Pz. IV Prototyp Krupp

Kit # 7206 Construction review by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com

1. Introduction

This kit represents an experimental (hypothetical) version of the Pz.Kpfw. IV with the long barrelled 75mm gun and sloped armor, apparently sometimes called the Ausf. K or Ausf. L. The result is something resembling a scaled down Panther, while retaining the running gear and turret of the Panzer IV. I've read somewhere that it actually was meant to be fitted with a Schmalturm at one point.


2. Packaging

Sturdy top opening cardboard box.

3. Type of kit

Multi-piece resin.

The hull and turret are clearly based on that of the Revell kit but with a major facelift of the hull. All hatches of the hull and turret are closed. The turret looks like your regular Pz IV turret, except for the lack of a Rommelkiste on the back, which I find surprising.

The running gear is nicely done and represents the cast, U shaped idler, late hub caps on the road wheels and rubber rimmed return rollers. (The Revell kit has the metal return rollers.) Even if this is a hypothetical vehicle, this makes a rare combination (see below).
The bogies are separate parts.
The roadwheels are not too bad, but will require major effort to clean up, especially between the two halves, where remnants of the resin casting block are found.

The tracks are long sections in resin that need to be bent around the idler and drive sprocket (after heating). I can't honestly say that I was looking forward to this.

The other bits are for the muffler and auxiliary muffler, tow brackets, antenna mount, gun and MG.

(Sorry for the low resolution pictures of the parts. I thought I had taken better ones when I started to work on this kit, but if so, I must have lost them.)



4. Instruction sheet:

One step "exploded" drawing, but very clear given the limited number of parts.


5. Decals

Nihil. This vehicle was never built, so let your imagination run wild !


6. Quality of casting

Overall detail is nicely done and (mostly) crisply cast. Almost no air bubbles are present. However, the single piece hull is a very large piece of resin that was distorted in my example. I tried to rectify this by heating and reshaping, but the top of the hull remained concave (probably due to shrinking when the resin cooled). For that reason, the only option that remained was to redo the top plate of the hull. This either means scraping off the detail and building the hatches and turret splash guard from scratch, or scavenging a Revell kit...


7. Accuracy

  • While mentioned in the history of the development of the Panzer IV by Krupp, I have not seen any drawings to compare it with. The kit is clearly based on the Revell Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H or J kit and shares its overall dimensions, which are very accurate.
  • The Ausf.K/L project was a contemporary of the Ausf.H. Looking at the production details of the IV in this timeframe, one notices that the type of return rollers and hubcaps that are provided are a pre-October 1943 feature. To me, the later pattern would seem more logical. Assuming that the Ausf.K/L would have seen the light in the Autumn of 1943 (or earlier), and knowing that Zimmerit was still applied in September 1943, I decided to apply this anti-magnetic paste to my kit.
  • I have no idea why a Rommelkiste for the back of the turret is not provided, as this was rather very standard by 1943.
  • I should check if this is the case for the Revell kit as well, but in this kit, the roadwheels are not correctly spaced.


8. Construction

The turret of the Euromodel kit is basically a one piece Revell turret without a Rommelkiste and with a closed hatch. As I got a partial Revell Panzer IV kit that was donated by Andrew Smith, I used the turret thereof, as it allowed me to open the hatches and add the Rommelkiste. I added turret doors from the spares box (the donor kit was lacking them), extra armor on the turret roof from scratch, a rainguard above the turret doors from scratch, and enhanced the welds and hinges. After first installing the Revell barrel for the KwK I finally substituted it for another gem: the Armorscale metal barrel.

To get rid of the concave hull top I sanded down the top of the resin hull and transplanted a Revell hull top.

Various extra items were fitted that looked "cool" to me. Spare tracks and roadwheels, tools, boxes, tube holding the cleaning equipment for the barrel, a jerry can.

I decided to use Dragon tracks, which were also donated by Andrew Smith, in stead of the resin parts. These fitted surprisingly well.
The bow MG was taken from a beautiful ABER set.

Zimmerit was then added using Vallejo acrylic putty, which helped me to hide the joints between the Revell and Euromodel parts.



9. Conclusion

I've heard very good things about Euromodel kits, but this one is quite disappointing to me.

While I can imagine that it CAN be a very good kit, the heavy warping ruins it all to the point that it would be easier (and cheaper) to start this conversion from scratch using a Revell kit. Indeed, I only used the Euromodel kit from the waist down, and then only partially
Taken into account the price of the kit, I believe it would be far easier and cost effective to add styrene plates to a regular Revell kit to obtain the same effect. The only item that might be a bit more difficult is the ball mount for the hull MG, but if I am not mistaken there is a Dragon Tiger or Panther that comes with a spare.

Note that Stephen Brezinski built a similar vehicle as a home-made conversion some years ago.

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Article Last Updated: 26 December 2011

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