Starting the war as an infantry support tank, the Panzer IV quickly became the mainstay of the German armed forces as a reliable medium tank which suffered countless modifications which kept it a dangerous enemy until the end of the war!

Introduction

I think I always knew I will be doing a Panzer IV, and as a matter of fact I wished it for a long time. It is something about this tank that draws me to it. Sure, it does not have the sleek slope of a Panther or the gun of the Tiger, but this tank actually symbolizes allot of the German struggle on the Eastern Front: entering 1941 with a short L/24 75mm gun against infantry and ending the war with shurtzen, long 75mm gun and countless modifications.

Although a medium tank, the Dragon kit simply overflows with details, as you can see:

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Main body and the running gear.

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Turret and hull details.

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Sides of the upper hull and turret details.

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The turret, the gun and hull details.

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Running gear and the rubber tracks plus the photo-etches.

Assembly Process

I decided to strictly stick to the instructions as the number of pieces is quite high. So I started with the running gear which proved very easy to mount but made out of about 30 to 40 pieces.

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Those 16 wheels each have 3 different pieces.

After that I assembled the lower hull which in my opinion looks very nice and realistic.

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Notice the engine details on the back.

And then combining these pieces together to finish the lower hull. Care with the running gear. It seems you need to be very careful with it because mine was not aligned or centered like it should be. The wheels would be unaligned both in length (of the hull) and not in line which each other (looking from bellow). Fortunately you cannot see that most of the time.

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Running gear completed but you can see it is not really aligned.

The upper hull was next and it has a decent amount of detail (around 10-15 pieces). I decided to not mount the spare wheels into the reserve compartment on the side of the tank as i have a preference for not loading all the “extra” details on and making the tank a bit more realistic (maybe they lost them, were blown off by enemy fire or they simply used them already).

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Very nice hatches on front and back.

After that i mounted the sides on the lower hull to prepare for the upper hull mount. You can easily get it wrong here and not leave enough space for the upper hull to fit both in the front and in the back. I did that mistake and the kit now has a 1mm gap in front and the back of the model which I don’t like at all. Looking at the instructions over and over I can’t seem to find any clear indicator of how I should have done this operation to NOT get the unwanted result, so a minus here.

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Lower hull.

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Lower hull.

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Upper hull mounted and you can see the gap in the front.

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The gap is more visible here.

Finally the turret was mounted. No surprises or issues with it.

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I misaligned the gun and the muzzle exhausts are sitting vertically instead of horizontally.

And the model is complete.

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Pride of the German army.

Evaluation

Plastic Quality 4.5 (Very Good) Very good. No flash anywhere and hard plastic.
Number of Details 5 (Perfect) I can’t think of anything more they should have added as it is so complete.
Instructions 3 (Mediocre) Instructions are good and detailed as with Dragon however it gets a lower rating due to the upper hull/lower hull issue.
Building Time 4 (Good) Not a fast kit by any means but easier and faster then you would expect simply because the pieces go so well together.
Enjoyment 4 (Good) I had a blast putting this thing together but i was a bit dissapointed when i finished it due to the 1mm gap.

Decals are included, of course, as this is Dragon. The instructions feature also no less then 5 different number schemes (3 of which are winter camo) and the quality of the model overall is top notch. I think this is one of my top picks for the Panzer IV model!

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