Renault R4

Kit #: 722001
Preview by Marc Mercier

The choice of those 1/72 modellers who want to include a post WW2 civilian car in a diorama or vignette is, even in these heydays of Braille, still very limited. To my knowledge, none exist in plastic and only a couple of resin manufactures offer a few models. Amongst them is PJ Productions, who is essentially a producer of aircraft aftermarket products and I think their (limited) range of car kits are meant to be airfield accessories. No problem for us, vehicle huggers, with the right paintwork they'll serve just as well on the battlefield...

The Renault 4, also known as the R4, was produced between 1961 and 1992 and used all around the world. It still ranges in the top 10 of the most sold cars ever. This widespread use makes it an excellent subject for a contemporary car kit.

The Kit

You get 15 resin pieces and one sheet of clear acetate. Detail is sharp everywhere. Only a little flash and some air bubbles can be seen, so clean up should be minimal.

Although the general outlook of the R4 remained virtually unchanged in those 30 years, there certainly were numerous subversions produced who differed externally in the smaller details like lights, bumpers, radiators front grills, door handles, etc... I'm not an expert on R4 cars, but after looking at numerous pictures on the internet, I think this kit builds up to a late (mid eighties?) version. For those who have an earlier version in mind, I suspect the amount of the work needed for such a conversion should be minimal.

The kit has a simple but complete interior: a steering wheel, two front and one back seats and a dashboard. All four doors and the boot hatch are cast in place and there is no detail on the inside.
A sheet of clear acetate is provided for the windows, which fortunately are all flat surfaces. However, no dimensions or template is given, so you’ll have to measure them all yourself. Please note that the rear windows are the older sliding type.

The tires are too round for my liking. They resemble the “balloon like” ones used by the Afrika Korps on their Kubelwagens. I will try to replace these by better ones from another kit like the ACE Citroen CV or a similar vehicle.

The instruction sheet is only one small drawing which should be more than sufficient. However, it is not entirely correct because it shows the front and rear bumper moulded onto the chassis, but that’s not the case on my example: instead I’ve three different bumper parts! One for the front and one for the back of the car, but the purpose of the third one is unclear to me. Could it be another model for a specific variant?

Since this is a civilian car, for obvious reasons, no decals are provided or painting scheme given.

Highly recommended.

Review sample purchased by the author.


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Article Last Updated: 25 August 2013