Panzer IV - Corraling "The Workhorse"

Thank you, Danny.

Not sure that we’ve seen that information all bound in one volume yet.

These two classics are outstanding. Book 2 is a Godsend if one is really interested in the Pz IV ausf’s. Own both but Book 2 is the one I consistently pull off of the shelf.

Craig Ellis’s Eight Wheels Good Pzkpfw-iv-at-the-front-update series of books are outstanding. These are print on demand. I have several volumes and consider them excellent.

However for one stop shopping related to model building, I think the two Achtung Panzer Book #1 & #3 are unmatched. They aren’t perfect but they have proven most useful overall of the ~two dozen of Pz IV books on my book shelf.

shopping

The two books are basically the same. However #1 has a Pz IV build that wasn’t reprinted in #3. I think there was a copyright or license issue with the model build in #1 caused it to go out of publication quickly and #3 was accordingly issued to replace it. Both are available used.

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^^^ #3 is the most frequently used reference in my whole library.

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+1 for the Spielberger Book 2. Indispensable Panzer IV reference.

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Congratulations! This is one of the best Panzer IVs I have ever seen!

Bill

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Bill, thank you!
That’s kind of you and much appreciated.

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My pleasure!

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Thanks! I ordered #3, a bit pricey, however from what you wrote it should be worth the price and wait…appreciate the heads up

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Danny, sweet! I hope #3 will prove it’s value to you as it has to me. Let me know what you think.

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WILCO! Ill gove my opinion as soon as i get it. Tha ks again.

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I just pulled the trigger on a set of WInterketten tracks from RFM for my Academy build. My hope is that the tracks will fit without any major issues.

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Reynier please let us know what you think of the WInterketten tracks from RFM when they arrive.

Thanks :blush:

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I have build the RFM Tiger tracks, not a problem, really easy to build and don’t need much time, I’m sure you will enjoy the build too

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Time to drop another Pz IV build into the Pz IV WorkHorse thread.

The background, history and why of building this kit.

Yes, it’s an Imperial Dragon rebox of the old Gunzy Pz IV without white metal etc from ~1990. The kit above unexpectedly arrived in my local hobby shop in the mid 1990’s along with a related Imperial Gunzy Dragon Pz IV G.

I literally jumped for joy, two new Pz IV kits in 1996. The rare (in USA) Gunzy Pz IV G with white metal was a ~$250 kit IF you could fine one. This tormented me being out of reach since my idea of the ultimate Pz IV is of course a Pz IV G :unamused: :roll_eyes: :upside_down_face:

Here’s a picture of me paying for both kits at Action Hobby’s that day.

shut-up-and-take-my-money-futurama

The very honest owner of the shop tried to tell me these two kits weren’t quite up to being what I would wanted them to be.

He of course was absolutely right.

Instead of being my hot new builds for the 1997 IPMS Nationals, both kits were relegated to stash status after careful examination.

In 2012, I started the Pz IV F2 kit to see if I’d lost my scratch building skills after being basically out of the hobby for about eight years. My dear friend RP, rolled his eyes explaining the kit was hopelessly out of date, time would be better spent on a new Dragon Pz IV F2 or G.

My last two builds had ended up in the waste basket in 2012, I wasn’t willing to risk a new expensive kit.

The Gunzy Pz IV F2 went on the work bench.

Surprisingly, the old dog more or less scaled out dimensionally the same as a new Dragon Pz IV.

The instructions were surprisingly good. How the devil could this kit have Dragon’s name on the box?

The kit design was simple.
The kit was well engineered overall.
Major parts test fit perfectly.
Mold quality was excellent
Plastic quality was excellent.

WTF?

Detail was lacking.

I recall feeling a sense of wonder.

Gunzy had given the kit good bones. This Pz IV F2 wasn’t a POS Italeri Panther kit.

As stupid as it sounds, Gunzy Pz IV made an Elegant old kit.

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May sound strange, but this era ('90s to early '00s) for Dragon was my favorite era. Yes, kits now have loads more detail. But back then Dragon was still affordable, & the kits simple enough, but with enough detail, and the challenge of improving them. I recall struggling with the Dragon Pz IVJ with the weird cupola, but enjoying the process in the end…

Damon.

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The model today.

The 2012-2013 build was derailed due to side effects from a :pill: medication that caused the jitters. I was too wired to sit still and work on the model.

Yesterday, I spent about three hours sorting what was spread out in three boxes.

