Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf.A
|Kit #: W-004|| Preview
by Stephen Brezinski
Edited by Rob Haelterman
This kit boxed and released by IBG Models under The World At War series of vehicle history booklets, similar to the booklets offered by First To Fight with their small scale models. Each WaW booklet offers a “Free Collectable Model Kit Inside”!
Though listed on the box as 1/72, this Pz IV model appears to be actually 1/76 in scale and is significantly smaller than the 1/72 scale Mirage, Hasegawa and the Dragon Pz IV models. This is disappointing for me as I now have some beautiful aftermarket 1/72 scale resin detail parts I cannot use with this model.
Up at the turret we have the cylindrical, drum shaped, cupola with split hatch featured only on this Pz IV Ausf. A. Notice how the cupola protrudes out of the rear turret wall. On the one-piece side door there is a simple view slit rather than a vision port and pistol port. Something I believe the artist got wrong is that the side door is too far forward, and the square pistol port and lifting hook should be on the turret rear. The gun barrel has no antenna deflector common to later Pz IV variants.
On the rear we have the two exhaust mufflers common to the Pz IV Ausf. A through to the Ausf. E. A big difference is that the superstructure is much wider than later variants and hangs over the fenders much more. The idler wheel looks similar to later idlers but appears less robust, lighter duty. The eight roadwheels are similar to those on later Pz IV variants. The track is the 36-cm wide track used on the early Pz IV and Pz III. This Pz IV is in an overall panzer gray color with a white Balkenkreuz and white 422 vehicle number.
the headlights are different from those of later production types,
the vision port on the front of the turret is a simple flat plate.
The sprocket idler wheels in the photo above were used on the Pz.
IV B and C, not the Ausf. A. The superstructure is wider and overhangs
further over the fenders so it is a Pz IV A hull. At this stage of
service there are no spare tracks mounted on the bow nor glacis.
The above assembly instructions appear clear though are too small for my eyes, in my opinion. These instructions are typical of the other WaW kits and booklets I have. Several pages of the booklet have full color vehicle drawings with placement for the markings.
The water slide decal sheet has markings for two different vehicles, with a choice of yellow or white numbers and a Balkenkreuz. I understand that the initial color of the panzer markings was white but later changed to yellow which was less visible.
The three-person turret crew used in the Pz III and Pz IV was inovative at the time and combined with the cupola with all round vision blocks allowed great efficiency and situational awareness for the crew. At right, the cupola hatch is molded closed (parts P1 & P2).
The bottom hull (Part H1) is slide molded with the leaf spring suspension bogies. The two small parts next to the superstructure are the track adjusters and idler wheel axles.
Notice the front turret plate (part G8) with the internal gun mantlet (H2); the front plate has simple flat visors on either side of the 7.5-cm gun while later versions have the thick cast visors. The pioneer tools are molded to the fenders but are done well. Overall quality looks good.
The WaW Pz IV hull in center compared to the 1/72-scale Dragon Pz IV hull at top and the Mirage Pz IV hull at bottom showing the WaW hull to be significantly narrower and shorter and closer to 1/76 than the 1/72 scale marked on the box. This WaW Pz IV hull is common to the three World at War Panzer IV kits that I own. At this time this World At War kit is the only small scale model of the Pz IV Ausf. A that I know of so we will have to live with the scale issue if that be important to you.
This kit was purchased by the reviewer.