As implied in the title, this kit preview covers the late war Panzerkampfwagen IV with side skirts and long 7.5-cm L48 KwK 40 gun. Yes, I know the title states Pz IV Ausführung H (version or model H), but I include the Revell Ausf. J kit because of its similarity to the Ausf. H; they could both be seen serving together. (I do not know why there was no Ausf. I version.) The Ausf. H supersedes the Pz IV Ausf. G. At times it is difficult to tell the Panzer IV Ausf. G, Ausf. H and Ausf. J apart because of the perspective of the photo and because many were repaired and upgraded and parts were merged in during factory assembly.
Please do not read this as a definitive outline or description of the Panzer IV, and please be aware that due to space and time I cannot examine and describe every feature of these kits. Comments below are based on my observations and opinions based on my experiences and my references.
A Look At The Box Art (What
is supposed to be in the box)
Here is the fine box art for the Dragon Models Limited (DML) recent release (as of summer 2013) of a Panzer IV Ausführung H (kit 7497). This box art looks very much like a Pz IV Ausf. H photo in the Panzer IV In Action book. From the top we see a commander figure protruding from the open cupola. The cupola visors are portrayed open and there is an MG34 AA gun mounted on the cupola. (Please be aware that with this model the cupola hatch and visors are molded closed, there are no crew figures, and there is no AA machine gun.) Around the turret are the 5-mm steel skirts spaced away from the turret sides, designed to protect from Soviet anti-tank rifle bullets.
On the bow of the tank and front of the turret there are T-34 tank track links draped on as appliqué armor. (These T-34 track links are not included in this kit though.) Through gaps in the T-34 tracks we see the driver's visor on our right, and the ball-mount hull machine gun on our left. In addition to the T-34 tracks we also see two runs of spare Pz IV tracks mounted on the nose. (These spare Pz IV tracks are not included with this DML kit though they appear standard issue on the Pz. IV H, and they are included in DML's Pz IV G kit).
At the rear we see the copper-rod radio antenna rising up from the engine deck signifying this is an Ausf. H or Ausf. J; the Pz IV G had the antenna mounted on the front mudguard next to the radio operator's position. On the hull side we see the hull side skirts (Schürzen) made up of six 5-mm thick steel plates that slightly overlap and hang from a long rail suspended away from the mudguards and hull with brackets. The Pz IV H and Pz IV J side skirts hang on triangular hooks so the skirts can slip off if caught on something. (It is common the see Pz IVs with the side skirts removed and just having the turret skirts remaining).
Other than a Balkenkreuz (Beam cross), on the turret skirt I see no other national or unit markings. There was typically a vehicle number on the turret skirt, which may not be visible in this view. The vehicle is painted in a soft-edge mottled brown and green camouflage over Panzer Yellow (Dunkelgelb). I find it interesting that the camouflage painting also covers the T-34 tracks.
This view of Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. H kit #3119 is similar to DML's above but shows a Pz IV in winter white-wash camouflage and lacking the T-34 tracks draped over the front. The markings "221" would mean a tank of the 2nd company 2nd platoon 1st vehicle of the 3rd Panzer Division on the Eastern Front in 1944. Many initial production Pz IV H tanks produced had Zimmerit antimagnetic paste coating (see your references for details).
The cupola is portrayed as being open and with a commander figure, but no figures are included in the Revell kit though the hatch can be modeled open. The cupola visors are shown open in this box art but like with the DML kit are molded closed in the kit. (It has always frustrated me that all 1/72-scale Pz IV and Pz III kits I know of have the cupola visors molded closed!). To the right (our left) we see the coaxial machine gun. The Revell kit includes an MG34 AA machine gun and mount but they are not portrayed here.
Like in the DML box art we see the turret and hull side skirts; in both box paintings we see the hull skirts canted in at the bottom, and they bend in at the front to better deflect objects from knocking them off. On the mudguard we see the single headlight. To the left of the headlight are several towing hooks stored on edge.
I understand the gap around the driver's visor indicates the additional 30-mm armor plate on the driver's plate for a total of 80-mm of front armor. Below the driver's plate we see the brake maintenance hatches and spare Pz IV track. On the nose are two towing brackets and additional spare track. Yes, this spare track for the front is included with the Revell kits.
Here is the box art for Revell's Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. J kit #3122 which from this angle looks indistinguishable from a Pz IV H. What distinguished the Ausf. J from the Ausf. H are:
- lack of the auxiliary engine and its small muffler on the rear plate,
- lack of cylindrical air cleaner on the rear right mudguard,
- it has cast rear idler wheels, and all-steel return rollers.
