Modelling the Early Panzerkampfwagen IV
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
|Publisher and Title||Osprey Modelling #26 Modelling the Early Panzerkampfwagen IV|
|Media and Contents:||80 pages|
|Price:||USD$17.05 available online from Osprey's website|
|Review Type:||First Read|
|Advantages:||Clear photographs, easy to read informative text, competent models.|
Many armour modellers will be familiar with the name Tom Cockle. He has contributed articles to many magazines as well as authoring several books.
This is his first Osprey title and
centres on modelling the early Panzerkampfwagen IV.
The usual format for this series is followed with 80 pages of text and step by step photographs. The latter consists of nearly 200 colour images with an additional page representing the paints used on the vehicles themselves.
The book concentrates on four
modelling projects. This is supplemented with a section on
materials, a brief description on the evolution of the early Panzer
IV, kits and accessories, and where to find further information on
In the introduction, the author briefly describes the 75mm short barrelled versions of this famous pedigree. He then lets the reader know what tools he uses to detail the upcoming vehicles. Resin moulding and soldering techniques are also discussed before we head off into the “meat” of the book.
A Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. F is tackled first, this belonging to the 5th Panzer Division in Russia, 1942. It is a project classified with an “intermediate” skill level and combines the Tamiya Panzer IV Ausf H kit and the MIG Productions PzIV F1 conversion set.
An Aber etched metal set and
Modelkasten tracks are added into the mix which provides even more
The numerous photographs reveal what has been done to get to the final result but note that these are not meant to be an absolute “step by step” guide. They are merely to show the reader what is involved in the build and to help illustrate some of the techniques offered.
It would take a book many more times this size to do otherwise.
The text is easy to read and provides many ideas to improve your vehicle. Painting is all important to give the tank a realistic appearance and this area is amply covered.
Tamiya kits are used again in the next instalment, this time to create a Panzer IV Ausf. C from 6. Panzer Division in France 1940. A plethora of accessories find their way into this build which is based on the Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind and Panzer IV Ausf D kits of the previously mentioned manufacturer.
There is much scratch building and
modification here to keep the reader entertained. As a result this
project is for the advanced modeller.
Even higher in the difficulty stakes is the subject of the next section. The author tackles the Panzer IV Ausf. A and uses the same two Tamiya kits from the previous chapter.
The usual abundance of accessories contributes to the detail here as well as the skilful alteration of the basic parts.
The author shows us his method of widening the return rollers, fabricating an upper hull and rebuilding the turret. Adding weld beads can be an art in itself but Tom’s step by step approach makes this task easy.
A lot of useful tips can be gleaned from this to help the modeller improve other projects on their drawing board.
It’s good to see mention of the early war two tone paint scheme used on these vehicles. This was documented for use on Panzers from November 1938 to July 1940 and thus was used during the early stages of World War II. The dunkelgrau and dunkelbraun patterns are very hard to discern from black and white photos of the period which has lead to the belief that all these Panzers were finished in overall grau. Recent published research from a couple of leading authors in the field has put this right.
The Armo Neubau-Fahrzeug rounds out the construction features and being a multi media kit, very little is added to bring it up to the standards maintained by the other examples. Thus the author devotes some time to explaining how a simple vignette can be made to display the finished model.
A gallery section concludes matters with an Ausf. D and F to provide further stimulation for the viewer. Photos of the vehicle both before and after painting reveal the extent of the added detail.
A recurring theme in these projects
is the amount (and expense) of the many and varied items used. This
book was not written with the intension of the reader acquiring
these goods and copying the projects verbatim. Besides, new kits
emerging on the market will make some of the conversions extraneous.
It was however designed to demonstrate the techniques the author uses to detail the different projects on offer and pass these tips on to the reader. The photographs show the salient points relating to each version of Panzer IV and the reader can use these to attain their own level of excellence.
Recommended to Panzer IV fans.
Osprey Publishing for the review sample.