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135
Dragon Panzer IV E

the kit
For an in the box review of this kit by Pawel Krupowicz please look under reviews.

The initial reports of the kit were everything we all expected. People have been anticipating its release for a long time, and Tom Cockle over at Missing Lynx has been treating us all to previews and teasers since he was a consultant for Dragon in the design of the kit. Early reports from people who had received the kit were complimentary, and it looked like Tom and Dragon had outdone themselves and produced something of a masterpiece....as far as styrene injection kits went. Were they justified? Well, yes. With a few qualifiers.
construction
The kit is supplied as a 3 in 1, but the differences between the 3 versions offered are minimal, mainly being the arrangement or absence of additional armour around the upper hull. The 3 versions offered are;

1. Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. E Early Version
2. Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. E Late Version
3. Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. E DAK

I decided to build the DAK version, mainly because then I could use the additional armour on the front upper hull.

There are lots of little ‘extras’ in this kit. I’ll mention all of them as I continue with the build, even though I found I didn’t use a lot of them, partially from choice, and partially, as we’ll see, for other reasons.

stage 1
This stage deals with the construction of the rear hull and running gear. First things first......two hulls are supplied, one with the additional armour and one without so make sure you use the correct one for the version you choose to depeict!
I have never, ever, seen bogey’s like these. They are quite simply, stunning! The detail is so sharply rendered, the parts breakdown so elegantly designed. The rear idlers each have a photo etched ‘face’. The road wheels each have a separate tyre, that has a very tiny manufacturers logo on one side. This means you have to be careful when placing the tyres on the road wheels that you have them facing the correct way! Bacxk to those bogeys.....they are beautifully designed. Although elegant in their design, they are complicated to build....I found myself needing a helping hand here, but once constructed, and if you have been sparing with the cement, they actually work the way the real ones would have done! And independently. For modellers that like to place their models in diorama settings the advantages to this are obvious.
Be careful here, as a small exploded view within this construction stage shows the option to use either A16 or A27. Tom Cockle has said that he asked Dragon to ‘grey out’ part A16 on the instructions since he believes that they were not used in this version. So use A27. This stage also shows fixing of the rear idler support, but it’s probably best to leave this off at this stage, since it can be rotated to take up any slack in the tracks later. You can also leave off the tyres until later, since that way they can be painted separately. Note also that there is a moulding seam around each tyre that was actually there on the original so need not be sanded off! It just depends on how worn you like your tyres to appear!
  • PIV_001
  • PIV_002
  • PIV_003
  • PIV_004
  • PIV_005
  • PIV_006
  • PIV_007
  • PIV_009
  • PIV_010