- Some Ausf. J also had wire mesh side skirts that I have seen called Thoma Shields.
- Some Ausf. J's could also have early style wheels.
- An early Pz IV J could have Zimmerit antimagnetic paste coating.
The single round cupola hatch is shown open and it can be modeled open with the kit but will need some interior detail. The cupola machine gun mount is included in the kit along with a nicely molded MG34 AA machine gun. In front of the cupola on the roof we can see the turret exhaust vent mounted on the turret roof.
Left of the gun mantlet is a small hole for the gunner's sight and a closed viewport. At the end of the long gun barrel is the double-baffle muzzle brake for the L48 7.5-cm KwK 40 main gun similar to that on the Pak 40 and the Panther.
With the side skirts gone we can see the skirt brackets, the two spare roadwheels, the jack block, eight small roadwheels on four bogies, and the antenna mounted at the rear left corner of the engine deck. We can see that the idler wheel is the cast type. This box art shows four rubber tired return rollers but for an accurate Pz IV J it should have all steel return rollers; fortunately the kit actually contains the steel return rollers. A late Pz IV J would have only three return rollers per side and could have wire mesh Thoma Shields side skirts on a tubular frame.
The Kit Parts
The DML Panzer IV Ausführung H (kit 7497) contains about 131 light gray color, injection molded styrene plastic parts on nine sprues, and two soft DS plastic track parts. There are four unused parts on the sprues. The muffler exhaust and the muzzle brake are slide molded so no need to drill out the parts. Roadwheels and return rollers are also slide-molded which reduces the overall number of parts without sacrificing detail. Molding is delicate and crisp with minimal or no sink holes, ejector pin marks and flash.
Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. H kit #3119 contains about 207 injection molded styrene plastic parts on four sprues, of which 46 of the parts are link & length track links. This kit has one sprue containing hull side skirts and the exterior air cleaner. There are no etched brass or crew figures included. Molding quality and detail are very good with minimal or no sink holes, ejector pin marks and flash. There is no slide-molding which could explain the larger number of parts, and we'll have to drill out the gun barrel muzzle (no big thing).
Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. J kit #3122 contains about 211 well-molded styrene plastic parts on four sprue; 46 of the parts are link & length track links. One sprue is different from Revell's kit 3119 and contains the cast idler wheels of the Pz IV J, spare track links, new turret doors, and the two exhaust pipes. Parts like the tubular welded idler wheels (parts 16 & 17) and the horizontal muffler (parts 3 through 6) are not to be used.
Here is a scan of the DML hull parts in light gray plastic and the Revell Pz IV H hull parts in dark green plastic. (The Revell Pz IV J kit is in light tan color plastic but I do not think the color is significant. The Revell lower hull is partially assembled with the rear plate and the bogie assemblies attached.) The hull bottoms are very similar but not identical. I think both are acceptable. The upper hulls at the bottom of the scan are nearly identical in length and width but until fully assembled we cannot be 100% sure. Detail appears very good and pretty comparable and consistent for the two manufacturers.
We can see that Revell offers us open hatches while DML molds them closed. The DML hull's hatches are molded thinner than the hull roof and they have underside detail so may have been intended to be molded open like with the DML Pz IV F and Pz IV G kits. It appears someone at Dragon decided to dumb-down the kit and to remove the option of open hatches.
But what is that strange structure to the right attached to DML's lower hull? It is an unused upper hull from a Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär assault gun kit; something for the spare parts box.
(Please note that Revell does not give letter designations for their sprues like DML does.) Except for color of the plastic used, the sprue at the top is the same in both the Revell Pz IV H and their Pz IV J kit. At the upper left are the rear fenders (mudguards) (parts 22 & 24) and spare roadwheels, at below left are the brackets for the turret skirts (parts 58, 59, and 77 through 81). At lower right are two rails for holding the side skirts (parts 62), the rear hull plate (parts 7) and the side air intake grates (parts 27 & 28). Part-8 at lower left is the towing point in which we will have to drill a vertical hole for a vertical bolt.
