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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PSC Panzer IV F2

I'd been sitting on a box of Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IVs for quite a while, and finally sat down to knock them out just before Christmas!

Assembly Review
These guys are fairly par for the course with Plastic Soldier company.  A bit more complicated than a Battlefront resin/metal model.  There are a lot more fiddly pieces to deal with- that is, unless you're counting the dreadful schurtzen assembly for the Battlefront Panzer IV H.  The Panzer IVs were an improvement over the T-34s I'd assembled previously, but still required a significant investment in time to clip the pieces, clean up flash, and assemble them.  I have to point out that the tracks on the Panzer IVs went together FAR easier than the T-34s.  But, they're still in two pieces and it's difficult to get them to line up perfectly.  Overall, however, this was no more or less difficult than any other plastic kit.

The sprue includes options for short barrels, long barrels, and schurtzen giving ultimate flexibility!

Like Jon in his review of the sd kfz 251/D, I assembled and spray coated the tanks in 4 pieces.  Hull, tracks, and turret.

Overall the assembly was an improvement over theT-34s, but still falls a bit short of a Battlefront model (excluding the schurtzen- seriously don't remind me of that stuff!) with regards to ease.  As a side note, though I did not include the schutzen on these models, they are cast as a single piece (hangers and all) so adding them to your tank is a simple task- far easier than the complicated and fragile Battlefront version!
Assembly: 7/10 Schurtzen

Since I already have 14 Panzer IV Hs for my late/late-mid Germans, I decided to paint these guys up circa 1942 on the Eastern Front.  The detail on the tanks is somewhere between Zvezda and Battlefront- pronounced enough to not get lost, but not exaggerated like Battlefront and other metal/resin casts.  I wasn't sure about the paint scheme I settled on, but after seeing it on the table I quite like it!  I'll probably add 10 Mk III Specials in the same scheme to complete the company. 

From Wikipedia
Designed as an infantry-support tank, the Panzer IV was not originally intended to engage enemy armor—that function was performed by the lighter Panzer III. However, with the flaws of pre-war doctrine becoming apparent and in the face of Soviet T-34 tanks, the Panzer IV soon assumed the tank-fighting role of its increasingly obsolete cousin. The most widely manufactured and deployed German tank of the Second World War, the Panzer IV was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz IV tank destroyer, the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun, amongst others.

Robust and reliable, it saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany, and has the distinction of being the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war, with over 8,800 produced between 1936 and 1945. Upgrades and design modifications, often made in response to the appearance of new Allied tanks, extended its service life. Generally these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war with Germany's pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included retrograde measures to simplify and speed manufacture.

Side by Side Comparison
Left to right: Battlefront panzer IV E.  PSC Panzer IV F2.  Battlefront Panzer IV F2.

This is a very good kit.  I am quite happy with the end result.  The assembly is an improvement over their previous offerings, and the end results speak for themselves.  The price is certainly right as well.  For gamers on a budget who don't mind a little assembly, you can't go wrong!

not sure which barrel is correct- but boy those are wildly different lengths!
In Flames of War

Equipment and Notes
Panzer IV F2/G
 7.5cm KwK40 gun
Standard Tank
Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Protected Ammo

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