IntroductionPzKpfw IV Ausf. G (früh)
from SDV Model
is a recent 1/87 model, item 87 162
kits several Panzer IVs and their modular design allows the evolving design to be offered with minimal changes.
The PzKpfw IV family is well known so no history will be presented here except to note that, compared to predecessors, the Ausf. G series were developed from the Ausf. F, with additional armor being added until many Ausf. Gs had frontal armor of 80 mm, and the turret face 50 mm, although the hull side and turret armor remained 30 mm. Over 1,600 were built as tanks, with delivery beginning in June, 1942. Panzer IV G was armed with the long KwK 40 L/43 7.5cm gun, and upgunned with the KwK 40 L/48 in March, 1943. Like the Ausf. F2, the KwK 40 allowed Panzer IV Gs to shoot holes through most Allied tanks, while their better armor protected it from most enemy tank guns at typical ranges.
SDV Model writes;
The Czech company SDV model® was established in Prague in 1989. It specializes in production of short-run plastic kits of military machinery, trucks and buses in 1:87 scale. Our family-type company operates its own tool shop and press machines. Many other kits that are being sold under other trademarks were actually made by us.
At the time of this review SDV
's catalogue offers 1/87 and 1/120 models in five main categories and three subcategories;
BasicLine 1:87 - 163 civilian buses, trucks, farm equipment and circus vehicles.
MilitaryLine 1:87 - 100 military German and Russian or Warsaw Pact vehicles AFVs and soft skins.
Helicopters 1:87 - two Mi-24 Hind gunships.
Objektů 1:87 - a field fortification
Velikost TT (1:120) - 51 railway rolling stock and military vehicles, and accessories.
Nákladní vagóny 1:87 - a flat car with a tracked vehicle load.
Doplňky 1:87 - 52 sets of decals, paints, and model accessories.
Poslední kusy 1:87 - VT-55A railway wreck recovery vehicle.
While 1/87 military may not be as widely known in the US and UK as other “Braille scales”, 1/87 has been huge since Roco began releasing their MiniTanks back in the early 1960s, especially in Continental Europe. 1/87 is popular for wargaming as well as stand-alone models. It is also popular for dioramas because of the expansive availability of model railroad buildings, figures and scenery; 1/87 is model railroading's HO scale, thus perhaps the most prolific scale in the world. Huge dioramas are possible.
Let's look at this new offering.
In the box
When I first encountered SDV Model kits, I expected this model would be more like traditional injection or resin 1/87 kits - a few parts of combined major component assemblies. I was wrong - it is a traditional kit consisting of over 75 pieces on 10 sprues.
Molding is good but does suffer some flash. No visible sink marks or ejector marks mar the parts. Minimal mold seam lines. Even the sprue attachment points are acceptably small. This is good because many of the pieces are small and delicate.
Surface detail is both raised and recessed.
It is interesting how SDV Models engineered some parts. Instead of separate road wheels and track, the running gear is molded as a combination wheel set within the track loop, with the exterior wheel halves molded separately. This affords much greater detail and ease of painting. Otherwise the model looks conventional for assembly: top & bottom hull parts with fender ends; front and rear hull plates; engine deck plate; running gear; multi-piece turret with multi-piece gun, cupola, side hatches and storage bin; individual headlamps; pioneer and maintenance tools.
engineering of some parts and components is clever.
Instead of separate road wheels and track, the running gear is molded with the suspension bogies with half wheels within the track loop, and the exterior wheel halves molded separately. This affords much greater detail and ease of painting. The tracks have sag along the upper run.
SDV Model does not skimp on less than obvious detail; the underside of the hull is covered with rivets, plates, and access panels. The idler mounts are individual parts, as is the rear hull plate; some detail is molded on yet the exhaust muffler and a tool box are separate parts.
The upper hull details are mainly molded on although the glacis is separate. Each of the hatches are molded on, all except the left side engine cover. The side intake louvers are separately molded, too. Each of the fenders have diamond plate, although it is big for the scale.
One set of things SDV did not mold are the lift hooks on the hull and turret. They also did not include a machine gun barrel for the hull, although that will be simple for the modeler to fashion.
The KwK 40 L/43 7.5cm cannon and mantel are a three-part assembly: one-piece barrel and muzzle, mantel and turret front. The muzzle is molded open.
Aside from the gun the turret is also a multi-part assembly: base; turret; side hatches; commander cupola; rear storage bin. SDV molded ports and bolt detail on the turret, too.
Most of the tools and fittings are separate pieces: pioneer and track tools; spare road wheels; fire extingisher; cleaning rod; Notek Tarnscheinwerfer
(Blackout Headlamp) and headlamps; spare tracks; antenna trough; tow hooks. Curiously, while they made the jacking block, SDV did not include the jack.
These parts are finely cast. However, most of those parts suffer flash or seam lines. Whether it will be easy to clean off the small parts remains to be seen.
SDV Model put a great deal of detail into this recent effort. This 1/87 model is challenging the quality of the larger braille scale models of recent years.
Instructions and decals
SDV Model produces good instructions. They are sharp black-and-white and grayscale illustrations. Parts breakdown are illustrated. Only two languages are used, Czech and German.
A fine decal sheet is provided. Five units are represented:
1. SS-Panzerdivision "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
3. SS-Panzerdivision "Totenkopf" X 2
"Black 413", Panzermuseum Munster
Several styles of tactical numbers allow the modeler to create thousands of vehicle numbers.
This decals sheet has individual carrier film segments for each marking. Printing is excellent.
SDV Model's instructions and decals are are strong suite of this model.
ConclusionPzKpfw IV Ausf. G (Early)
by SDV Model
is a very good 1/87 model. The amount of surface detail is impressive. It may not be comprehensive yet there is a lot of it. The decal sheet is impressive.
SDV Model's engineering is impressive as it simplifies the tracks and road wheels. The model is modular to simplify creating a kit of the PzKpfw IV Ausf. F1 - late Panzer G.
Most parts are well molded. However, many parts suffer flash or seam lines. Whether it will be easy to clean off the small parts remains to be seen.
SDV Model has kitted a fine and affordable 1/87 Panzer IV G. The quality of this kit makes me eagerly await their next new release, whatever that may be. I recommend this model.
Please remember to tell SDV Model and retailers that you saw this model here - on