Knocked out Panzer IV Ausf H
(with side skirts)

Kit # 72074 (Cromwell)
Kit # 72-044 (Part)
Kit # 72B25/B05 (RB Model)
Kit # 7212 (Schatton)

Construction review by Rob Haelterman

This 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 me).

1. The Cromwell parts:

1.a. The hull

The 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 ?

The 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 part either.
Vestiges of Zimmerit can be found. I assume the rest has burnt off.


1.b. The turret

The 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 hatches.
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.


1.c. Other parts

Apart from those mentioned, the only extra parts are two short sections of track, which is a bit short to represent the complete, broken track.


1.d. Instructions

Instructions are not provided. Then again, not much in the way of assembly is required anyway.


1.e. Decals

Decals 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.



2. 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.

When 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.


3. Assembly, painting and decals:

Apart 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.

After 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.

I 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 all over.


The parts after painting. Further weathering will be done once the parts find their place in the diorama.



A very 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.

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Article Last Updated:
27 January 2014
04 April 2019

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