is the choice of adding the spare track to the front of the hull. With the spares added, five parts are used; without, it uses six. Step 4 calls for minor surgery by removing two flat “brackets” that are molded on. Step 5 gives another option of adding spare track.

Step 5 also offers the only photo etch (PE) options; replacing the molded support brackets (no holes) with the PE replacements (two holes). Additionally, Dragon included PE "covers" for the fenders (parts MA1 & 2). I really don't believe that adding these two PE parts will make that much of a difference because the molded top surface is slightly rounded, while the PE is flat (is there an issue with a gap between the two?). Both PE parts have a small notch taken out of the rearward segment, whereas the kit only has one side with that notch.

Step 6 involves building the main gun. The only comment here is that there is a faint seam line running the length of the barrel. Light/careful scraping will correct this. Step 7 gives the builder the option of an open or closed hatch for the commander.

The tracks: love 'em or hate 'em, the Dragon Styrene tracks are nicely formed; however they are the closed guide horn type.

I do have one word of caution: because of the size, care will be needed when removing the parts from the sprues and cleaning up the minimal amount of seam lines.

painting & decals

Paint references are given for Mr. Colour, Aqueous Hobby Colour, and Model Master. The decal sheet includes markings for five vehicles:

1st Panzer (1943, Greece)
Groβdeutschland (1943-1944, Russia)
two for the "LAH” (both 1st Panzer Grenadier Division, 1943, location not indicated)
Totenkopf (1943, Kharkov) (see the "Painting & Markings" photo)

The decals are printed in near perfect register (to these aged eyes, they look great!). Unfortunately, white-on-white does not scan well, but the white numbers look equally great.

Conclusion

Like all of the Dragon 1/72nd Armor Pro kits, this one should build up into a very nice replica of an Early Panzer Kampfwagen IV Ausf. G. With well-molded parts, the DS tracks, and a little bit of PE, this should prove itself to be a nice and easy kit to build for a modeler, regardless of skill level. All in all, it should turn out to be an enjoyable build for a 1/72nd kit. Recommended.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well-detailed kit, nice moldings, clear instructions and drawings.
Lows: None really.
Verdict: A very nice, well-detailed, easy-to-assemble version of the early production Pz. Kpfw. IV, Ausf. G.
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7278
  Suggested Retail: $19.95
  Related Link: website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 29, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.85%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mike High (TacFireGuru)
FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES

Like most, I started out in my young years; building Monogram armor and aircraft. Joining the Army at 17 in 1981 put a stop to my building for many years, I retired in 2001 and ran across Armorama....I've been re-hooked since. I'm a notoriously slow builder and seem to have more than one buil...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Bill, thanks for putting up the review. I did neglect to mention one thing about the DS tracks in this particular kit; if one has it, but does not plan to build it in the near future, I would highly recommend removing the tracks from their sprue. If you look at the picture, you can see where the sprue attachment points kind of pull the sides of the tracks in. If the kit is going to sit in the stash for a bit, cutting these points will allow them to straighten out a bit (ideally do like I did, remove them, then tape them (guide horns up) to the bottom of the inside of the box). I do this to most of the kits (regardless of scale) with "rubber band" tracks. Mike
SEP 29, 2009 - 11:31 AM
That's a good suggestion, Mike. If you like, I can add it to the review.
SEP 29, 2009 - 11:56 AM
Either way Bill....it is/was an after-thought. Rubber band tracks have a tendancy to come to the modeler in many conditions; from flat and nice to "all out of kilter." Taping them down to the box's bottom half realigns them (after a fashion). Your call....I have a variety of kits (different manufacturers and scales) that I've done this for....so it's technically not specific to this kit....bad choice of words on the previous post. Mike
SEP 29, 2009 - 12:21 PM
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