This set contains all the parts needed to turn Tamiya's Pzr IV ausf. H into the ausf F1, the last of the short barreled Pzr IV series. In the box are three zipbags with resin parts and a color sheet with "instructions". The instructions take form of 11 photo's, showing all the parts in place. Numbered arrows show the relevant parts, and if you have build a Pzr IV or StuG before this should not be a problem. Otherwise some guessing may be unavoidable.
All the parts are crisply molded, with no airbubbles. There is a lot of flash to be trimmed, and some parts have been molded a bit thin, like the cuppola hatches. Overall detail is very nice, I esspecialy like the rifling of the barrel, some carefull painting should bring that out nice.
What's in the bags?
Bag one holds the turret and hull parts. The turret roof fits well with the turret which in turn is a perfect fit with the Tamiya upperhull. some sanding and some serious trimming is required to match the turret front to the roof, as the mating surface of the front plate is a rough mould. The barrrel is glued to the front plate, without a breech, but the kit breech can be made to fit if you would like to fill out the interior a bit. All hatches can be mounted open or closed, and if open the turret would be rather empty as no internal detail is provided.
The rear hull plate fits well and is simply glued in place. All the bolt and hatch detail is correct for the F1 version.
The engine deck is completly replaced and this needs to be cut from the kit. the replacement hatches have the correct covers over the air intake/outlets, but need opening up as the molding has left them largly closed. The hatches are a loose fit, but no filler will be required.
The upper front glacis plate is also a replacement for which the kit part needs to be removed. The replacement is a bit to narrow, and the slight gap between glacis and mud guards will need to be filled as there should be no gap between them. The plate is also thicker on one side, which needs to be sanded to fit.
Bag two holds all the various small parts which are different from the ausf. H and a few improvments on the kit originals. The MIG exhaust is far superior over the kit offering, but needs the exhaust pipe drilled or reamed out to finish it off. New driver and radio operator hatches with the porthole covers molded in place are provided, aswel as new lights, some tools, track tensioners, a smoke candle holder and the aerial deflector for under the barrel. All these parts are far better and finer detailed than the kit parts.The deflector needs very carefull trimming and sanding as it is very fragile.
Bag three really is a gem. It contains the commanders cuppola, a masterpiece of 19 (!) parts, with a one piece cuppola and individual visor blocks and individual operating handels to open and close the armored vision slits aswel as the rubber padding blocks between the visor blocks. This set is available seperatly, and I think is a must when building a Pzr III or IV with the late style cuppola. The operating handels are very fragile, but fit well. The only minus I could find with the cuppola were the hatches, which are molded to thin, almost like flash. Again as with all the other parts all the detail is correct for the F1 version. Separte hatch lock handels are also in the set.
The set is very easy to work with, and apart from some very fine and small parts should not be a problem to build for those with some experience in resin. All the parts clean up well, and apart from the glacis plate fit well. The parts are all correct for the F1 version, and are an improvment on the kit parts in any case. This should build together into a nice model, and would only need some AM tracks to finish it off. I recommend this set and would have scored it a ten but for the molding of the turret hatches and the glacis plate.Last but not least a big thank you to Pawel (Vodnik) for giving me the opportunity to do this review, and MIG productions for supplying the set. MIG productions can be found at www.migproductions.com