The small sprue at the bottom comes in the Pz IV J kit 3122 only and contains the cast idler wheels (parts 96 & 97) particular to the Pz IV Ausf. J and some late production Ausf. H tanks. These idler wheels replace the tubular idler wheel parts 16 & 17 which are for the Pz IV H kit or early Pz IV J. Left of the idlers are two new turret doors, which differ in having no view ports. Next are four hull skirt brackets (parts 100), some track links that mount on the hull side (parts 102), and the two flame suppressor exhaust pipes (parts 101) that replace the horizontal, cylindrical shaped muffler.
This is DML's Pz IV Ausf. H sprue-C, which primarily contains the turret parts. This sprue and the slide-molded turret (part-1) are not common with DML's earlier Pz IV F and Pz IV G kits. The parts are very well molded and the KwK40 gun barrel (part 15) at upper right is slide-molded with the muzzle open, but unfortunately the turret hatch and doors are molded shut. The paired roadwheel spares (parts 7) at the bottom are slide molded meaning fewer parts to assemble. The German copper rod antenna (part 12) is a little thick but otherwise very well rendered.
The one-piece slide-molded turret at lower right is interesting in that it has many small screw holes on the turret roof not portrayed on the Revell turret. Overall surface detail is very nice. There are no side visors as last seen on the Pz IV F. Right of the roof vent here is a round disc representing an S-mine projector or antenna mount for a command tank; I understand this is not a typical feature of a Pz IV H. The turret has some very delicate and superbly done weld beads.
Like the Revell model, DML molds their roof ventilator onto the turret roof so for a good display model we'll have to open it up around the edge. Above the side doors are grab handles molded onto the roof; replacing these with fine wire will make a better display model. The turret roof is missing the three Pilzen, which are short tubes welded to the roof for a crane-like lifting frame (see the Revell turret roof to see what I speak of).
This sprue above is common to both the Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. H kit #3119 and the Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. J kit #3122. At upper right are the hull sides (parts 12 & 13) with the leaf spring suspension molded on. (DML offers separate suspension bogies on sprue-E which are more finely detailed, but you could argue that not much of these will be seen with the wheels and tracks on.) Also at right we see the welded tubular steel type idler wheels (parts 16 & 17) and the spare track links to mount on the bow of the tank. At lower right are the 16 parts for the eight small all-steel type return rollers (parts 32 & 33).
At left are the turret skirt parts (part 82 though part 86), and the cylindrical muffler (parts 3, 4, 5, & 6) that is common to the Pz IV Ausf. H, Ausf. G and earlier.
In the center are the turret parts molded in four main parts to DML's three turret main parts. The side doors for the turret (parts 73 & 74 or parts 98 & 99) mount into the rectangular depressions in the turrets sides (parts 63 & 64). If we wish to mount a side door open, we'll need to open up the turret side and add some interior detail to the small doors.
On the turret roof we see the three Pilzen locations, one on each side and one in the front. My references indicate the Pilzen were primarily features of the Pz IV J. The Revell Pz IV H and J turrets do not have the screw hole marks on the turret roof like DML features. Around the cupola location Revell molds on the armored splash ring (a feature missing from the DML turret but not too hard to scratchbuild).
As evident by the title on DML's sprue-A here, this sprue is originally for a 1/72 kit of a rare variant of the Pz IV mounting an 8.8-cm Flak 37 gun and pedestal. Unused are the floor plate with the gun pedestal (part A4 in center) and part A6 at right. The handtools are molded to the mudguards like with the Revell kit. (Both manufacturers' kits would make better display models with separate tools.)
A concern of mine is the driver's armor plate at center (part A3) which has two view holes for the driver located above the visor. These holes looked like this for the Pz IV Ausf. F and earlier; the Pz IV Ausf. G had supplemental armor with a cutout around the holes, and the Pz IV H and Pz IV J covered up or eliminated these two holes. For an accurate Pz IV H we should fill in these two holes. It does not look like it has supplemental 30-mm welded appliqué armor so it looks like an 80-mm armor plate of the Pz IV H and J (except for the two viewing holes), or a 50-mm armor plate of the Ausf. F perhaps? See your references for details on this.
DML sprue-B here is specific to their Pz IV Ausf. H kit and comes with an unused separate engine deck (part B8), the rear plate with fittings (B21), cylindrical muffler (part B22) and many other sundry small parts for the hull. The muffler is slide molded in one piece with an open exhaust pipe.
The pale gray colored DML wheels and the dark green Revell wheels compare well with each other in detail and quality of molding. DML's roadwheels (parts K3 and F) are slide molded as a pair with separate hubs. This is helpful in reducing parts to assemble and then the dark gray rubber tires can be painted separately from the panzer yellow colored hubs. Both Revell and DML give us the correct late-war forged roadwheel hubs.
