Pz.Kpfw. IV Schmalturm

Manufacturer: Planet Models (Kit No. MV021)

I'm not sure why I bought this kit, since I have absolutely NO interest in the late war German "projects" like many people have. But I was in the market for a new kit, and the shop was out of the Pz. IV Ausf. J, so I went with this one. The resin quality in this kit is the best I have seen. Absolutely no bubbles or air holes, and all the details are crisp and sharp. And no, the hull is not twisted, it just looks that way from the scanner (but the gun barrel definitely is warped).

The main hull is an improved copy of the Hasegawa Pz. IV kit. The road wheels are also Hasegawa copies, although the sprocket and idler are copies of Revell's new items. Too bad they didn't also copy the Revell road wheels, since they are nicer than the Hasegawa wheels. The turret is a direct copy of the Hasegawa Schmalturm, complete with its errors and inadequacies. Not shown is the hull bottom, which is highly detailed with rivets and panels.

The etched parts are done by Eduard, and include replacement fenders (good thing: because the Hasegawa fenders stink), as well as the mesh side skirts and brackets. They're not quite as complicated as the PART mesh skirts, but they should look just as good.

The tracks are a great improvement over earlier Planet Models tracks. They are still single piece vinyl, but they are much more flexible and elastic. They are also a heck of a lot better than the Hasegawa tracks (but I will still replace them with etched brass tracks). It looks as though they are a vinyl copy of the Revell hard plastic tracks.

This is an excellent kit of a very unusual vehicle.

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