As I get tired of GunPla, I decided that it is time to do something more realistic, let's check out this tank. I present to thee, the Panzer IV!
Some 'Foreword 'When I was younger, I initially was interested to build model kits, specially the military armor ones or the AFV kits. Unfortunately, I never had the finances and the tools to execute such activity properly. GunPla gave me some access to an easier alternative to PlaMo with its snap-build engineering. But then again, GunPla, even if you paint or customize it, will get pretty boring and uninspired, whatever you do. This is because, GunPla is sci-fi - fiction. It's technically something that represents something that does not exist in real life or WILL NOT exist probably for the next 30-100 years from now. Part of my philosophy in building PlaMo is realism or at least apply the most realistic-effect concepts in a model. Yes, you can apply 'realism' (i.e. weathering, shading, etc) in GunPla but the fact still remains, it does not exist in real life - nice to look at but it doesn't really have that 'human' connection in our current society. Now to hit that empty spot in my heart, I decided to park my small GunPla backlog, and decided to do this. This is the Panzer IV version D. As a child, my main image and profile of a tank are these German tanks from WWII. I really really like the design and its eventual effectivity in real life. For me, building a model tank is going to be a very fun project because I know that I will be building something that existed, something that was part of the human race's history. In building model AFVs, the main point to observe is also realism. It demands the builder/modeller to truly research about the subject; to not only study the tank itself but also to study the effects of nature and external factors to the subject in real life. It also challenges you to emulate all conditions it was in when it was in the field. The call to do the most accurate realistic effects on something that existed before is very enticing and something that will only make one's modelling skills go a step higher. With this project, I am aiming to make something I was never able to pull off before, something great! I hope I can also inspire everyone not just to stay as a 'snap-builder' but rather invest in becoming a builder.
Short Info about the kitThe kit I picked is based on a tank that I really liked and had a connection to even when I was a child. It is the Panzer Kampfwagen IV Ausführung D. Roughly translated it means Armored Field/Fighting Wagon/Vehicle IV version D. The Panzer IV, even though part of the Lightning Tactics, was not originally the main battle tank of the German Wehrmacht during WWII. It was supposed to be the Panzer III but due to failure in upgrading it in time, the Panzer III got sidelined eventually, and the Panzer IV with its better offensive capabilities took center stage and even saw action up until the end of the war along with the newer tank releases at that time. This kit I got is made by Tamiya, one of the renowned PlaMo companies in the world. The kit itself is an old one, originally released on 1977 but just continued to be re-released and re-tooled but still one of the best kits for the said model of the tank. The kit is based on an early version of the Panzer IV, specifically the Model D or Ausf.D which is considered a pre-series model. These pre-series models of the Panzer IV were basically test beds for concepts but technically models like this Ausf.D are already widely employed during the early parts of the war and the Ausf.D is already as effective as it was intended to be. If my research is correct, the Panzer IV only reached its 'production series' status when it reached the E or F variant which made the Panzer IV even more effective in battles.
|Picture from hobbyhavoc.com|
Now let's look what kit has to offer.
|Top/Front Box Art|
The kit was purchased for Php998 (Philippine Peso)
*This side shows other kits based on the same Panzer IV chassis. As the war progressed, they used the same Panzer IV chassis on different application, specially for some self-propelled artillery weapons and some Sturm/Assault AFVs. These are actually something to consider in future projects.
- 2 vinyl tracks
- 1 separate piece for the lower hull
- 2 sets of poly caps
- 1 sheet of water-slide decals
- 2 sheets of instruction manuals
- 4 plastic runners/sprues for the parts
Runner B contains the parts for the upper hull and the turret. Also contains the parts for the figure for the tank commander.
|Poly-caps and Decal Sheet|
Another thing that the modelling community says about the tracks of this kit is that it does not represent the correct tracks that the Ausf.D particularly used in its service. These are basically the 40cm tracks that included the features for threading over snow. The Ausf.D used only the 38cm ones and the 40cm ones were basically only installed on the Ausf.E. I know this sounds too OCD, but nonetheless, it adds to the fun of pursuing realism with this line of PlaMo.
So far, these are all there is in the box for the kit. I am excited to put this together and we'll see how I will do with this project. Stay tuned for the WIP series for this project :D