Tossed out everything marked or circled in blue plus additional junk.

Much more manageable now.

The wheels, idlers, sprockets, return rollers and suspension were all replaced with a TriStar Pz IV suspension set. This is an excellent but fiddly solution with a high parts count.
TPM00035014_0_l

It seemed almost comical the old Gunzy Pz IV F2 got a suspension superior to what’s in the typical new Dragon Pz IV kits.

An old set of Fruilmodel folding clasp white metal tracks were installed. These will probably be replaced as they appear slightly overscale and more suited to a Monogram 1/32 Panzer IV or similar :thinking:.

I think a new top notch quality and detail set of 3D printed tracks would hysterical for this kit.

I mentioned dimensionally this kit was on par with a new Dragon, well the glacis is a spare from a new Dragon kit was almost a drop in fit. The brake covers were scratch built with used razor sawed spare parts. Spare tracks were left over from a Dragon Pz IV F1 build done in 2012 before this kit was started. Brackets scratched. The MG was a spare razor sawed from spare parts of a previously built (1990’s) Tamiya Pz IV H. Likewise, the tow cable pinnacles. Chains added.

The upper hull needed some love. Copied flat head screw pattern from Dragon kit. Used Lion Marc brass flat head screws to replicate. The kit hatches were unacceptable and replaced with Tiger Model Design resin hatches. I was feeling good about the front upper hull until RP pointed out the lame nature of the kit upper hull bullet splash rails for the driver & radio operator hatches. That stoked :fire: to fix. Broke with a long promise to myself to avoid doing resin casting. Copied the bullet splash rails off of a TriStar Pz IV kit with resin casting.

The yeild on the delicate bullet splash rail was ~15%. There’s a set for the Gunzy Pz IV G if it’s turn ever arrives.

That resin casting success inspired making a new set of front & rear fender ends to match the new Dragon fenders to the Gunzy kit.

Ironically, my fumbling resin casting of mix, pour then shake the mold had far fewer air bubbles than the garbage resin I’ve purchased previously from AEF Designs & Black Dog. Sort puts in prespective how bad both of those companies absolutely suck.

Set of spare Dragon fenders found a new home. Very little work required to get a good fit.

The rear and engine deck also needed some love. Once again spare new Dragon parts to the rescue. Minor tweaks required but amazingly once again the parts fit with minimum hassle. The yellow part is more stuff from the Tamiya Pz IV H previously mentioned. I scratched the hinges.

The turret fit well, weld seams were added with Evergreen strip and textured with #11 blade and liquid cement. Again flat screw pattern was copied from a Dragon F2 and done with Lion Marc brass. More spare Dragon “scales” were added etc


Turret got an Aber brass MG, plus more welds and Dragon donated a spare E37.

Screenshot_20231008_180210_Drive

Aber’s F2 early main gun with light bulb shaped muzzle brake replaced the kit main gun. I recall this not working out as desired and having use a second Aber Pz IV Main Gun F2 barrel get correct length when mated to my collection of junk parts. That’s seemed reasonable since nothing was designed to go into this kit.

Aber MG barrel was added for the bow MG.

That’s the highlights as I recall from a decade ago.

Yesterday, minor work was done the commander’s hatch halves were cleaned up and a set of Tamiya Pz IV tools cleaned up for the old Gunzy Pz IV F2.

What’s that funny sound from the stash Wade?

Just two dozen Dragon Pz IV kits nervous the parts raiding is about to get cranked up again.

:smiley: :blush: :grinning:

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This F2 looks wonderful Wade! Excellent scratchbuilding and kitbashing right up there with the Masters. And now resin casting little parts? What sorcery is this? More astounding skills. You continue to amaze and delight.
I’ve got a couple of dozen Imperial Series kits in the stash and I hoard them like ancient treasures. The Gunze Sangyo molds were so crisp that they just produced superior parts no matter what medium they were molded in. I find the kits still hold their own today and are great bases for adding detail, just as you are doing.
Getting a $250 Gunze kit in a $40 Imperial box was certainly a thrill, like we were getting away with something really great and nobody but us knew. But way back then, the real steal of the century was getting any kit in a Shanghai Dragon box! Those armor kits went for $19.99! You got a $250 Gunze Sangyo kit for $19.99! Unbelievable! Whenever I saw Shanghai kits on a shelf, I bought every one of them. I used to have stacks of them down in the stash. I’ve since sold off all the duplicates for a decent profit. Those were some good times.