At far left are the dark green idler wheel (parts 16 & 17) and sprocket wheel (parts 14 & 15) of Revell's Pz IV H kit. The sprocket wheel is comparable to DML's sprocket (parts H6 and H7) and is common to both the Pz IV H and J. The Revell idler wheel is the tubular and welded type common to the Pz IV F, G and H. The DML idler wheel (parts G12 & G13) is the cast type particular to the Pz IV J. Remember that - according to my references - during repairs these parts could be mixed together without regard to date of manufacture or official type.
DML gives us all steel return roller wheels just like Revell offers in their Pz IV H and J kits, but the Ausf. H mostly had the rubber tired return rollers. Why did DML not just include the rubber tired rollers of sprue-M that DML supplies in their Pz IV Ausf. G kit number 7278? The idler wheels (parts G12 & G13) are the cast style particular to the late Pz IV H and the Pz IV J. DML's Pz IV Ausf. H kit is looking more like a Pz IV Ausf. J kit the more I look at it.
At left is the small sprue from Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. H kit #3119 containing parts only for the Pz IV H. In addition to the side skirts are the skirt brackets (parts 60 & 61), the parts for the fender-mounted air cleaner (parts 34 through 36), the small auxiliary engine muffler (part 9), and the turret side doors with the viewports (parts 73 & 74). Be aware that these viewports on the turret doors could also be seen on the Pz IV J.
The hull side skirts for both manufacturers are molded as one piece though in reality were made of six 5-mm plates that overlap each other. Revell molded their side skirts to represent the overlap of the plates (note the shadows); Dragon's skirts are one flat piece with engraved lines. Both Revell's and DML's skirts are beveled thinner at the edges. The Revell skirts have the long horizontal bracket molded separate. I have been successful in replacing this type of Pz IV and Pz III side skirt with very thin styrene sheet, cut to size and glued together with the slight overlap. We can even easily replicate small caliber shell holes or leave a section or two off. Since the DML side skirt has the horizontal mounting rail molded onto the skirt, replacing the skirts will require scratchbuilding a mounting rail.
On DML's sprue D we see some delicately molded brackets for hanging both the turret and the hull skirts. Please note that the rear section of the turret skirt and the spare roadwheel holder that are attached to this sprue-D are not shown in this scan. I understand that this style of skirt attachment with the triangular hanging points represents a middle or late style of attachment for the Pz IV H; the Ausf.G and early Ausf.H used a hook that went through holes in the skirts.
Something Robert Kru pointed out to us is that Dragon has mysteriously and mistakenly molded the side skirts upside-down!
This may not be a real big problem if the side rail were not molded to the side skirt. Perhaps this provides a good incentive to scrape off the molded-on rails and rebuild them accurately.
When modeling these skirts, we must keep in mind that they were made from 5-mm (0.20 inch) steel plate, not thin sheet metal, so would not be easily bent and twisted as I sometimes see portrayed on scale models of the Panzer III and Panzer IV. The latest documentation states that they were designed to stop Soviet antitank bullets; they were not primarily anti-bazooka shields.
Since a large number of Pz IV Ausf. H and some early Pz IV J had Zimmerit antimagnetic paste you may want to recreate the coarse texture to create a historically accurate vehicle. I have seen good 1/72-scale Zimmerit in etched brass and in fine resin sheet. This here is an etched brass fret P72-059 produced by Part and specifically made for the Revell Pz. IV Ausf. H kit 3119. I suspect this can also be used with Dragon's Pz IV H kit 7497.
Part makes a fret for both a new, virgin Pz IV, and for a battled scarred Pz IV; this is obviously the fret for a veteran tank with heavily chipped Zimmerit coating. The fret looks very complete with Zimmerit parts for the gun mantlet, the bow plates, lower hull sides, and the turret and hull skirting, etc.
At left are DML's DS plastic band tracks that I found to have excellent detail, accurate dimensions and glue down to the wheels well. A drawback is that this track material may need to be stretched to fit properly and on a rare occasion may be too long. Both the DML and Revell Pz IV tracks here have solid guide teeth whereas earlier Pz IV variants typically had open guide teeth (see your references for details).
The Revell hard styrene link & length track at right was, in my opinion, the best Pz IV and Pz III track available until DML released their version, but it is not far behind DML in overall quality. The DML track just looks to have finer features and more in-scale. It is ironic how a great track can slightly enhance a good model, but bad tracks will humiliate an otherwise good model.
