1⁄35Panzer IV D
Stages 2 to 7At the beginning of this stage you must commit yourself to which version you wish to build, since this is a Dragon 3 in 1 kit. The 3 versions possible are the production version, with added armour, and the tropical version. The tropical version, which I had decided to build, used the hull with the added armour, there being two types of hull supplied in the kit. Both hulls come with the option of having the fuel filler caps open or closed, and if you decide to display them open there is an insert you put on the inside of the hull to represent the neck of the fuel tank. Next is the front plate, and the towing pintles. Again, I replaced the etched chains with real chain from the spares box and small jump rings made from wire formed around a drill bit. The suspension shock absorbers are fitted at this stage, as is the ring inside the hull on which the turret is located later. The drive housings must be constructed now, and again we are presented with a choice. The choice is whether or not to display the whole thing in pieces, since Dragon provide all the gears for inside the housing, should you choose to display the Panzer IV in a maintenance setting. I could just imagine slapping on loads of neat black oil paint to represent all the grease that the housing would be full of! Maybe next time, since this one was going to built in full working order. The armoured covers for the drive housings include some of the smallest pieces I have ever seen made from styrene, the conical headed bolts, take care you donít lose any! In stage 5 as with all the Panzer IV kits from Dragon that Iíve built, the armoured covers for the suspension that fit along either side of the hull bottom, just donít seem to want to fit properly. Theyíre fine until I come to cement them, and then I always have to tape them in place, as you can see from the photograph. Stage 5 gave me a bit of a problem, in that the rear plate along the bottom of the hull when fitted left large gaps between the supporting fillets and the idler adjustment housing. No matter how I tried I couldnít seem to get rid of these gaps and ended up filling them with some strips of styrene. I decided to let these harden overnight before continuing with the build. The next morning, I decided to pull the whole thing apart and find out where I had gone wrong. I carefully removed the plate, cleaned up all the joins and started again. This time it fit. I still donít know where I had gone wrong the first time, but I suspect that it has to do with the not so positive fit between D71 and the hull. So take care! In stages 6 & 7 you must construct the hull front plate holding the driverís visor, and co driverís machine gun, and the rear hull plate including the engine intakes. The driverís visor is made completely from transparent styrene, and can be posed in one of two positions, although it canít actually be seen on the completed model unless of course youíre leaving the front hatches open. The same can be said of the superb Mg34 for the front hull plate. The detail is amazing, so if you are going to leave the front hatches open, this area will look superb.
Copyright ©2020 by Vinnie Branigan. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2006-04-29 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 22673