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Built Review
172
Pzr IV with Hydrostatic Drive

by: Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]

introduction

Euromodel Plus have just recently started to produce these 1:72 scale models of mainly SPG’s based on the Pz. IV chassis. The kits are produced in Poland, and sold in the U.K. by Stanley. The following, very interesting line up has been created:
-Ardelt 8.8cm Pak43/3 Waffentrager
-Flakpanzer IV Mobelwagen with zimmerit
-Flakpanzer IV Mobelwagen
-Raketenwerfer auf Panzer IV
-Sdkfz 165 Ammunition Hummel
-Sdkfz 164 Nashorn early
-Sdkfz 164 Nashorn late
-Sdkfz 165 Hummel early
-Sdkfz 165 Hummel late
-Panzer IV Krupp prototype-Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive
-10.5 cm K18 auf Pz IV a Dickermax
-12.8 cm K40 L/61 auf PzSfl V Sturer Emil
I’m reviewing the Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive, one proto-type of which was produced and served on the Eastern Front for evaluation.




what’s in the box?

The kit is packed in a very sturdy box with a hinged top, which looks as if it will survive the worst that the postal service can throw at it. There is not much in the way of ‘appetizing’ boxart, as only a single print of the kit (Built, unpainted, two views) shows what the box contains. Inside the box are two ziplockbags and the instructions.
The instructions consist of just one ‘exploded view’ picture, which at first looks a bit confusing, but as the hull and turret come as single castings, the instructions are only needed to show where the wheels, suspension, tracks etc go. For anybody who has build a PZR IV before this should not be a problem.



close up

These kits contain some incredibly small detail, such as the separate MG barrel in this kit. All the parts are cast very well, but suffer from a large amount of flash. Most of this flash is very easy to clean with a sharp exacto knife, but great care must be taken not to damage the fragile parts. The large single cast of the hull has no major flaws, such as air bubbles or broken parts, but does suffer from some ‘surface pitting’.

The shape of the hull has been captured well, but again great care must be taken when removing and cleaning the large mould plug at the front of the hull. Unfortunately the plug is attached to the front hull plate, between the protruding mudguards, and after removing the bulk of it with a razor saw the remainder will need to be carefully cut and sanded away. The hull is very nice though, with the tools and fittings already cast on. Whilst I’m not normally a fan of cast on tools, in this case it has been done quite well, and with careful painting and weathering should look great. The detail and shape of the tools has been captured very convincingly. The only item that looks a bit out of scale is the jack block. The wooden block has two metal straps running around the edges, to avoid the wood from splitting under load, and on the kit these are to thick. It can be fixed with a sharp Exacto blade, but great care must be taken not to damage the retaining strap (which runs in the middle of the block).

The suspension bogies are a one piece design, but lack a positive key attachment to help mounting them all in line. The mounting positions need some cleaning up of flash, to ensure a straight fit. The bogies are well cast and carry convincing detail of the springs and hangers. The wheels are good, come in two pieces (inner and outer wheel) and the detail of the wheel hubs is excellent.

The turret is a single cast, with just the stowage box to add. The mantlet and armoured recouperator housing are also a single cast, which is glued directly to the turret. Although the recouporator housing has a mounting hole in the front, the barrel did not have a corresponding pin so careful positioning was required. The barrel has a beautiful muzzle brake, hollow cast with no clean-up required.

The kit comes with turret skirts and without sideskirts. All the reference photo’s that I have seen show this set-up to be correct. The turret skirt comes in one piece, with six mounting brackets. The outside of the skirt has door detail moulded on, and the skirt is a perfect fit without any warpage. For such a thin and large piece, that’s very good.

The tracks are one piece lengths, and need to be bend around the sprocket and idler wheel. Dipping them in hot water softens them sufficiently to do this. The detail is impressive, and includes the little ice cleat ridges on the running surfaces, as well as tiny detail ridges in between. Better than many ‘rubberband’ tracks in 1:35.



conclusion

I have build, and attempted to convert, a few 1:72 scale kits over the years, and this kit easily holds it own amongst the best. Apart from the jack block there are no real flaws I have found, the single cast hull and turret really make construction a quick and enjoyable affair. The parts do need a lot of clean-up, but some of that is to be expected with an all resin kit. For around £9 it’s not much more expensive than comparable plastic kits and that, combined with the interesting subjects available makes it a good value kit in my opinion. Highly recommended.



If you are interested in these kits, you can reach Stanley at stasek@autograf.pl

SUMMARY
At the recent MAFVA Nationals at Duxford I managed to stay within my self imposed budget, for once, and had purchased only a few ‘essentials’ from the various traders around the marquee. Just before the end of the show I ran into one of my Salisbury Plain pals, who had a Polish friend, Stanley, in tow, and who asked me if I ‘was into 72 and that’. Being a confirmed 35 scaler, my initial response was a bit hesitant, until he explained that his friend was selling resin kits of Panzer IV variants… that awoke my interest all right, and I had a closer look. .
  CASTING QUALITY:90%
  DETAIL:90%
  INSTRUCTIONS:70%
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: N/A
  Suggested Retail: from £9
  PUBLISHED: Jul 08, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.01%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

About Henk Meerdink (Henk)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

Copyright ©2019 text by Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]. All rights reserved.


   

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Photos
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