Panzer IV Ausf F2

conversion from an Ausf G

Kit #: 8058

Article by Jean-Claude Glineur - jc(dot)glineur(at)myself(dot)com
Edited by Marc MERCIER

IMHO the ESCI Panzer IV Ausf G kit still holds its own when compared to more recent productions, even if it suffers from inaccuracies and lack of details as rightly pointed out by different reviewers on OTW.
Among all issues, the tracks are certainly the most annoying since they are moulded in very stiff polythene (in my box at least), extremely difficult to use and crying for replacement by resin ones from OKB Grigorov or Armory.
This kit, fortunately re-released by that other great Italian producer ITALERI, was among the best one could get in the long gone eighties. Nowadays others are far superior, but with care and patience it can still be turned into a very acceptable replica.
Pretending to be an Ausf. G, this is in reality an indistinct type that must be modified according to the version one intends to build, so cross-checking references is a must and one should use, if possible, a photograph of the vehicle one wants to represent.

I decided to model a DAK Ausf. F2 , which implied a lot of modifications.

Before turning to construction, I started the job by filling important gaps on the underside of the upper-hull with plastic-card and Polyfilla. Some shrinkage on the suspension was also filled with Polyfilla.



First of all, features irrelevant for an Ausf. F. (see very useful Panzer IV Comparison article) are shaved-off from the turret top-plate and much better detailed turret sides hatches (leftovers from a converted Revell Panzer III) are used, those from the kit having no vision blocks at all .
The rest is scratch-built :

  • two handrails from thin copper-wire.
  • two-piece commander's hatch (comes as a single piece unit in the box, incorrect for an Ausf. F).
  • vision-blocks and their bolts placed in front of these hatches.
  • roof ventilator not convincing, replaced by a home-made one.
  • two pistol-ports at the rear of the turret.
  • two lifting hooks and their bolts, one on each front corner of the turret (there should have been four but the already glued "Rommelkiste" did not allow the placement of the other two at the rear and I left it as it was, not wanting to ruin the work already done).
  • four reinforcement plates with bolts for the "Rommelkiste".
  • safety-stops for the side-hatches doors, one each side.
WIP on turret
Rebuilt gun mantlet and front plate with scratch-built vision ports (still to be correctly shaped in this photo).
Weld lines from HSP (Heated Stretched sPrue) are faintly visible as is the very small hole next to the left vision port.
Viewed from the front, the gun mantlet is slightly offset to the left.

Scratch-building the vision ports



  • The kit 75 mm gun is replaced by the very nice metal-turned RB Models ref. RB7217 KwK L40/43 single baffle muzzle break.
  • Coaxial MG sleeve is drilled and a very small piece of HSP is glued into the hole to represent the weapon's business end.
  • Four bolts made from bits of Evergreen rod are added to the gun mantlet.


Fuel caps are visible only on the hull left side between return-rollers 2 et 3. I shaved them off on the right side. The MG front plate ball is too large, I reduced its diameter by sanding it flat to avoid it overlapping the front plate.
On the glacis the edges of all hatches stand proud, I made them flush using a fine-pointed engraving tool and carefully removed the excess plastic afterwards.
On the Ausf. F , both driver and radio-gunner's hatches have vision-blocks. There are none in the kit and I made them using small moulding pads from plastic "trees" found in every kit, hinges are from HSP.
Rain-gutters around the hatches are right-angled (appearing from Ausf. G) whereas they should be represented diagonally on the Ausf. F. so they are accordingly modified.

Lifting-hooks and bolts, again made from scratch, are placed at each front side of the hull, see photo.
Mudguards are thinned down at both ends and slightly distorted, rear-flaps are modified to allow the placement of springs figured by a very small piece of HSP, springs are also made for the front mudguards.
There is a large gap between the rear-mudguards and the rear hull-plate that is filled with a piece of plastic strip as shown in the picture below.
The missing auxiliary generator is built from scratch and placed on the left side of the exhaust muffler. Strapping for the muffler is made from thin lead foil, all modifications shown in photographs below.
Some equipment and tools are missing and must be scratch-built or retrieved from the spare-box : towing-hooks, crowbar, antenna and its rack are made from scratch.


