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Panzer IV Ausf. C & D
two kits in 1/72 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Mirage 72853 Panzer IV Ausf. C Normandy
Mirage 72856 Panzer IV Ausf. D Tropenpanzer
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 250 parts in mid grey plastic on seven sprues (five sprues in kit no. 72853), 4 soft flexible plastic parts (2 tracks and 2 tow cables), 35 photo-etched parts on one fret, decals for five vehicles and a 5 page instruction booklet with history, build diagrams and paint/decal drawings.
Price: each USD$16.96 online from Squadron
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Wide appeal; long over-due subject, incredible detail.
Disadvantages: Rubber band tracks
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Glen Porter

Mirage's 1/72 scale Panzer IV Ausf. C and D are available online from Squadron.com




Yes, Mirage Hobby’s new Panzer IV is 1/72 scale and yes, you did read correctly, there are 250 parts and no, it hasn't got link and length tracks.

I may be wrong, but I've never heard of an early short barreled Panzer IV in this scale. If I'm right, then this is the first and what a magnificent job Mirage has done. Not perfect mind you - the moulding is not quite up to the standard of Revell - but with a lot of very nice touches.

To start with, all the hatches are moulded separately, even the engine and gearbox hatches, so if you wanted you could go the whole hog and install a full interior. Front and rear guards can be modelled either in plastic or PE. All external stowage is separate, even the mounting bands for the muffler and for those of us who are not up to strength on PE, the model can be built without it and still have a very detailed item.

The grey sprues come in three different shades of grey, as if they come from three different sources. The lighter shades have more than the normal amount of flash on them, not enough to be a problem and the detail is as sharp as the rest of the sprues.

The tropical Panzer has seven sprues, which includes two sprues of stowage and extra armour relevant to this version. The Normandy version has five sprues.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

My main criticism is the tracks. With the M3 Lee/Grants the tracks were “live” tracks usually seen in tension and so the rubber bands worked rather well. In contrast, the Panzer IV needs a bit of sag to look realistic and this will be much harder to achieve with the single piece tracks. To make matters worse, my tracks are slightly warped, not badly, but enough to have problems with getting them to sit right. I wish Mirage would look into link and length tracks and save us all a lot of heartache.

The decals are very nicely printed. In the Tropenpanzer version there is a complete set for five vehicles. On one of them there are three pairs that look kind of like Luftwaffe fuel triangles accept smaller and they are marked fifteen A B and C but I can't find them anywhere in the instructions. The Panzer IV Ausf C provides several early-war options plus a very interesting scheme - probably Dark Yellow and Dark Green - used in Normandy during 1944.  I don't know who makes these decals but they look very good with perfect register and very fine carrier film. The Lee/Grant ones looked a bit over scale but these are spot on.

I don't like the Mirage instruction sheets although they appear better than the earlier Lee/Grant instructions. They are still not as good as their earlier instructions that used line drawings. Like Dragon, I think they have made a backward step with these.





In summary, Mirage’s 1/72 scale Panzer IVC & D are excellent kits, but if there was ever a model crying out for Revell tracks then this is it. Mind you, I have three other Panzer IV based kits slated for the Revell tracks and if I'm not careful I could end up with a pile of Revell Panzer IV s with no tracks!

Definitely on the “to be built” list.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Page Created 20 May, 2005
Last updated 19 May, 2005

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