Published on
April 14, 2016
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$33.00
Product / Stock #
32584
Company: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tamiya America - Website: Visit Site

Tamiya’s ever growing line of 1/48 armor kits has added one of the most produced armored figting vehicles of the Second World War, the Panzerkampfwagon IV, with this release being the ausf H version. The kit is molded in Tamiya’s standard desert yellow plastic. The tracks are plastic link and length type, and the only multi-media in the kit is two steel weights for the lower hull. Originally Tamiya 1/48 armor kits came with die cast metal lower hulls, but that has been replaced with a plastic hull in this release, with the two weights being a compromise. There is no zimmerit texture on the hull parts, a necessity for a German armor kit of this time frame. Tamiya recommends either buying their zimmerit tools and applying your own, or using the self adhesive vinyl zimmerit that they produce. I chose the latter for my build.

Steps 1, 2, & 3 of the assembly manual deal with assembling the lower hull. First the weights are added, then the front and rear hull plates with the exhaust system and various brackets and hooks. Steps 4,5, & 6 involve the assembly of the road wheels, drove sprockets, idler wheels, and return rollers. Your also attach the final drive housings at this time. Step 7 involves assembling the link and length tracks, which is probably the most challenging aspect of this build. Take your time, and count your individual links around the drove sprockets and idler wheels. You can either attach the tracks at this time, or build them in sections (top and bottom for example) to attach after you have painted the hull. I chose to build mine in place.

Steps 8 & 9 cover attaching the fenders to the upper hull and assembling the Bosch headlight, shackles and tools. Steps 10 & 11 have you assemble the upper hull, adding the bow plate, machine gun, pioneer tools, and the parts you assembled in step 9. Next, the upper hull is mated to the lower hull. Steps 12 &13 have you add more tools, the jack, towing gear, and the framework for the Shurzen side skirts. Step 14 effectively ends the construction of the hull with the addition of the Schurzen. I would recommend leaving them off until the final painting is completed. I chose not add mine to this model to better show off the running gear and track.

The next six steps cover the assembly of the turret. The main gun is provided in one piece, with only small attachment points and a slight mold seam to sand off. The muzzle break in in two pieces and well captures the look of the prototype. The most challenging aspect of the turret build is aligning the brackets for the Schurzen. The Schurzen armor comprises five pieces and aligning the brackets and the armor pieces is essential. If you do not, you will have to remove them and start over because the turret will not sit right or traverse the hull. Ask me how I know…

Before I painted the model I added Tamiya’s self adhesive vinyl Zimmerit product. This is a gray textured material (ink? Thick paint?) printed on a clear vinyl sheet with the Zimmerited sections outlined. You have to cut each section from the sheet, so a good knife, straight edge, and a small pair of shears, like a pair of cuticle shears will be most helpful.

Once the Zimmerit was applied, I sprayed the model with Vallejo black surface primer. I used Ammo RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb 1944 for my base German yellow, and applied a slight modulation highlight with various shades of Dunkelgelp from the AK Interactive German Yellow set. The green camouflage was freehanded with Tamiya NATO Green thinned with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Once this was done, I sprayed a filter of extremely diluted Tamiya Buff to blend the colors. The tracks where masked and painted with Vallejo Air Model German Dark Camo Brown and washed with Ammo Track Wash. Ammo Wash for Dark Yellow was applied to pick out the details.

All in all, this was a fun little build. I like these 1/48 armor kits. They are well detailed, assemble easily, and provide an interesting sense of scale when displayed next to your 1/48 aircraft kits. I can recommend this kit to all armor fans, and to aircraft fans who want to challenge a tank. Build one of these Tamiya 1/48 armor kits. You will like it.

Thanks goes to IPMSUSA and Tamiya USA for providing the review sample.

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