Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F1 (F)
|Kit # 7321||Review by Pete Touhey - pete2e(at)yahoo(dot)com
and Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com
Edited by Rob Haelterman
It's not entirely new: Dragon used the lower hull and running gear from the StuG IV (Ed. note: see comments below), but everything else is new, and unbelievable. Dragon has really raised the bar with this kit. Most other Panzer IV kits will be obsolete to most modelers. I'll keep the Revell kits, but the old Hasegawa kits are going....
The upper hull:
Spare tracks (I would kill for a set
The inside of the turret side hatches
Underside of the commanders hatch,
which is a closed hatch so you'll never see it:
This is the PE sprue, labeled 7278, which is the recently released Ausf. G.
The hull has some nice weld seams, which I haven't seen on Pz IVs of other manufacturers.
I have to refute Pete's claim that the lower hull is the same as that of the StuG IV kit. True, the kit parts look very similar (more than the Jagdpanzer IV does), but there are actually no parts in common with either Jagdpanzer IV or StuG IV kits, apart from the idler (except for the "StuG IV Early" which has a different idler), suspension units and wheel bodies (not the wheel faces). The lower hull is more refined than that of the sibling kits.
The tracks are the notched type without chevron (Kgs 61/400/120), which is correct for the Ausf.F; detail is soft, though. (Note that the tracks in the Japdpanzer and StuG are chevroned type, athough barely discernable due to soft detail.)
(For an overview of the kit contents, please visit the Henk of Holland website.)
Dragon offers 7 paint schemes.
1) Pz.Rgt.31, 5.Pz.Div.,
Russia 1942. (I would add that it is 4./Pz.Rgt.31, the "heavy
2) 4./Pz.Rgt.8, 15.Pz.Div.,
Sidi Rezegh 1941.
5.Pz.Div., Eastern Front 1942.
14.Pz.Div., Eastern Front 1942.
5) 2./Pz.Abt. "Grossdeutschland",
4.Pz.Div., Russia 1942.
20.Pz.Div., Kursk 1943.
I have some qualms about the use of "Dark Yellow" and/or "Red Brown" for the vehicles prior 1943 (i.e. for the first, fifth and sixth option), as these colors only officially appeared in February 1943. As Dragon uses the same color code throughout, I assume they mean that it is the same color for all vehicles. More likely they are actually captured or "borrowed" stocks, desert colors (after re-assignment of a division destined for Africa), or Luftwaffe colors.
So far I haven't figured out where decal 26 is supposed to go or what it is meant to represent.
These nitpicks are about the only negative comments I can make about this kit. (I mean about its quality, not the retail price...)
 Panzer Voran website: http://www.panzer-voran.com/?page_id=256