Tamiya Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. G
Sd.Kfz. 161/1 Early Production
Please see https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14767 for the First Look Review of this terrific kit.
The build begins with the rear hull plate:
Step 1 - build the three part auxiliary generator muffler (parts C37,C38, C39) and attach to the rear hull plate, attach the main exhaust brackets E31), and the the idler wheel axles (C48, C49), which are handed.
Step 2 - shows two drawings for drilling the hole for the rear tow pintle assembly - the measurements are in millimeters, and attachment to the rear hull plate, followed by attaching the two part radiator drain assembly (C2, C7), and building up the five part main exhaust, with painting suggestion.
Step 3 - attach the three part idler wheel adjustment assemblies - note the picture is upside down, so pay attention when attaching Parts C20, C21; attach the completed exhaust to the rear hull plate, followed by attaching the two part front towing brackets to the front lower hull panel.
Step 4 - build up the three part armored plate for the final drives C14 and C35, which are labeled L and R inside the parts, and attach the final drives to the front hull; attach the front lower hull panel to the hull.
Step 5 - attach five bumpstops to each side; attach the rear hull panel. The instructions show the four return rollers being attached in this step, but I prefer to attach all wheels after painting them and the lower hull.
Step 6 - attach four keyed bogie assemblies (A10 on the left, A7 on the right), and rear tow hooks (C57 on left and C58 on right).
Step 7 - using the two supplied jigs, build up the two upper track runs; set aside until step 10 when the remainder of the tracks will be added. Note: the jigs are well engineered and include five tabs along each side which fit into the longer track runs and "lock" them in place so they don't slide around - simple, but brilliant! The drawings show the direction the track runs should be placed on the jig, as well as an actual size drawing of the tracks on the jig and painting suggestions.
Step 8 - build up the drive sprockets with a polycap, the idler wheels, and 16 roadwheels with separate hubcap. Do not use the A8 and A11 sprockets, and note that there is also an A5 final drive that although it is not used, is not listed with the other parts to not be used.
Step 9 - attach the sprockets, idler wheels, and road wheels to the bogie assemblies. I also attached the return rollers at this point.
Step 10 - the instructions number the sequence of attaching the different lengths of tracks 1 through 6, point out the correct track direction, say to fit the tracks to the wheels before the cement has set, and suggest securing the attached track runs with a rubber band. There are also full size illustrations of both sides after the tracks are fitted. I don't have any rubber bands that big, so I used Tamiya tape instead after applying the Tamiya extra thin cement. I have to note that the thin cement was not a good choice, as the track separated three times on the left rear and twice on the right front while handling the kit to add other parts; I finally used CA gel to ensure no more separation on those areas.
Step 11 - attach the two inner support frames (C13, C34) to support the front glacis plate (F33). I forgot to take a picture of the attached glacis plate before adding all the parts to it, but the C34 support frame is visible here, along with part of C13.
Step 12 - depending on which version is being built - North Africa is "A" and Russia is "B", drill one (A) or two (B) 1.2mm (3/64") holes in hull side B5. The instructions numbers the upper hull building sequence 1 through 5.
Step 13 - build up and attach the three part hull ball-mounted MG and the driver's armored vision port cover. I drilled out the MG barrel.
Step 14 - for the Russian version "B" ONLY, the instructions direct you to drill out two 1.2mm (3/64") holes and one 0.8mm (1/32") hole in left fender F12. Both versions attach part ZA to F12 left fender for the driver half-figure to sit on. Attach inner armor covers to both fenders and attach fenders to the upper hull. Note I've applied Tamiya fine gray spray can primer at this point in the build.
Step 15 - Depending on build version (North Africa "A" or Russia "B"), add the appropriate rear hull sides and upper rear hull plate. Again, the instructions show a recommended sequence of attaching these parts, and a separate drawing of how the rear plate and side plates should look from the side.
Step 16 - attach the inner armored plate to the inside rear fenders, and ONLY if building the Russian "B" version, drill two 0.8mm holes in each rear fender to attach flat plating.
Step 17 - attach the two air intake louvers (B15, B16) to the engine deck sides and a small overlapping armor plate, then attach rear fenders to fenders and hull body.
I got so caught up in the process of painting all the various tools, lights, spare tracks, tow cables, crew gear for Steps18 through 24 that I forgot to take photos of attaching glacis and engine deck hatches (Step 19), smoke grenades rack and spare wheels holders (Step 22), driver and radio operator hatches and tool box!
Step 18 - attach the upper hull to the lower hull; as is typical for Tamiya, it was a perfect fit with a satisfying "click" as it fell into place. The instructions call out attaching the two part antenna trough, shovel, and starter crank, but I always paint those off the model and attach once the vehicle painting is done. I thought I had taken a photo of the upper hull joined to the lower hull without all the other parts attached, but did not.
Step 19 - attach the glacis brake and engine access hatches; driver and radio operator side hull view ports, fire extinguisher with decal, long crow bar, engine deck grab handle
Step 20 - build up and attach the five part jack assembly along with two brackets; attach three spare track links on right fender; attach rear taillight and brake light, tow cable hooks, track tool, support bracket, and short crowbar.
