is one of the more original sets currently on the market by any manufacturer,
representing an all too common sight at the end of WW2: a destroyed
tank, in this case a Panzer IV.
I've always admired people doing destroyed tanks, and this seems to
be the perfect way to short-circuit the process for those standing
at the back of the line when modeling skills were handed out (like
The Cromwell parts:
lower hull is a single part. While the bottom is marred with casting
imperfections, no-one in his (or her ?) rightful mind would want
to put the tank upside down, given the amount of detail that is
present on the inside of the hull. Everything that needs to be
there, seems to be: transmission, seats, engine, etc, albeit in
a bent and battered state.
Flash is minimal as are air bubbles. The running gear is pre-assembled
with some wheels having lost their rubber rims due to fire. This
means that the paintwork will have to faithfully represent this
situation. One idler and two roadwheels are missing from the hull,
while only the idler and one individual roadwheel is given in
the set as separate parts. The idler suffers from resin creeping
in between the idler halves, so the hollowness is lost. The spare
roadwheel has a flattened side, perhaps to better fit in with
the terrain ?
upper hull comes as separate parts: the central hull, the engine
deck and the glacis. Only half of the engine deck is present,
and its hatch is slightly ajar. All hatches on the central hull
and glacis are open, but there is only one individual final drive
hatch and the central glacis plate is not provided as an individual
Vestiges of Zimmerit can be found. I assume the rest has burnt
turret has been detailed by opening up all the hatches and adding
an interior. Due to the fine detail on this single piece, the
silicon molds must suffer heavily when removing the cast parts,
and this is visible in my specimen, as the interior of the turret
shows some lumps and other imperfections. I believe, unless you
want to put the turret upside down, that this can be hidden, as
the detail would still look fine when watched through the open
The turret bin ("Rommelkiste") has very thin walls.
Unfortunately something that looks like ejector marks are still
visible on the bottom of the bin. This is probably from the original
kit (Revell's, I assume) on which this set was based. Some debris
from the crew's effects, or the bin's lid, might hide this.
The visor on the front plate is open, the turret floor is a separate
part and the turret hatches are separate parts as well.
The gun is a single part, but bent in my example. Even though
this is a knocked out vehicle, I don't believe gun barrels bent
that easily. The muzzle brake is not entirely hollow, so I decided
to go for a replacement barrel.
from those mentioned, the only extra parts are two short sections
of track, which is a bit short to represent the complete, broken
are not provided. Then again, not much in the way of assembly
is required anyway.
are not provided. Depending on the amount of damage the modeler
will simulate in the paintjob, some markings might still be needed,
although weathering them accordingly will prove a challenge.
The Part PE set, RB Gun barrel and Schatton ammo:
As the kit corresponds to a March/April 1944 model, Schürzen
are required. I believe this is the only serious drawback of the
kit, although easily solved thanks to the profusion of aftermarket
sets. Mine came from Part.
To remedy the bent barrel, I used a barrel
from RB Model. I mixed two sets (B05 and B25), using the barrel
of the latter and the muzzle brake of the former, to better fit
in with the time period.
the model will eventually finds its place in a diorama (which
is a necessity with this kit, I believe), I will add some brass
ammo from Schatton.
Assembly, painting and decals:
from perhaps adding some of the hatches (which could of course have
been blown off as well), there is no assembly required. No manual,
decals or marking options are given. The real challenge clearly
lies in the paintjob.
correcting the occasional blemish in the casting, mostly limited
to an incomplete formed track tooth, I started the paintjob by priming
the model in automotive primer, followed by a coat of soot black
enamel. This immediately reveals the quality of the kit as this
phase normally brings out any tiny airbubbles that cover the surface
and are a pain to fill in. In this case there were none, so I was
looking forward to a speedy job.
An uneven coat of Humbrol 132 satin red followed. This is an orangy
red, which looks quite like rust when applied over a black basecoat,
in my eyes. The model was then left to dry thoroughly.
Adding the PE parts was a fiddly affair that required a fair amount
of expletives. Luckily, this is a damaged vehicle, so I could get
away with a lot. Even so, I forgot to add the central stiffener
on "Schürzen hanger B". I hope no-one will notice.
Part gives two lengths of rail for each side. The modeler is supposed
to glue them together, ensuring perfect alignment. With my skill
level, this proved impossible to do. I ended up using the rail with
the teeth, to which I added the supports of the other rail, after
having those severed from their rail.
Note that in the Panzer IV the left and right Schürzen rail
are not mirror images of eachother.
There are some minor mistake in the instructions: part 35 in subassembly
F should be 36. Furthermore, it was not clear to me which one of
the parts 34 and 35 was meant for the left and which for the right
side. It wasn't very clear to me how to fit the rails to the hull
either. The exact position of each door of the turret Schürzen
was a mystery to me as well, as was the way I was supposed to fold
them into shape.
All these PE parts bend very easily, which for this project was
a bonus. I am not sure if I could have kept them straight if I had
wanted to, so I think I'll give them a pass when I do a "full
ops" Panzer IV.
I painted the PE parts before removing them from the fret.
used the hairspray technique with reckless abandon. I admit not
paying too much attention to the Zimmerit. There are vestiges of
that material, which means that where it is gone, you should see
bare metal, or, at best, primer. I painted (and removed) camouflage
parts after painting. Further weathering will be done once the parts
find their place in the diorama.
original, and very well executed set, that will make for an instant
diorama with a certain appeal, if the modeler manages to get the
paintjob right. I hope mine will pass the test.
Review kit purchased by author, after a very long search.