WWII German Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F1

Kit # E72-007

Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com


When I opened the envelope containing this set (and its sister set) I was awestruck at the quantity and crispness of the details that are present on the three photo-etch sprues (two of which are shared with E72-014). "One step beyond" went through my mind and perhaps the name of the ska band that made that phrase world-famous might be quite appropriate here as well.

This set is meant for Dragon's Panzer IV Ausf. F1 (kit 7321). A very fine kit in its own right which comes with its own minute amount of PE.

So what do we get ?

- Complete fenders, with frame and cover plate. The front and rear flaps are separate and can be made workable, as can the cowling shutters. The Dragon fenders are very nice already and even come with detail on the bottom side, so the main advantage with these PE parts lie in their slightly finer detail, workable parts and the ease with which you can simulate battle damage. The Dragon shutters are a single piece, while in this set they are individual parts. I am admittedly intimidated by this set, to a point where I am actually afraid to get my clumsy hands on it, so I guess I will deliberately go for a fair amount of battle damage, which this set will easily allow me to do. Whether I will be able to get the hinges folded is another matter.
- Tools. While some people complain that Dragon has cast the tools on the fenders, I am not advocating the use of PE to take their place either. The PE fenders in this set will allow the discerning modeler to replace the Dragon tools with separate parts, while other PE parts in this set will allow to only use attachment for tools that you want to represent missing; other PE parts will allow you to enhance the Dragon fire extinguisher (which is rather poorly done), etc, but the PE tools themselves will necessarily be flat affairs. Not that E.T. is the only PE manufacturer that chooses to offer PE tools, but I believe there is just no point. I believe it is a matter of making a judicial choice between kit parts and PE parts in this set. For instance: the jack is given as a multi-part PE assembly, but I think I will just use some PE parts to enhance the plastic Dragon part.
- Taillights for which you have to make the body yourself. Again, you might start from the kit-parts.
- Hatches with workable hinges. I am not sure if I would manage to fold the rim of the commander's hatch in a perfectly circular way.
- A multi-part rear tow-hook assembly.
- Minor details like tow hooks, holder for spare tracks, Notek-mounting plate, gun-barrel-guard, footstep, handles,...
- A name tag that would do nice on your display stand


The set comes with a very extensive and clear A4 instruction sheet.

I have the impression that some parts are not mentioned on the manual. There are parts for what looks like an MG34 (which would again be a 2D replica of a round-barreled gun), an ammo belt, two sizes of C-hooks, etc.

In all, a mixed bag: this set represents the cutting edge in PE detail, but it would take a really talented modeler to put all the parts to good use; other parts are within reach of mediocre modelers like myself while some would be too flat to be a good representation. Whom the cap fits,...

Sample kindly provided by John Wreford of Cove Models Ltd.

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Article Last Updated: 05 June 2010