German Medium Tank
|Stock Number and Description||Zvezda Kit No. 3674 - German Medium Tank Panzer IV Ausf. G|
|Media and Contents:||529 parts in caramel coloured plastic (153 marked not for use); three parts in clear; decals for two marking options.|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Good level of detail; crisp mouldings; link and length tracksseparate crew hatches; partial interior detail (turret).|
|Recommendation:||Zvezda's 1/35 scale Panzer IV Ausf. G is a well-detailed model with a manageable parts count. In terms of ease of assembly and detail, it would appear to sit somewhere between the Dragon and Tamiya Panzer IV offerings. I like Zvezda's link and length tracks, and the fact that I don't need to apply Zimmerit but I can still finish my model in some nice mid-to-late war three colour schemes. This is a welcome and very buildable addition to Zvezda's range of German 1/35 scale tanks.|
B a c k g r o u n d
The Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfw IV), commonly known as the Panzer IV, was a German medium tank developed in the late 1930s and used extensively during the Second World War. Its ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 161.
The Panzer IV was the most numerous German tank and the second-most numerous German armored fighting vehicle of the Second World War, with some 8,500 built. The Panzer IV chassis was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz IV assault gun, Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun.
The Panzer IV saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany and was the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war. It received various upgrades and design modifications, intended to counter new threats, extending its service life. Generally, these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war, with Germany's pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included simplifications to speed up the manufacturing process.
The Panzer IV was partially succeeded by the Panther medium tank, which was introduced to counter the Soviet T-34, although the Panzer IV continued as a significant component of German armoured formations to the end of the war. The Panzer IV was the most widely exported tank in German service, with around 300 sold to Finland, Romania, Spain and Bulgaria. After the war, Syria procured Panzer IVs from France and Czechoslovakia, which saw combat in the 1967 Six-Day War. 8,553 Panzer IVs of all versions were built during World War II, a production run in Axis forces only exceeded by the StuG III assault gun with 10,086 vehicles.
F i r s t L o o k
Zvezda has recently commenced a family of 1/35 scale Panzer IVs starting with a Panzer IV Ausf. H in 2017 followed by an Ausf. E in early 2019.
The newest addition to the family is a Panzer IV Ausf. G.
Zvezda's 1/35 scale Panzer IV Ausf. G comprises 529 parts in caramel coloured plastic, three parts in clear and decals for two marking options. The kit's part count is reduced by 153 parts marked "not for use", making the total quite manageable, especially considering this includes the link and length tracks.
The lower hull tub is a single piece with separate front and rear plates. There is also an insert for the bottom of the hull, presumably so that the main hull part can be used for Zvezda's entire Panzer IV series.
Running gear is quite straightforward with all-plastic road wheels and link-and-length tracks.
The tracks are exceptionally cleanly moulded.I can't see a single ejector pin mark on any of the track parts, inside or out.
Each full run comprises a flat bottom and sagged top length, three shorter lengths and individual links that wrap arund the drive sprocket.
The track guards are moulded as one part.
The upper hull crew and engine compartmenr hatches are all separte parts and may be poed open or closed, although there is no interior detail supplied here. The radio operator's machine gun may rotate and elevate after assembly.
The turret is built around a main upper shell with some nice countersunk screw heads and a separate base. There is enough interior detail to satisfy a glimpse through open side and cupola hatches.
Zvezda supplies a gun breech, co-axial machine gun, three seats, a non-skid turret floor and vision blocks.
The kit includes side and turret skirts. Side skirts are supplied as a single part for each side.
Zimmerit is neither included nor requred for this variant.
Options are few and far between. Apart from the separate hatches, alternative parts are supplied for open and closed side doors in the turret skirts
Decals are supplied for two vehicles.
C o n c l u s i o n
Zvezda's 1/35 scale Panzer IV Ausf. G is a well-detailed model with a manageable parts count. In terms of ease of assembly and detail, it would appear to sit somewhere between the Dragon and Tamiya Panzer IV offerings.
I like Zvezda's link and length tracks, and the fact that I don't need to apply Zimmerit but I can still finish my model in some nice mid-to-late war three colour schemes.
This is a welcome and very buildable addition to Zvezda's range of German 1/35 scale tanks.
*Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia.
Thanks to The Hobby Company Limited for the sample.
Text and Images by Brett Green
Page Created 23 November, 2019
Page Last Updated 24 November, 2019