Panzer IV Ausf. C & D
two kits in
S u m m a r y
||Mirage 72853 Panzer IV Ausf.
Mirage 72856 Panzer IV Ausf. D Tropenpanzer
||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
USD$16.96 online from Squadron
||Wide appeal; long over-due
subject, incredible detail.|
||Rubber band tracks|
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
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
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.
Squadron for the review sample.
Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Page Created 20 May, 2005
19 May, 2005
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