Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf.A

Kit #: W-004 Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcastl(dot)net
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.

The box art shows one of the 35 Pz. IV Ausf. A, the first production model, produced in 1936-1937. For those of us interested in the details, the box art of this medium tank shows many of the unique features of this first variant. A thing to keep in mind is the thin armor of the Ausf. A: no better protected than the Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack. The bow armor was 14.5-mm thick, while on the Pz IV Ausf. H of 1944 the bow plate was 80-mm thick. I have read that this Pz IV Ausf. A had 30-mm appliqué armor added though I have not yet found a photo of this upgrade.

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 booklet that the model kit accompanies has very thorough technical and historical information on the Pz. IV Ausf. A. The text is in both German and English, unlike the First To Fight model’s booklets I have which are only in Polish. The good quality WW2 period photos do not have captions, so we do not know where the photos were taken and what units the panzers are with. In the photo here, this Pz IV looks huge, but I believe the soldier is just very short.

Note 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 major Pz IV Ausf. A kit parts such as the turret, hull superstructure, wheels and track parts, and cupola are not common nor interchangeable with other WaW Pz IV model kits such as the Pz IV Ausf. B, C nor D.


The Kit Parts
I counted 30 gray color, injection molded styrene plastic parts on six sprues. No etched brass, crew figures nor resin parts are included.

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.

Going clockwise at left is Sprue Q with jack (Q3) and headlights. The turret (part V1) is the loan part of Sprue-V. On the turret roof we see two small round hatches that I think are signal ports for flares or flags, there is no raised signal lamp (looks like a periscope) seen on the Pz IV Ausf. A. There is no electric fan vent on the roof though in the center in front of the cupola is a rectangular flap for venting gun exhaust. On the rear wall of the turret in the photo below we can make out the two square pistol ports.

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).

On sprue H above and below, we see the wider superstructure (Part H3) of this Pz IV Ausf. A, and the stepped front plate where the radio operator’s front plate was further back than the driver’s plate. The driver had a rectangular flap that lifts up on a hinge, not the sliding or pivoting visor of later Pz III and Pz IV. The radio operator’s plate set further back allowed the driver to have another visor with a view to the right side.

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.

Sprue G holds a plethora of parts including the engine mufflers, side engine vents, fenders, the radio antenna in its storage trough, and one-piece quick build track and wheel parts (G14 and G15). I wish WaW had taken the approach of the First To Fight Pz III D kit 073 with separate outer sprocket and idler wheels so the wheels look more accurate. Perhaps these wheels and tracks can be replaced by parts from the 1/76-scale Fujimi Pz IV kit?

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.



  • PANZER TRACTS 4, Panzerkampfwagen IV, Thomas Jentz & Hilary Doyle (1997)
  • Panzer IV, The Panzerkampfwagen IV Medium Tank 1939 – 1945, by Kevin Hjermstad, Squadron Signal Publications (2000).


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Article Last Updated:
29 August 2020

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