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Book Review
Modelling the Early Panzerkampfwagen IV

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]


7.25 x 9.75 inches
80 pp
207 color illustrations


I. Introduction
II. Materials
III. Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. F, 5. Panzer-Division, Russia 1942
IV. Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. C, 6. Panzer-Division, France 1940
V. Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. A, 1. Panzer-Division, Poland 1939
VI. Neuban-Panzerkampfwagen IV, Pz.Abt.z.b.V.40, Norway, 1940
VII. Gallery of Other Panzer IV Modelling Projects
VIII. Further Reading, Media, Websites
IX. Museums and Collections
X. Available 1/35 scale Kits and Accessories
XI. Index and Colour Chart

Introduction and a little history…

“Panzerkampfwagen IV”- known to most military enthusiasts as the tried and true workhorse for the German Army throughout WWII, going through various upgrades and improvements, and was and still is the one and only German tank to be produced throughout the entire war.
Making it’s first appearance in 1937, after several years of secret development, the all too familiar basic design of the Panzer IV had been established, and would not make any significant changes except for the replacement of the short barrel gun (7.5 cm. KwK L/24) with the longer and more powerful L/43 and L/48 gun with the production of the Ausf. G.
Although this Panzer was produced in other versions throughout it’s lifespan, this new modeling manual concentrates on reproducing the short barrel versions only, which were built up until February of 1942. These rugged little gems saw service from the invasion of Poland, to the fall of Western Europe, through the sands and campaigns of North Africa, and into the icy cold of the Soviet Union.
This fantastic treatise of the short barrel Panzer offers excellent techniques, discussed thoroughly within the text, using the kits that are currently available in today’s market, tools, and after-market accessories available, plus instruction on the creation of your own tools and model kit parts (resin casting) throughout the entire journey inside it’s pages…

Marching forward…

This new book brings to the modeler a new and refreshing collection of some really cool versions of the Panzerkampfwagen (in which these short barrel versions are some of my own favorites, personally!), with loads of exciting photographs, and extremely useful and explanatory instructional text to help the reader to understand the author’s methods herein.
The first chapter, the introduction, offers a detailed history lesson of the Panzerkampfwagen IV, in which the author gives the reader a feeling of true understanding of the subject matter right from the very start…very well done!
We then slide right into the next chapter, “Materials”, which holds a detailed listing and explanation of some of the authors favorite tools and modeling materials, starting with folding tools and ending the chapter with a tutorial explaining the easiest method of soldering photo-etched brass parts; the first of many useful technique’s explained in this manual.
Moving then directly into the manuals first of it’s four build chapters, “Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. F, 5.Panzer-Division, Russia 1942”, the author now begins our modeling excursion through four separate Panzer subjects, through each of the next chapters, each one progressing with detail and difficulty of challenge. Using mainly Tamiya Models’ base kits to start, and combining after-market accessories from many different suppliers and producers, the author takes the reader through a detailed step-by-step process of reproducing some really amazing model subjects, using dynamite close-up photography that shows all processes explained in the accompanying text.
Each of the build chapters begin with a detailed, chart style listing of the subject, skill level involved, basic kit used, and any other after-market accessory kit’s used (such as replacement tracks, gun barrels, resin conversion sets, or super-detail accessory parts).
The author then takes the reader through all of the necessary steps required to combine all of these parts, with technique tutorials weaved into the instructional process, making each of the projects seem almost simple, although actually they are quite complex in construction.
All four of the Panzer subjects covered in the build chapters are equally interesting and altogether quite breathtaking (this coming from a major Panzerholic!), including the rare multi-turreted (yeah that’s right!) Neuban-Panzerkampfwagen IV…most excellent indeed! I also must tell you that each subject is built into a final vignette, each one unique to the subject’s time frame and setting, with scenery instruction also included for each respectively.
After the fourth and final build chapter, the next section, entitled “Gallery of Other Panzer IV Modelling Projects”, contains an additional 2 more Panzer vignettes, (although the instruction is not as detailed for these as is in the build chapters), but still quite exciting and useful techniques and ideas can be found here.
Moving into the manuals reference chapters, the author first lists some selected reading materials in various media articles, favorite websites, and other miscellaneous references. Then we have a detailed listing of the only three remaining museums in the world where you can find surviving examples of the Panzer IV versions discussed in the book.
Unfortunately, we are coming close to the end of the manual, with a chapter listing the available 1/35 scale kits and available aftermarket accessories of the Panzer IV, with a good detailed explanation throughout all. Wrapping up the book is the famous Osprey Colour Chart, this time listing eight separate color variations and a detailed explanation of each on the reverse side.


For my own tastes, hands down this manual was a definite winner; I absolutely enjoyed it, because I do love the subject matter. But to be fair and unbiased to others, I will say that all in all I believe this to be another fine addition to the fast growing Osprey Modelling series line, with top-notch photography, exciting and interesting projects, and extremely useful technique instruction this manual comes very highly recommended from this modelers point of view; to all tread heads alike, I do believe that you will appreciate the history of these subjects and the projects detailed here in these pages…

Many thanks to Sheeba Madan of Osprey Publications, New York, for providing this early pre-release review sample.

Keep Modeling!

In this writing, we will take a closer look at Osprey Publications latest modeling manual, #26 in the series, “Modelling the Early Panzerkampfwagen IV”, written by Tom Cockle.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 1841768650
  Suggested Retail: $17.95 U.S
  Related Link: Osprey Publishing Official Web Page
  PUBLISHED: Oct 10, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. All rights reserved.


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