Pz. Kpfw.IV Ausf. H w/Schürzen

Published on
December 29, 2013
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Dragon Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art


The PanzerKampfWagen IV Ausf H was designed to be an improved version of earlier PZKw IVs. The 75mm KWK/40 L48 main gun was supposed to be the same 50mm gun used in the IV Ausf F, but the shock of discovering how hard it was to deal with the Russian T-34s and KV-1s necessitated the upgrade to a 75mm gun. The particular version in this kit has the standoff armor (Schűrzen = aprons). The standoff armor is to protect the hull from shaped-charge weapons like the bazooka or Panzerfaust. The boxart shows extra tracks carried on the front glacis plate, but these are not included in the kit.

The Kit

This is not a kit for most of the six to nine year-old crowd. The kit has a lot of little parts which makes for great detailing, but also a lot of fine work. Come to think of it, this kit may not be suitable for the over 65 crowd either, as it took a lot of looking with the magnifiers to see where parts attached. The molding is very good, with very little flash on any of the plastic parts.


I started out by painting every part on the trees Testors Panzer gelb. With a project like this, it’s nice not to have to paint every part individually.

Step 1 is to assemble the eight road wheels. There’s a main part with the tires and inner wheels, and then there’s a nicely detailed outer wheel. This was really great for me, as I was able to brush paint the black tires then attach the pre-painted hub assembly. It looked great and it’s so nice to have something that’s actually simple. The wheels are glued to the suspension, and the suspensions glued to the hull bottom. I used Testors liquid cement thickened with tube glue. This turned out to be an error, as the parts just didn’t respond well to this cement. For many of the suspension to hull joins, I had to reinstall the parts using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement.

Once I had the suspension installed, I painted and installed the return rollers, then the drive sprocket and idler sprocket. Then some details on the rear of the hull.

The upper hull was easier than the suspension. There was one thing I thankfully caught. In step 3, they tell you to drill 3 holes in the upper hull. But there’s no part that goes where those holes go. So don’t bother drilling holes you don’t need. There are a number of detail parts along the left side of the upper hull, and nothing on the right side.

The gun was next. It had moments of difficulty, as the parts that hold the elevating mechanism are small. I managed to glue these parts together with one slip of the applicator brush for the Tamiya Cement. The rest of the fun went together very well, everything fits.

The turret only needs to have the gun installed, the cupola/hatch attached, the turret bustle installed, and the extra armor added. I waited on installing the extra armor until the lower hull was complete, with the tracks installed.

IThe full-length fenders on the lower hull were attached at the same time I mated the upper and lower hulls. There are a few detail parts that go on the fenders.

I then painted the green and brown splotches and stripes on the tank and the side skirts. I figured it would be far easier to do this and then install the skirts than to try to paint with them on the tank, blocking my spray and chancing getting paint on those nice road wheels.

You have to install the tracks before you put the side armor on. The tracks were the “old” vinyl type, not the type that Dragon had a few years ago which could be glued with regular liquid cement. On the other hand, CA worked just fine, and the skirts will cover the glue blobs just fine.

The turret extra armor is in three pieces, with three stanchions on each side to hold these side plates. The back plate attaches to the turret bustle. This has to be done in one step, as getting everything to line up would be a real job after the glue has set. I used gel-type super glue to hold the stanchions to the hull and the armor to the mounting. With accelerator, it worked very well, and will be strong for quite a while.

The side armor mounts on 4 stanchions on each side. Again using CA, I had no problems.


The decals are by Cartograf, and worked pretty well, except for the numbers on the turret. One of the tanks from 2nd Panzer is 802, the other is 823. On the decal sheet they give you 8 0 2 3. And they’re separate decals. Getting those small decals to line up fairly closely was a bit of a chore, as when I’d wet the 2 in 802, to move it, the 0 would try to float off too. Or the 8 would move when I tried to get the 0 back in line. The killer moment was when I sprayed the decals with flat clear acrylic to seal them and blew one of the 8s off the turret. Fortunately Cartograf gives you 4 sets of numbers and you only need 3. I put a bit of thinned Elmer’s Glue under that decal when I replaced it.

Final Assembly

I installed the turret. The fit on this part is so good that the turret doesn’t turn easily.

I always leave the small parts off until last. In this case, the machine guns in the front of the turret and hull and the radio antenna.

And it was done.

Overall Evaluation

Recommended. There are some nice features in this kit, and the fit is darned good. Everything fits well, with some jockeying needed to be sure that there are no gaps between parts. All of the little nubs where the sprues attach need to be carefully removed, as they can interfere with the closely fitting parts.

Thanks to Dragon USA for providing the kit and IPMS/USA for letting me build it.


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