Designed as support tank, the Panzer IV was not originally intended to engage enemy armor. However, with the flaws of pre-war design becoming apparent in the face of Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks, the Panzer IV assumed the tank-fighting role instead of the Pz.Kpfw III. The most widely manufactured and deployed German tank of the Second World War, the Panzer IV was the 'work horse' of German tank’s regiments, used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including tank destroyers, self-propelled artillery and self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. Robust and reliable, it saw service in all combat theaters, and has the distinction of being the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war, with over 8,500 produced between 1936 and 1945. Upgrades and design modifications, often made in response to the appearance of new Allied tanks, extended its service life. Generally these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons. The Ausf. H version began production in April 1943 and received the designation Sd. Kfz. 161/2. This variant saw the integrity of the glacis armor improved by manufacturing it as a single 80-millimetre plate The 75mm KwK 40 L/43 gun was replaced by the longer KwK 40 L/48 . The vehicle's side and turret were further protected by the addition of 5-millimetre side-skirts and a turret skirt. During the Ausf. H's production run its rubber-tired return rollers were replaced with cast steel. The Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf H was the most widely produced variant with over 3000 tanks assembled in the Nibelungenwerke and Vomag plants.
We believe that this is the first model of the ubiquitous Pz.Kpfw.IV ever offered in 1/350 scale. We'll also be offering a 1/700 scale model of this one soon. This set actually includes two different models: (x2) with armor hull skirts (and positionable turret) and (x1) without the hull skirts but with separate armor plates that can be configured to represent a tank with some or all of it's plates missing as seen in many photos (see detail photos #5-6). While photography of these little gems is a challenge for our equipment and limited skills, check out the well proportioned model including the turret with 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 cannon and armor skirt, the detailed hull complete with armor side skirts and the chassis with tracks, road wheels and drive sprockets.
These SLA printed models come out of the printer on supports which rise up from a tray called a 'printing raft' as shown in photo #7. The supports can carefully be removed from the model with cross cutters or a sprue cutter. The plastic used can be sanded and painted much the same way you would handle resin or styrene.