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In-Box Review
135
Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H
Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H Late Production with Zimmerit
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by: James Bella [ C5FLIES ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

A little over a year ago, Dragon Models Limited released their Smart Kit version of the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H Late Production, and a full review of that kit (#6300) is available on Armorama:

Panzer IV Ausf. H Late

This year brings us basically the same kit with the addition of pre-zimmed parts and DS tracks, which should appeal to those that would rather not attempt adding Zimmerit or assembling indy links in the form of Magic Tracks.

contents

Packed full in a slip top box, the kit contains:
•25 sprues in gray styrene
•1 clear sprue
•Lower hull
•PE fret
•2 nickel colored frets for the side skirts
•DS tracks
•Metal cable
•14 Magic Track links
•Decal sheet
•Instructions

The sprues are packed 2-3 per bag, with the smaller and more delicate parts on the familiar Dragon card, and all arrived safe and sound. As far as I can tell, there are two new sprues in this kit which contain the parts with the Zimmerit coating. The rest are from the previously mentioned Pz.IV Ausf. H and DML’s Brummbär with Zimmerit. Many parts are marked not for use, so plenty for the spare bin.

Decals are printed by Cartograf and are very well done. The instructions are presented in the style of exploded view line drawings and span 19 construction steps. A quick glance through the instructions shows them to follow a fairly logical sequence and not overly busy, but do have a few mis-numbered parts (although the drawings show the correct part). Coupled with the sheer amount of sprues (some sharing the same letter designation) and the options provided, prompts careful examination of the instructions before committing to glue, and reference material is always helpful to have on hand.

the new stuff

Zimmerit Parts:
Most of the Zimmerit parts are newly tooled for this kit, with a small amount coming from the previously released Brummbär. The glacis, bow, front and rear superstructure, turret front, mantlet and mudflaps all get the zim treatment, along with most of their related parts such as hatches, cowlings, etc. The zimmerit looks quite good in an imperfect way, like it was applied by hand. Some molded in damage is evident, not overdone but enough to give it some character.

Tracks:
In keeping with the mode of ‘pre-done’ in this kit, Dragon Styrene 100 (DS) tracks are included instead of Magic Tracks. These are rubber band style in flexible styrene/vinyl that can be glued with regular styrene cement. There is a noticeable parting line down the center of the solid guide horns and flash is visible in the openings. The instructions state “easy to get rid of parting lines (space) modeling thinner”, although I haven’t found anything suitable to work on these yet. I’m thinking along the lines of mud during the weathering process…

Both runs of tracks are identical, so these are non-handed.
The spare tracks are provided in the form of Magic Tracks and indy links on the sprues.

Photo Etch:
Not a new addition to this kit but worth noting in keeping with the easy approach of this kit. Virtually none of it requires use, as styrene alternatives are provided. The only parts not available as styrene are the chain for the jack block and the hull schürzen, and the latter can be depicted as MIA.

Painting and Markings:
Seven options are included, in both two and three color camo schemes:
•8./Pz.Rgt. 12, 12.Pz.Div.”Hitlerjugend”, France 1944
•Pz.Rgt.27, 19.Pz.Div., Warsaw 1944
•8./Pz.Rgt.3, 2.Pz.Div., Normandy 1944, two options
•7./Pz.Rgt.3, 3Pz.Div., “Totenkopf”, Warsaw 1944
•5.Pz.Div., “Wiking”, Eastern Front 1944
•6./Pz.Rgt.6, 3.Pz.Div., Russia 1944
The decal sheet offers a good selection to work with, including the schürzen markings and chassis numbers as seen on some period photos.

conclusion

This kit will most definitely not appeal to everyone wanting to build a Pz. IV Late version, but is an excellent compliment to Dragon’s kit #6300. DML also did their homework on the options provided and allow a very good facsimile of various wartime photos. Fit and finish of the parts tested were excellent, but be prepared to do a fair amount of clean up due to the ejector ‘nubs’ and lots of sprue hunting finding the correct parts. This kit measures up very well compared to scale drawings and comes highly recommended to the market it’s geared for.

Recommended Reads:

Sd.Kfz.161 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf G/H/J vol. 2 Waldemar Trojca
Panzer IV The Wehrmacht’s Armoured Fist Jurado and Franco
Panzer IV & its Variants Spielberger
Panzer Vor! Vol. 1 and 4 Frank De Sisto
Nuts & Bolts vol. 13 Flakpanzer IV Detlev Terlisten

A Build Log has been started in the forums to evaluate the kit construction.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well done zimmerit on all the right places for an OOB build, very accurate and well engineered kit.
Lows: Flash on the DS tracks.
Verdict: Great detail throughout, well researched and beautifully molded. If you don't like applying, or purchasing, zimmerit this is an excellent kit of the Pz.IV late production. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6560
  Suggested Retail: $49.95
  Related Link: Dragon USA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Sep 17, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.44%
  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 James Bella (c5flies)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...

Copyright ©2017 text by James Bella [ C5FLIES ]. 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

Nice review. This kit looks like a good option for those of us who are zimmerit challenged.
SEP 17, 2010 - 08:32 PM
I found this review of James Bella very thorough. The number of pictures made me feel that I am opening the kit box. I think this is indeed a very good review of a kit that I am contemplating on getting. Thanks James!
SEP 18, 2010 - 07:07 PM
I second Noli's comment. It is very nice to see a review that both tells and shows you what you are getting. It really helps out in making a decision of whether or not to buy a particular kit. Much appreciated James I'm not afraid of making my own Zimm, but it sure is nice not to have too.
SEP 18, 2010 - 07:18 PM
Thank you gentlemen. Pictures always tell a better story than I possibly could, and usually have the biggest impact on me I'll be starting a build log on this kit very shortly if you're interested...actually I'm quite far into it already.
SEP 18, 2010 - 09:41 PM
Great review. Looks like a good kit - I'll certainly pick one up. Seems like the Stug IV has always been the poor stepsister of the Stug III ... glad to see it getting more attention. Now, when will Dragon release a Panther A early and late with zimmerit?
SEP 19, 2010 - 12:55 PM
Nice review. The weakest point of this kit are the DS tracks with all that flash. One more reason to buy Magic Tracks from Cyber Hobby or those from Tristar.
SEP 19, 2010 - 04:40 PM
Excellent, informative review, James. Just the kind that tells a hobbyist whether or not the kit meets or exceeds expectations. In a down economy like this, value-for-money is an important consideration.
SEP 20, 2010 - 10:11 AM
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