Bronco Models 1/35 Panzerkampfwagen Mk.IV 744(E) Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2010||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Panzerkampfwagen Mk.IV 744(E)||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35030||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$75.98|
The A13 Cruiser Mk.IV was the first of a long line of British Cruiser tanks to use the American Christie suspension, which allowed high cross-country speeds. Some of the first A13 tanks were sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1940 to defend against the German attack. Unfortunately the tanks were overrun before they got a chance to fight.
Though most of the tanks were destroyed by their crews, a few A13s were fitted with PzKpfz.II Ausf.D tracks and other equipment. Little information is available on their use, but photographs confirm their use by the Pz.Abt.100 of 18th Panzer Division during the Barbarossa drive to Moscow.
Information & research by Phil Greenwood - from the instruction booklet.
Bronco Models has released several versions of the A13 Cruiser tank to date and this latest is one of the more unique variants of this early World War II British tank. As the summary above stated, this release has a number of additional parts trees to provide the modifications made by the German engineers to make this vehicle sustainable with available parts.
The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on 23 parts trees, plus two small trees of clear parts, and four frets of photo-etched parts.
As with previous releases of this kit, construction starts with the lower hull and the rather unique suspension system that resides between the inner and outer hull plates. This kit replaces the standard British tracks with German tracks used by the Panzer II Ausf.D and each side is comprised of 119 links.
While I haven't seen the earlier releases of this kit, it was my understanding that at least one had some interior details including a driver's compartment. This kit doesn't have an interior though it would be easy enough to scratchbuild one if you wanted to somehow open up the interior for viewing. Since there isn't any interior, all of the parts you see are for the exterior of the tank, though there are a number of parts that are not requred for this variant in the box.
Among some of the different additions to this kit, standard German convoy lights, unditching beam mounted on brackets over the engine deck, several storage racks on the rear hull and on the turret sides for stowage of Jerry cans, and the reworked turret with replacement German main gun and associated mantlet.
As you can imagine with all of the small parts, this kit is best in the hands of experienced modelers as the plastic is soft and will require some care when cleaning up the parts for assembly. The four frets of photo-etched details, including two for the numerous Jerry cans, will definitely help this kit be an eye-catcher with care and patience.
This kit provides generic hull numbers though the profile covers an overall German gray panzer with hull number 144 as seen in images from Pz.Abt.100, 18th Panzer Division, Winter, Russian Front, 1941.
Bronco Models continues to turn out some impressive models and this one is no exception. This model will look nice as depicted or even better with improvised winter white-wash camouflage to capture the cold of the Russian winter.
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!