The sprockets teeth, too rounded and thick, must be refined and four of them on each side of each wheel cut off to help the resin OKB tracks conform to the sprockets.
The idlers from the kit are a bit on the thick side but are nevertheless used after having been refined.
Roadwheels are good enough for me and were used on this model.

More annoying, the return-rollers are moulded in one piece and must be corrected. This is done initiating a narrow groove with a fine saw, the job being finished using a straight file to make the groove much deeper and obtain return-rollers that look the part and allow the placement of the OKB tracks guide-teeth.

On some tanks three spare roadwheels were carried in a rack on the left side of the hull.
I made this rack by cutting a small length of thin copper sheet; the third, light-ochre, roadwheel comes from another Pz IV Esci kit. The three roadwheels are held together with a bit of plastic strip glued between them to help their alignment on the rack.


As already said, the kit stiff polythene tracks were replaced by OKB Grigorov 72053 resin tracks for Pz III/IV Type 40 cm with hollowed-out guide-teeth.
Being fragile, I had to remove them from the sprue with a new disposable razor blade. The two white small strips, visible on the picture below, help to fill the gap between lower and upper hull.

Other details

I noticed on photos and plans that there are some sort of "covers" on top of the rear mudguards, under the engine deck. They are made and detailed with plastic-card.
Photographs below show them in place, as well as other scratch-built details described in this article.

In addition to scratch-built tools, I gave my model a personal touch by making a rudimentary rack at the rear of the engine deck to hold the crew's usual paraphernalia in place: tarps, jerrycans, crate.
The towing cable from EUREKA XXL is held in place with two small scratch-built hooks in copper.

There are no rear-lights provided and once again they were scratch-built from convenient small pieces found in my spare-box, in this case they were meant to represent the projectors of a small-scale ship as far as I can remember.
Being old-school I always apply the golden rule : "never throw anything away".
Photograph right shows WIP, the running-gear and part of the hull have already been painted.

Colours and markings

The model was brush painted using enamels, oils, pastel powders and graphite on salient points to give a worn look to the vehicle.
I tried to use the decals from the kit (numbers and Balkenkreuz), but they didn't adhere well despite having used Micro-Scale products. I had to remove the numbers from the turret and instead used numbers from a decal sheet of a UM kit. I just kept the Esci Balkenkreuz on the rear-plate, no other markings are sported by the tank.
Figures are painted with a mix of enamels and oils.

The completed mini-dio with two figures.

It depicts an Auf. F2 end of 1942 in the Libyan desert. The tank commander is a modified Milicast figure, the infantryman is a much reworked civilian worker from Preiser set N° 7251, right arm and equipment from set N° 72527, Milicast head. Both men wear the long overcoat due to the cold temperatures at dawn in the desert.
Belts are made from Milliput or strips of very thin candies wrapping paper (very useful).



Since I wanted to have a Pz IV F2 in my collection and, with the costly Dragon Pz IV Ausf.2 impossible to find, I finally decided to stick to this old ESCI model.
It was quite a challenge and the result is certainly not 100% accurate (markings included) but I'm nevertheless happy with it.
This kit is still good value for money by today's standards when you consider the (very) high price sometimes paid for more recent productions.

Review sample bought by the author

References (English-French-German-Polish languages publications)

  • On The Way
  • Batailles hors série N°15 Les Panzer de L'Afrika Korps
  • Modelling the early Pzkfz IV Osprey Modelling publishing 26
  • Pzkpfw IV In Action, Culver & Greer Squadron signal Publications
  • Panzerkampfwagen IV, N°28 Osprey New Vanguard series
  • Panzer Colors volumes 1-2-3 by Bruce Culver
  • Sd.Kfz.161 Pz.Kpfw. IV Auf. F/F2/G vol.1 Waldemar Trojca 5 Katowice-Speyer 2002
  • Tanks Illustrated N° 28 PANZER ARMEE AFRIKA Arms & Armour Press
  • TNT hors série N°21 Panzer IV Modèles et projets.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 15 December 2017