The Tamiya Panzer IV Ausf. H model kit, reviewed Here on Armorama
is quite nice and has some good features, but some of the details are lacking. You can order individual upgrade sets to enhance various parts of the kit. Voyager Model
has put together a new set as part of its Jumbo Series that combines six of these upgrade sets in a single box. You get almost everything you could have ever wanted, and the price for this set, $37.99 US from Lucky Model (other vendor prices will vary but the overall cost is still pretty good) is less than what you would have paid purchasing the individual upgrade sets.
What do you get for your money? The jumbo set, item #JO 35001, comes in a sturdy box with bubble wrap plastic around the different PE sets to protect them, and consists of:
• 16 separate PE frets
• 13 resin and plastic parts
• 35 individual metal parts
The individual sets included are as follows:
is the basic upgrade for the Panzer IV kit. This set consists of upgrades for the on vehicle equipment, brackets, handles and clamps. Included in this set are two large PE frets, four smaller PE frets with mostly brackets for tools, bolt heads, and small chains, four brass rods for the cleaning rod, plastic rod for handles and hinges, brass rod for hinges and a braided copper wire for the two cable.
There are also several resin parts including the tow cable ends, mop end for the cleaning rod, air cleaners, antenna base, light base and 6 hooks with fine bolt head details. There is also a small plastic bag with several very tiny individual brass rivet heads. This set replaces the molded on clamps, brackets and braces and handles found on the plastic kit parts, and adds the details that are lacking in the Tamiya kit. There are even parts to replace details on the commander figure in the summer uniform. The instructions are five pages long and are clear and detailed. Just looking at them gave me the feeling that even I might be able to pull this off!
is the fenders. This set provides all the details for full length fenders, plus four small metal springs and a length of wire for the hinged ends. The tread plate pattern is very fine and the bolt heads also show detail. The instructions show how to place plastic card to fill in the void where the sponsons should be on the kit.
contains the turret stowage bin. This is a single PE fret and parts-wise is the smallest. The bin sides have some texture present, and again a length of wire is included to make working hinges. This stowage bin is generic for all Panzer IV variants that used it, but the two page instruction sheet shows different assembly instructions for the Ausf. E turret and Ausf. G-J turrets.
handles the turret armor. This set also consists of a single PE fret and a length of wire for hinges. Instructions are a single page and again are clear and detailed, calling out assembly for each of the side mounting brackets in separate boxes. The brass is much better scale thickness than the kit plastic, and the details are much clearer and finer.
is for the schürzen
. This set consists of four PE sheets with the armor sections on them, and one large sheet with the mounting brackets and bolt heads. There is also a length of plastic rod. It appears the plastic rod should be used to attach the armor bracket to the hull braces, but the holes are sized more for fine wire. The three page instructions indicate which type of mounting brackets should be used for the Ausf. H early, Ausf. H and Ausf J variants. This set allows for the armor plates to be mounted realistically, and again, the scale thickness and small details are a tremendous improvement over the kit parts.
is listed as a bonus for the set. This is the 75mm L48 metal gun barrel, with rifling, multi part muzzle break and resin mantlet of the pattern 1 type. This is much better than the two piece plastic kit part and will work with the kit breech assembly. It was the barrel that initially started me looking for an upgrade to the kit.
In terms of quality and value, this Voyager set is hard to beat. Almost every detail is covered. The instructions are clear and each fret is well labeled. I recommend this set to anyone looking to upgrade their Tamiya panzer IV kit.