The Assembly Instructions
All the kits come with the standard exploded-view assembly instructions. Revell's instructions are printed on light newspaper-type paper while Dragon uses their typical high gloss paper and 3-color ink.
Above are two parts of DML's instructions for their Panzer IV Ausf. H (kit 7497) showing the beginning steps 1 and 2, and then the final assembly steps 10 and 11. Over at step 1 we see the assembly of the rear hull plate with the horizontal engine muffler (parts B9. B10, and B22), and the towing pintle (parts B12, B13 and B14), and the small auxiliary engine muffler (part B7).
Step 10 shows attachment of the side skirts to the DML kit. DML's box art assures us that the kit has "astonishing detail" but the kit falls short with the side skirts. A separate more realistic side rail for the skirts, like Revell gives us, would have improved the kit as a display model a lot. DML does the side rails similar to how ESCI did their old Panzer side skirts and rails.
Typical for DML small scale kits is the 3-view painting and marking guide at left. All the three or two color camouflage schemes appear to be soft edge sprayed on. Water-slide decal markings for Pz IV tanks are supplied: two for 2nd Panzer Division in Normandy 1944, and three for Germany's Russian Front in 1943 and 1944. The small decal sheet is at the lower left of this scan.
Here in Revell's 31-step Pz IV Ausf. H kit 3119 instructions we see the assembly of the mudguard mounted air cleaner in step-17 (parts 34 though 37) and then its mounting on the model in step-20. This air cleaner appears to be an identifying feature for the Pz IV Ausf. H. There is a small cutout on the side of the rear mudguard just behind the shovel (part 52) that should have a simulated spring installed; the DML kit has this spring simulated on the model.
Revell's Pz IV Ausf. J kit 3122 differs from the above in not having the aircleaner but instead having a bracket with six track links (part 102) mounted on the right side of the upper hull.
The above scan shows the final assembly stages of Revell's Pz IV Ausf. J kit 3122 with the attachment of all the hard plastic track links.
At left is one of the two 4-view painting and marking guides: one for Germany's Russian Front and one for France 1944. (The same vehicle 824 available in DML's Pz IV H kit.) My experience with applying both Revell and DML decals has been very good.
To better examine what makes a representative Panzer IV Ausf. H, I took notes on the Revell Pz IV H instructions. For me the identifying feature of the Pz IV H is the air cleaners on the starboard mudguard. At upper left is Revell's water-slide decal sheet for two Pz IV Ausf. H vehicles.
Above is Revell's Pz IV J kit marking guide with notes on what I understand to be a representative Pz IV Ausf. J. To build a late Ausf. J, pay attention to the drawing of the new tow eyes on the bow which are extensions of the side plates.
The ESCI Panzer IV Kits
Since ESCI offered kits they called Pz IV H and Pz IV kits with side skirts I should briefly mention these too. ESCI offered kits they sold as a Pz IV Ausf. G with Schürzen (side skirts) and as a Pz IV Ausf. H. Be aware that these are the same kits as the regular ESCI Pz IV G kits except for decal markings and an additional sprue with side skirt parts.
I love the box art, but the ESCI Pz IV kits do not match the quality of that offered by Revell, Dragon, or even Hasegawa. In these photos note that the Pz IV G has side skirts but the Pz IV H does not.
Other modelers have already thoroughly reviewed these detail challenged kits here and here so I will not cover them further here.
Dragon Panzer IV Ausf. H kit 7497: I have read that the Pz IV Ausf. J tank was a retrograde simplification of the earlier Panzer IV tanks to save money and speed production; ironically Dragon's Pz IV Ausf. H model appears to be a retrograde simplification from the excellent DML Pz IV Ausf. F and Ausf. G model kits released several years ago. I would not be so harsh if Dragon did not continue to use phrases like "with astonishing detail" on their box description.
Though supposed to be a Pz IV Ausf. H, the DML model is missing the spare Pz IV track links mounted on the bow, it is missing the external air cleaner mounted on the right mudguard, is missing the cupola splash ring, and missing the rubber tired return rollers: all important aspects of the standard Ausf. H. DML also chooses to mold the hatches closed, unlike with DML's Pz IV G and F kits. By removing the visors off the turret doors and by not installing the small muffler on the rear plate this DML kit actually has features of a Pz IV Ausf. J. From what I have been informed about production, repairs and re-building I cannot deny that this version is possible, but I would prefer if DML gave us a typical Pz IV H with all the characteristics of a production Ausf. H; then we can modify the vehicle from there as needed. I doubt there is any way that all five of their vehicles depicted in Dragon's markings had these same features; some of them must have had the air cleaners?!
