Wednesday, 3 May 2017

15mm Battlefront Panzer IV

You could argue that you cannot have a mid-to-late WW2 German armour force without including a Panzer IV. This tank was the bread and butter of German tank formations on every front right up to the end of the war (despite more advanced and formidable tank designs being available).

Historical aside: I won't get into the whole 'if Germany had only concentrated on the Panzer IV instead of playing about with 'super tanks' controversy. I'm glad the Germans wasted huge resources on their so-called super weapons, their constant tinkering hastened their ultimate and inevitable defeat.

Anyway, about the model...This is another 15mm (approx. 1/100) wargaming quality kit and is designed to compliment the GF9 TANKS game I am currently playing. It's made by a company called Battlefront which pretty much concentrates on military vehicles for the more complex 'Flames of War' 15mm wargame (GF9's TANKS is seen as an introduction to Flames of War).

I enjoy these tiny kits as there isn't as much pressure on detailing and you can just get on with some relaxing painting. These models are just 'game tokens' and not intended on display items and extraneous detail is a bad thing, anyway, because they are designed to be handled. So, component wise, there isn't much to this panzer...

However, it is a quite nice model with a respectable level of detail and could be prettied up to an impressive level if you wanted to. As with the rest of the GF9 tanks I have, I'm quite impressed with the quality of the kit's one-piece tracks, the tread pattern is quite detailed when you consider it's just a 1/100 scale piece (again - Armourfast take note).

I won't run through a load of pictures of the construction because I suspect it took me about as long to put together as it did for me to type this sentence!

OK, bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. In readiness for painting, I glued together the major sub-assemblies to make it easier to spray everything and get the paint into all the nooks and crannies...

I opted for the rather hastily put together looking armour 'skirts' as they have a bit of character (I'm going to paint a bit of a battered looking war horse), but the kit does come with a set of pristine side shielding too.

And that's it! Ready for priming, I just have to choose a suitable camo pattern for a Panzer IV of the Normandy campaign. But as the common German three-colour camo scheme of this period was applied in the field you have a lot of latitude of some free-hand painting.

A quick Google will provide you with a plethora of camo pattern options!
Next: Priming and painting the camo.

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