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@Garrand Damon, I think your right that that era of Dragon kits was when their products were the most fun to build, affordable and an excellent value. In the quest to displace Tamiya, Dragon sort of lost what made their kits wonderful along the way. I recall having one of Dragon’s first Pz IV J’s in that era and it was kinda funky…but it was a J with Thoma screens & straight exhaust and I was delighted to get it and build it.

@SSGToms Matt, thank you. I appreciate you taking time for the long look at this old F2. Sorcery, resin casting is definitely from the abyss and dark side voodoo…wink. It’s the kit that made me re-evaluate my priorities when building models. It helped rediscover the fun of it, pushing outside of the comfort zone.

I fully agree, the Imperial Dragon Gunzy kits defhave a place in a well considered stash. Your absolutely on the mark, getting what amounted to $250 kit for $40 was like 20 oz ribeye for the price of Big Mac. It almost felt wrong which was part of why it was irresistible.

Shanghai Dragon, good memories! I’ve built what I had over the years. You’re wise to have kept a choice ones and make a profit on the others. $19.99 that’s as good as gets for a sweet kit!

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Thanks! Totally appreciate the heads up.

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Wade, can you show your weld technique with the evergreen plastic? Your consistency with the welds is fantastic.

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Danny, did the book met your expectations?


In Wade’s World Pz IV news…

Back in May or June 2023, I commissioned a new set of 3D printed leaf springs & road wheels for the 1994 and newer Tamiya Pz IV/Pz IV based kits. The old TriStar suspension kit being the inspiration.

With the Tamiya Pz IV J, H, F, G, Brumbar, Hummel, Nashorn, Lang, Pz IV 70(a) etc all using the same leaf spring part. This seem like a very useful set, I’d buy a dozen or so and others folks might like them so potentially a good win for the designer/printer too.

I find fixing all of the nasty voids, punch marks & mold seams on this part time consuming and very annoying. Front & back have issues, plus the lack of detail on the end of the spring. I’ve fixed this mess on three Tamiya Pz IV builds H, J & F by filling or using TriStar suspension. I want a plug & play fix for the ~ ten remaining Tamiya Pz IV based builds.

(This part presses my AMS/OCD panzer police :oncoming_police_car: button.)

Sample of TriStar’s Holy Goodness & inspiration!

Luckily, I was working with an excellent 3D designer. Sample of a few drawings we discussed and he revised etc.

Settled on this basically.

So after nine long months, test shots!

Tentatively, in production printing :printer: late February 2024, looking for a half dozen to a dozen sets for my personal Panzer IV projects. Looks like it’s been worth the wait.

However, life happens, things change and he exits the 3D printing side gig due to other interests. My parts are returned plus one set of 3D printed parts. The 3D parts are nice but I still have the original issue from 9 months ago, I wanted this a new suspension set for the newer, 1990+ Tamiya Pz IV family of kits.

The product of the nine month project. The parts are nice.

Phase 2

Again, I found myself kicking around the idea of learning Fusion 360 or whatever. My son in law even offered to hook me up with a 3D printer as he provides technical support in industry for rapid prototyping with 3D printing. However, that will be time consuming and I don’t need another “hobby interest” as it would deflect me from following my established goals.

With apologies to Ray Parker Jr…

If there’s something strange
In your Tamiya kit
Who you gonna call?
(Tiger Model Design)

If there’s something weird
And it don’t look good
Who you gonna call?
(Tiger Model Design)

I ain’t afraid of no punch marks, mold seams or gaping voids.

I ain’t afraid of no punch marks, mold seams or gaping voids.

I called Tiger Model Design, hoping to commission a new Pz IV suspension kit or at least a new leaf spring part for the newer Tamiya Pz IV family. Much to my delight, we had an excellent discussion and I think there’s potential as some prior work in this direction had been done previously.

Hope to have a small update on the Gunzy Pz IV F2 after the next Saturday IPMS Roscoe Turner build meeting. That kit has become my work in progress kit for the meetings.

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Hey Armor buff,
I was familiar to the “Achtung Panzer 3.” Its the usual with them. So, yes it was helpful, but really not alot of interior stuff. I have the Trumpeter PzKpw IV in 1/16 with interior. I know, that once buttoned up,
not alot can be readily viewable.Buy it fall into that" know its in there" routine. But still loads of fun. Still trying to decide if I want to spend 2x the kit cost for resin interior from AFV. regardless, best if luck on your build.

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