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Friday, January 11, 2013

SS Kampfgruppe Peiper: Panzer IV Js

Steven recently got the Devil's Charge: SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper for review and gave me the Panzer IV Js to take a look at.  I was excited to add the "German Sherman" to my collection -- who can believe that these are my first Panzer IV models for my stable?

 The box came with six Panzer IVs with all the trimmings.  I was pleased to see plastic tracks and accessories!  Everything is provided, including magnets and decals.
Box contents.  I think I got the Panther decals by mistake -- oops!
Plastic sprue detail.
Assembly was pretty easy for these guys.  I did have some trouble with the plastic tracks not mating to the resin exactly.  I am accustomed to the metal tracks that I just squeeze tightly to form-fit to the resin hulls.  With the plastic, I needed to just us a bit more glue that I usually do.  No worries, and everything has held up very well.

The Schürzen were test-fit extensively and formed to the side fenders.  This is not difficult, but is necessary to get a nice, stable side skirt.  You may have to add a little glue to the side of the model to hold them on.
Panzer IV J during assembly.
I decided to completely assemble the model before painting. I often like to spray the tracks black and the rest of the hull dunkelgelb before assembly, but the model did not lend itself to this.  I went ahead and followed the article posted on the Flames of War web site for assembly.

During assembly, it seemed to me that the Panzer IV hull had shrunk back to previous size.  I have noticed that the Panzer IV Hs from the box set seemed to grow over the past few years, dwarfing the old Panzer IV F1/F2 models.  I do not have an H to compare to, so this will remain a mystery until I get them side-by-side. (Editor:  The shrinkage is confirmed -- the Pz IV J models are smaller than the Pz IV H)

I had no trouble painting the completely assembled model.  I took my time and did several light layers of dunkelgelb to reach every crevice.  In painting the schürzen, I decided to heavily ink the mesh to make them look somewhat transparent.  I think it turned out ok.

I had my own decals that matched those on the box.
I tried some pigments on these -- less is more, I think.

The Good:
- Everything in one box: decals, magnets and models
- Lighter model with the plastic accessories
- No hangers for the schürzen!

The Bad:
- Plastic MG is fragile - I broke one during assembly
- No significant price break with the army box set (except, as Steven mentioned- the free objectives, dice, and tokens)

The Ugly:
- The decals provided do not allow you to make what is pictured on the box.  Decals are provided, but they are different than the photographs of the miniatures.

Conclusion:  5 of 7 Hard 6s.

Models provided by Battlefront Miniatures

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