Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F1 (F)

Kit # 7321 Review by Pete Touhey - pete2e(at)yahoo(dot)com
Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Pete Touhey:

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:

Picture by Pete Touhey

The turret:

Picture by Pete Touhey

Engine hatches:

Picture by Pete Touhey

Spare tracks (I would kill for a set of these):

Picture by Pete Touhey


The inside of the turret side hatches and outside:

Pictures by Pete Touhey

Top of the fenders:

Picture by Pete Touhey

Underside of fenders:

Picture by Pete Touhey

Turret hatches:

Picture by Pete Touhey
They give you both an open and closed hatch. I guess the CAD guy or tooling guy was bored and decided to add the detail to the underside of the closed hatch too.


Underside of the commanders hatch, which is a closed hatch so you'll never see it:

Picture by Pete Touhey

Underside of the turret bin (those ejector pins will be fun to fill):

Picture by Pete Touhey


Rob Haelterman:

1. Contents

This is the PE sprue, labeled 7278, which is the recently released Ausf. G.

Judging from the lay-out of the kit parts, I guess we will see plenty more declinations of this kit. For instance, the box on the engine deck (part A21) is separate, which leads me to believe that an Ausf.J is in the making. (It had a different box on the deck, which I believe is a refilling station.)

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.)


2. Markings

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 company".)
The vehicle carries the distinctive "Teufelkopf" of the regiment and small "red 424".
Color scheme is two-tone "Dark Yellow" and "Field Gray". (This is the vehicle on the boxtop.)
Note that this regimental insignia was only used in the 1941-1942 period; the divisional yellow "X" is also carried on the sides and rear.

2) 4./Pz.Rgt.8, 15.Pz.Div., Sidi Rezegh 1941.
"Black 4". Color scheme is overall "Green Brown".
Both the divisional sign and the regimental "Wolfsangel" are carried.

3) 4./Pz.Rgt.31, 5.Pz.Div., Eastern Front 1942.
The vehicle carries the distinctive "Teufelkopf" of the regiment and small "red 424".
Color scheme is overall whitewash.
This is more than likely the same vehicle as the first one. Note that 5.Pz.Div. spent most of its time in Armee Gruppe Mitte.

4) 4./Pz.Rgt.36, 14.Pz.Div., Eastern Front 1942.
"Yellow 422". Color scheme is overall "Field Gray" (i.e. dark, or "Panzer" gray).
White "K" on front and rear. (You need two, you get three.) Why they are printed upside down escapes me.

5) 2./Pz.Abt. "Grossdeutschland", Voronezh 1942.
"White 2". Color scheme is two-tone "Dark Yellow" and "Field Gray".

6) 3./Pz.Rgt.35, 4.Pz.Div., Russia 1942.
"White 301". Color scheme is two-tone "Dark Yellow" and "Red Brown". The numbercode of the "Dark Yellow" paint is erroneously reversed in the instructions.
The regimental "Bär" insignia looks anemic, but I should check photographic evidence for this particular vehicle or possible variations. Apart from the fact that the crew is starving the poor bear, I do have some other misgivings about its color. If we can believe Panzer Voran [1], then this Berlin bear should be green for the Stabskompanie, white for 1. Panzer-Kompanie, red for 2. Panzer-Kompanie, yellow for 3. Panzer-Kompanie and blue for 4. Panzer-Kompanie. "301" would belong to 3. Panzer-Kompanie, so the bear should be yellow, not red as Dragon claims.
Also note that Panzer Colors II attributes this bear to 3.Pz.Div., which is one of the many goofs in this book.
No divisional markings are carried. For your info, 4.Pz.Div. spent 1942 as part of 2.Pz.Armee, Armee Gruppe Mitte in the Orel sector.

7) 3./Pz.Abt.21, 20.Pz.Div., Kursk 1943.
"White 334" and white "Elefant" marking.
Color scheme is three-tone "Dark Yellow", "Khaki Green" and "Red Brown".No divisional insignia is carried.
I would guess the unit is actually 3./Pz.Rgt.21, but I can be mistaken. I should also check the use of the elephant on vehicles of this regiment.
For your info, during Zitadelle 20 Pz.Div. was part of XLVII. Panzerkorps.

Timothy Lau points out that this is the vehicle of this marking option, which has been established to be a long-barreled Ausf.G, but without engine vents.


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...)



3. References

[1] Panzer Voran website: http://www.panzer-voran.com/?page_id=256

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Article Last Updated: 11 November 2009