The plus of this DML model is the great detail and molding quality, good track, good accurate wheels, and great selection of decal markings. With a little minor work we can convert it to a very nice Pz. Ausf. J.
Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. H kit #3119: This kit appears to represent a standard, factory production Ausf. H Panzer IV with all the appropriate parts included. A significant feature missing are the rubber tired roadwheels particular to many Ausf. H. If the side skirts are mounted than the return rollers will not be visible. Molding and detail quality are very good.
While there is no perfect kit, which is fine with me, in my opinion this Revell kit remains the overall best plastic model of the Pz. IV Ausf. H that is available at this time, though the DML Pz IV H runs a close second. Combining it with the best features of all three kits and aftermarket brass items can contribute to making the Revell model an award winner.
Revell's Panzer IV Ausf. J kit #3122; As Revell's Ausf. J shares most of its parts with Revell's Ausf. H, most of the comments for kit 3119 will count for kit 3122 as well. Certain features like the exhaust pipes and gun muzzle will need to be drilled out, where DML's slide molding makes this drilling work unnecessary. With some new scratchbuilt side rails and fine wire mesh from model railroad supplies, Thoma skirts will make a nice variation.
All these kits reviewed were purchased by me so I only have to thank my wife for not dope-slapping me for buying more models.
Here and below are photos of a Pz IV displayed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, USA. We have a small view of the turret skirts and brackets holding the skirts to the turret. The loader's front viewport is not installed indicating this is a Pz IV G or later turret. The gunner's front viewport is open showing how it opens and the large porthole behind the armored cover. At the turret corner at upper left we see a turret-lifting hook. The coaxial machine gun and its armored sleeve are missing from the gun mantlet.
The ball machine gun mount at left is missing the MG34 gun and the ball is turned 90 degrees so the small sighting hole is at the 6 o'clock position, it should be at the 3 o'clock position. The driver's visor is open; the armored flap could close down in combat. On the driver's plate is a short run of spare track links. Based on the driver's plate and the small vision holes this appears to be a 50-mm plate of the Pz IV Ausf. G without the 30-mm additional armor plate found of the Ausf. H.
On the lower plate we have the vent on the brake maintenance hatch and the weld bead around its base. Next to it we see how the spare track is attached.
In this view of the port (left) side we see at the left the storage bin for two spare roadwheels, then to the right we see the junction of the superstructure with the engine compartment. Up on the engine deck is a small grab handle that I believe disappeared with the Pz IV J.
On the turret we see details of the brackets holding the skirting on and how the skirt doors open up. The skirt is 5-mm plate (about ¼-inch) so does not easily crumple and bend. There is no forward side visor on the turret indicating this is an Ausf. G or later Pz IV. On the door we have a view of the visor that would be present on a Pz IV G and H, and earlier variants. Near the lower left corner of the door is a doorstop fixture for holding the side door open.
This last photo shows the rear of the Pz IV and is pretty characteristic of the Pz IV F through the Pz IV H. At bottom center is the towing attachment with the left and right idler wheel assemblies. In center is the large cylindrical muffler that looks original and rusted away at the left end so as to view the interior. The muffler is held on by two straps and by two supports that also hide the exhaust piping.
To left of the muffler is the small auxiliary engine muffler with two holding straps, another feature that disappeared with the Pz IV J when the turret traverse motor was deleted. Above the mufflers there should be one of the two hooks visible for attaching a folded town cable but it appears the hook has broken off its mounting plate. At the very bottom is the towing bracket.
Panzer IV In Action, Armor Number 12, by Bruce Culver and Don Greer, Squadron Signal Publications (1975), ISBN 0-89747-045-1. An older and basic research book but my first choice if your budget is tight.
The Panzerkampfwagen IV, Osprey Vanguard No. 18, by Bryan Perrett and David Smith, Osprey Publishing, (1987). Another older reference book that I understand is replaced by Osprey's New Vanguard series of reference books.
Panzer IV & Its Variants, The Spielberger German Armor & Military Vehicles Series, Vol. IV, by Walter J. Spielberger, Schiffer Pub Ltd; (1994) ISBN 978-0887405150.
Achtung Panzer website: www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-iv.htm#panzer4