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Panzer IV/70

Tristar 1/35 Panzer IV/70 (A) Sd.Kfz.162/1 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2011 Manufacturer Tristar
Subject Panzer IV/70 (A) Sd.Kfz.162/1 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35048 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Minimal interior
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $TBA

First Look

Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70
Panzer IV/70

The Jagdpanzer IV (Sd.Kfz. 162) was a tank hunter that paired up the Panzer IV chassis with the PaK anti-tank gun. This series was seen as redundant to the Sturmgeschutz IV (StuG IV) that was performing the same role, but Hitler wanted a better weapon system on the battlefield after the Battle of Stalingrad. The initial Jagpanzer IVs were armed with the PaK 39 L/48, similar to the Sturmgeschutz IV.

One major variant of the Jagdpanzer IV was the Sd.Kfz/162/1 which replaced the PaK 39 L/48 main gun with the PaK 42 L/70 that armed the Panzer V Panther. This variant was to provide more armor penetration power against Soviet armor than the PaK 39 could provide. The production contract was given to Vomag and around 940 of these vehicles were produced, designated as Jagdpanzer IV/70 (V).

In order to get more of these up-gunned tank hunters in the field, a second production contract was given to the company that produced the StuG III, Alkett. Alket was to use the same pairing of the Panzer IV chassis with the Panther's PaK 42 L/70 gun, but in order to rush these weapons to the battlefield, the sloped armor enclosure was mounted atop the existing Panzer IV hull. These interim weapons (around 278 were produced) were designated as Panzer IV/70 (A).

Tristar has been turning out some stunning 1/35 scale armor subjects and they've brought that level of engineering and detail into this release - the Jagdpanzer IV/70 (A). This release is a logical extension of their beautiful Panzer IV kit and the kit is certainly loaded with details!

Molded in desert yellow styrene, the kit is presented on 16 parts trees plus a separately provided lower hull, one small tree of clear parts, two sets of rubber tires for the road wheels, two frets of photo-etched details, and one section of wire screen.

Construction starts with the road wheels and there are two different types provided here. The wheels with rubber tires are mounted on the rear four axles on each side while steel wheels are mounted on the front axles. I honestely don't know why, but this is the same arrangement shown on the Cyberhobby (DML) version of this subject.

The hull rear is assembled next and the kit goes into great detail with the array of stowage, exhaust ducts, tow hitch, and access panels. The kit does provide a firewall inside the hull, but there is no engine in the engine bay nor is there much detailing in the crew compartment beyond the main gun.

The engine deck is very nicely done with lots of parts building up the intake and cooling vents, access hatches, and the pioneering tools mounted on the remaining flat surfaces of that deck.

Next up is the rear of the main gun that will mount up inside the armored box that sits atop the chassis. You'll see lots of very nice detailing here and could display the entire main gun as a complete model of its own right.

The armored box that provides protection for the crew as well as the mounting point for the main gun is assembled with the same tab and notch system used by Alket on the full-scale assembly line. Nicely detailed hatches with clear periscopes are provided and these can be displayed open or closed. If you do display them open, you'll have to scratch-build an interior because as I've mentioed previously, beyond the firewall and the main gun, there is nothing inside the hull - no seating, ammo stowage, small arms stowage, etc.

With the armored box mounted onto the chassis, the gun barrel and mantlet are installed with the remaining small details such as driving lights, tie-down rings, tow cables, and spare wheels and track links.

Speaking of track links, these are provided individually and build up with 96 links per side. Assembly is finished with the cutting of the wire screen into side skirts using the included templates which will provide your Jagdpanzer protection from anti-tank rounds fired from the sides.

As a bonus, this kit also includes a set of four figures which are German Army tank riders - two standing (holding steady against the armored crew compartment) and two seated.

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • Führer Begleit Brigade, Ardennes Offensive, 1944
  • 23 Panzer Division, Hejmakser, Hungary, 1945
  • Soviet Army (captured), Vienna, Austria, 1945

Painting instructions are provided for using Tamiya and Gunze (Mr Color and Mr Hobby) paints.

This is a nicely detailed kit and with the help of a couple of crew figures stuffed into open hatches and the tank riders on the rear deck, this model will build into a nice vignette that would be able to tell a story or convey a mood with or without a display base. Nice work Tristar!

My sincere thanks to Tristar for this review sample!