About the Author

About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM


Comments

Hi Xavier, Sharing our information, are you? This is in defense of the sites which get samples from manufacturers. Truth be told, it is difficult to find someone who is expert, or at least knowledgeable, in all subjects. Keep this in mind since many vendors do not ask what samples they should send, they just do. For example, it took me a while (and some money spent) to gather the necessary references to be able to review Dragon's aircraft carrier kits which I was sent. I did not find anyone with the combination of skills (which include photography) so I could send it to them. As for number 2, yes...I have been left scratching my head sometimes as well! Three is very important and a reason why some knowledgeable modelers I know do not get samples forwarded by me. Photography is important. In some cases, I will photograph the sprues and then send the kit. By reading the submitted text, I will know if the kit was actually built since I PREFER build reviews. This goes towards your fifth point as well. Test fitting of major parts is the least to expect. The fourth point is the most difficult. Every modeler I know has a reference library. Sadly, there are occasions where this library is not up to date. Not everyone has the wherewithal to buy the latest books on a particular subject. So the accuracy check you find is limited to what the reviewer had at hand. For this reason, I ask that all reviews include a list of references used. Note that the sites you mentioned include them? So even if some item is not accurate, the reviewer can point out that it was to the references they used. No one is perfect and we should not expect them to be. Value was not mentioned. This is a personal thing, just like the overall opinion. For example, (even if the kit was sent for free) how do you feel paying full price for the kit? Again, there are many factors here since a kit’s price may be different in other areas of the World. So I ask that reviewers state the facts, where they got the facts, show us some images so we can form our own opinions and give me theirs (which I may or may not agree with). What to do when inaccuracies are found? Point them out and how to overcome them. Let the reader decide if they wish to go through the trouble, if at all. An example is this Panzer IV Ausf E. Many improvements can be made to it, while I plan to do all I find; some may do some and others none at all. It is a beautiful kit. Here is where opinions some into play. Some modelers will not bother trying to improve the kit and revel in all (and there is plenty!) that is right. Some may be thrilled at the value, all the goodies including such a wonderful figure. Some may be disappointed since they are in the quest for the perfect kit (a very long quest, of that I am sure), and others may see the inaccuracies, fix them, and be so happy at having added their touch to a wonderful model. Note that I do not represent any one site. I have posted my reviews here (mostly aircraft, books, or in Spanish) and Track-Link (only armor in English). I do get samples from many vendors and pass them on to reviewers such as Christopher Wilson, Konrad Schreiber, and others. Regards, Saúl García
NOV 12, 2005 - 05:03 AM
Hey all armor freaks Being an old man in Panzers, I started some 35 odd years ago doing a conversion of a Nichimo Panzer IV F1 into an E version, things certainly have changed since then , I have on and off, been doing some early German Panzers up to 1942, or more correctly the later months of 1942. Seeeing the new releases of Dragons good looking version, yet only in review form makes me wonder, why no one, or at least only a few have mentioned the Tristar version, or perhaps I haven't found it yet Modellers today are more “picky“ than earlier, in their search for precise detail, where, at least here in Denmark, people sat pride in correcting errors, and getting a more “correct“ model, that was the difference between mediocre models and “the super models“, ring a familar bell We have certainly been spoiled by the manufacters these last years, now I only need some soft skin early german vehicles. By the way a SUPER SITE with lots of good stuff for almost every taste. Greetings to all contributers from Denmark
NOV 14, 2005 - 08:52 AM
I have tried to refrain from posting in this thread, and instead have allowed others to use it as a 'platform' for airing their grievances, real or imaginary, against firstly Dragon, presumably for making a fantastic kit which some people have no problems with, and secondly, against reviewers they see as less perfect than themselves. I'm just glad that this great site can provide this sort of person with somehwhere to post. :-) :-) :-) By the way Xavier, great links on the Glacis.....I particularly like the knock out pins which you've left for their 'visual' effect. Vinnie
NOV 14, 2005 - 09:10 AM
just do your thing Vinnie,i like what you are doing and with me a lot of other peeps on this site.my understanding was that you buy most of the kits you builld/review and simply thanking dragon just because they made them and not because they have you in their pocket.i only say this once;vinnie is for real in my book.on to the next build/review/feature or what else that you all do. cheers mate. jeroen................
NOV 14, 2005 - 10:47 AM
Hi Vinnie , I just purchased this kit and can't wait to start building it. Luckily, I also found your "resume" on this gorgeous kit.I printed everything...promise, I won't sell it. Anyways, thank you for your usual input, you are always a "teacher".Glad that you are on board.Looking forward reading some more from your future experiences, Claude aka diamonds088
NOV 17, 2005 - 04:15 PM
Vinnie, Thanks for this build, just bought this kit as a xmas present to myself. I wonder if you could outline your advice when it comes to what to assemble or not when it comes to painting. This is the most advanced kit I have built, and after two days I am trudging away on the bogeys still. I am also new to airbrushing so any advice as to what parts I should or shouldn't attach for painting would be appreciated. P.S. I also don't have the steady hands required to hand paint tools and the like once attached!
DEC 30, 2005 - 02:28 AM
I believed that a feature was just a journal of a builder's experience with the kit. It is not a critique to historical accuracy or detail. It is simply a diary of the person's building experience. If the kit is full of inaccuracies but yet easy to put together, the feature will more than likely be favorable. If filling a gap or sanding a few parts is enjoyable to the builder the feature will likely be favorable. A review is probably done by a person (but not always)with an interest in that subject and will comment on the accuracies. These would be a little more critical about the way a part looks or how it fits together because it is a technical inspection. It is also my understanding that for Armorama, the samples go to a few central people who them randomly redistribute them to numerous volunteers with no say in what type of sample they receive. So for an individual, there is no benefit in "flowering" a review because he/she cannot curry favor for additional sample kit in the future from any manufacture.
DEC 30, 2005 - 02:54 AM
Well am just taking a brake from doing the suspension on this kit,done one side,first off i was scratching my head for about 30 minutes trying to put all the pieces together,well i worked it out in the end.easy when you know how i think the kit is top notch in my book,but what do i know ,i just build them i dont know the right measurements to a panzer or any other kit and i dont realy care,as long as your happy with it thats all that matters people should just build the god dam kit and admire the the work thats gone into producing such a fine model. so its thanks to dragon and tom cockel for this dream of a kit,the beers are on me cheers karl
DEC 30, 2005 - 03:15 AM
Excellent review. Felt like I was building the kit too. I can't wait to get my new glasses so I can see again and get me one of these! Cheers, MSW
JAN 01, 2006 - 10:19 PM
Hi Vinnie - Al here. I work in the same profession as you and only started modelling again in late 2005. I had a similar pointless comment on a question I posted recently about LCVP's. I like many others model for fun and whilst accuracy is important one can only do ones best. The reviews provided by yourself and others are invaluable to me and many others. I say good luck to you if Dragon think highly enough of your skills to send you a free kit to review. I've been pestering them for months to increase their range of British vehicles and figures and if they sent me a kit (based on an idea I had given them) I'd be delighted. Keep up the good work. Al
JAN 01, 2006 - 11:25 PM