Step 21 - build up and attach two two ropes using the included string cut to 105mm and glued to the included tow cable loops. Instructions show in three steps how to attach the two tow cables and tie them up in the middle with the included enamel wire. According to a photo I found on line, the tie should have one end attached to the upper rear hull plate.
Step 22 - build up and attach the smoke grenade rack to the rear hull plate; attach the two spare road wheel holders, instructions show two tarpaulins attached to right fender.
Step 23 - attach "S" hooks, wrenches, headlight to the left fender, axe to the right fender, two springs to the front fenders, and spare track to the front glacis plate.
Step 24 - If building the North Africa "A" version, build up the six part tool box for the rear left fender, with two decals; attach the driver and radio operator hatches, either open or closed; the instructions show a side view to ensure the open hatch is properly positioned. Note that the inside of the hatches have several small knockout holes that will require filling. Attach a small tarpaulin on the left fender. If building the Russian "B" version, do not build up and use the tool box, instead attach the gun barrel cleaning rods, wire cutters, and idler adjustment tool. Note that these tools are not attached on the North Africa "A" build.
Step 25 - build up the three part gun recuperator assembly, then attach the exterior armored mantlet cover, then attach the top half of the co-axial machine gun armored sleeve.
Step 26 - build up the recuperator cover, attach the main gun armored sleeve, attach that assembly to the recuperator assembly.
Step 27 - attach the muzzle brake to the main gun barrel, one polycap on the mantle assembly, attach without gluing the left and right armored covers, and attach to the front turret plate. Attach the armored covers for the sights.
Step 28 - build up the simplified breech assembly and attach to the rear of the recuperator assembly; attach the three part recoil guard.
Step 29 - attach the side turret door frames inside the turret sides - instructions point out to note the direction the frames are when attaching them; attach the turret sides and rear to the turret base.
Step 30 - attach the commander's seat in the turret, then attach the main gun/front plate assembly to the turret.
Step 31 - attach the side view ports, rear pistol ports, front and rear lifting hooks, and turret roof to the turret.
Step 32 - build up and attach the six part turret storage box to the turret rear, ensuring the sides align to the bin's front; attach the left and right rain guards over the side hatch openings.
Step 33 - attach five exterior armored viewport covers and five armored plates to the commander's cupola's exterior, and five periscopes to the interior. There are no clear parts and the viewports and periscopes are molded solid.
Step 34 - attach commander's bottom cupola to the turret roof, followed by the ring with hinges for the hatches; attach the two part turret roof ventilator, and two grab handles over the turret side hatches.
Step 35 - attach the commander's hatches either open or closed; there are small knockout sprue holes in the hatches' interior faces. After completing the build, I attached the commander's sight vane using a small piece of styrene sheet trimmed to size.
Step 36 - attach the periscopes to the side hatches' interior faces; attach the side hatches either open or closed.
Step 37 - choose either the North Africa "A" or Russia "B" build: for North Africa, build up, paint, and apply white crosses to four water cans, and attach them to the left hull side with their retaining bar. Attach two lifting hooks E24 to the front hull superstructure. For the Russia build, attach two gun cleaning rods to the left hull (where the water cans would be for North Africa), along with the jack block on left side and radio antenna on the left side, and the two lifting hooks. Attach the turret to the hull.
Step 38 - build up the spare track link and attach to the lower front hull with its retaining bar; attach three spare track links to the driver's front plate; attach small tarpaulin and jack block to the left side.
Step 39 - build up and paint the four full and one half figure (driver), and place in and on the vehicle. These are very well done figures, except for the hands which are not as nicely molded as the faces, uniforms, and insignia details like Iron Cross ribbon on the infantryman. I used fine wire for the driver and commander's headset wires, and binocular straps, and still need to add the throat mikes, and used thin strips of Tamiya tape for the helmet straps. I tried to do a good job on the faces, but gave up after having to strip the paint off three times and just put dots for eyes.
Step 40 - build up and attach the two spare road wheels to the rear racks.
Step 41 - if desired, the instructions show adding three crew duffel bags to the front glacis plate, along with two canteens to the left turret lifting ring and a helmet to the right lifting ring. This is also the step in the North Africa build when the antenna is added, either down in the case or erect, along with the front tow bracket pins. I added small lengths of chain to the pins and brackets.
I thoroughly enjoyed the build and had no problems with part fit or the instructions, which are large, well drawn, and feature inset drawings showing correct placement or orientation of certain parts. There was no flash and only a few sprue knockout holes to be filled on the inside of hatches. The two main issues I ran into were using either the wrong cement or not enough of it (Tamiya Extra Thin) for the tracks, and painting the figures' faces (not Tamiya's fault), both of which added some extra time to the build. As can be seen from the photos, no weathering has been done so that most of the kit can be seen as just built. I did allow myself a little bit of leeway in adding some small extras such as chains for the front tow brackets and headphone cords, but other than those small add-ons, this is strictly an out-of-the-box build. You will enjoy it, and adding extra after-market goodies to the turret interior will certainly enhance any build. Tamiya has provided us another outstanding kit to enjoy!
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by Joseph "Mac" McDaniel
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