This is my first attempt ever at doing a build thread…so please bare with me. The model is one that’s very special to me and that’s why I choose this old shelf shame project. Many other successful models were started and completed since the shrink wrap came off of this kit. This particular project was definitely unfinished business from back in the mid 90’s.
I’m returning after many years away from the hobby. Dabbling in IPMS contest modeling was a lot of fun in the late 90’s and early 00’s but my goals now are to just do some builds for fun. I’ve completed all of one model in the last seventeen years back in 2009. I’m planning for this one to be my first finished project in a long time.
Instead of starting a new project, decided to pull an old kit from the shelf of shame. This kit got the better of me on several occasions which is pretty rare. It came close to getting tossed in the trash many times.
This Tamiya #35181 Panzer IV J kit was started in 1994, when the kit was a brand new release. I was very happy with the kit until I checked against Achtung Panzer for the Pz IV and other references. Tamiya omitted many details that would have been fairly easy to include like weld seams on the turret top, cupola, wheels, flat screw heads on the turret top, many engine deck details and so forth.
I was determined to address these minor short comings and build my first IPMS quality contest model. I figured it couldn’t take more than two or three weeks… The biggest pitfall was I had no idea what a punch mark/ejector knock out pin was nor was I aware that mold seams should be removed.
Naturally the project got sidelined after several critical mistakes were made. The key ones are listed below.
- Building individual link tracks and leaving the punch marks (trashed),
- getting a big seam in the gun barrel
- couple of massive gluey finger prints on the gun barrel and turret top
- total and complete misalignment of the gun mantlet
- mold seams every where
- punch marks
- open sponsons
- building an early Pz IV J without Zimmerit
- one massive mistake that I wasn’t aware of making
This was what I pulled out of the box from 26 years ago…