Sunday, June 30

New 35th scale Pz.IV F1, Pz.IV F1 Vorpanzer & Pz.IV F1 Additional Armour "3 IN 1" kit on the way from Border Model

After the success of their initial release of the Panzer IV G last year and this year's Leopard 2 A5/A6, Border model continues down the Panzer line with a new three in one kit of the short barrelled Panzer IV - this time in  Pz.IV F1, Pz.IV F1 Vorpanzer & Pz.IV F1 Additional Armour flavours. We have a look at what they are proposing so far and how to tell the difference between these variants in our preview...

New 35th scale Pz.IV F1, Pz.IV F1 Vorpanzer & Pz.IV F1 Additional Armour "3 IN 1" kit on the way from Border Model 

Pz.IV F1, Pz.IV F1 Vorpanzer & Pz.IV F1 Additional Armour "3 IN 1" kit 
From Border Model
1/35th scale 
Kit No #BT-003
Plastic injection moulded kit with Photo-etch additions
Product Link on the Border Model Website
The new three-in-one from Border Model:
Now, it is all fine for Border Model to unleash this kit to market - but what were the characteristics of this Panzer IV F1 and the three different types presented in the box? Best way to know is to have a look at them in a historical sense...

The Ausf.F (Ausf.F1) (Base Model)
The Ausf.F was a landmark in the Panzer IV evolution and development. The early model, “F”, called “F1” when the next model appeared, was the last of the “short” versions. The front bow plate appliqué was now replaced by a full 50 mm (1.97 in) thick armoured plate. Side armour and turret thickness were raised to 30 mm (1.18 in). Total weight rose to more than 22 tons, which triggered other modifications, like larger track links (from 380 to 400 mm) to reduce ground pressure, and both the idler wheel and front drive sprockets were modified in turn. The F1 was produced to an extent of 464 units, until its replacement in March 1942. The last 42 were modified to the new F2 standard.
Panzer IV Ausf.F specifications
Dimensions L-W-H 5.92 m x 2.88 m x 2.68 m
(19ft 5in x 9ft 5in x 8ft 5in)
Total weight 22.3 tonnes
Crew 5
Armament 7.5 cm Kw.K 37 L/24 gun
Secondary Armament 7.92 mm MG34 machine-gun
Armor From 10 mm to 50 mm (50 mm on hull front)
Propulsion Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 265hp gasoline engine
Top road speed 42 km/h (26 mph)
Max. road range 210 km (130 miles)
Total production 462 April 1941 – March 1942 (L/24 gun)

175+25 March 1942 – July 1942 (L/43 gun)

Pz.IV AUF. F1 "Vorpanzer" 
The up armoured version of this Panzer IV Auf. F "Vorpanzer" (Vorpanzer translates best to additional armour) with extra bolted appliqué armour on the sides, gun mantlet and frontal glacis. In 1941 Hitler had been informed that in the battles in North Africa that armour-piercing rounds are becoming a problem from English tanks and had asked that new production Panzers be equipped w/ spaced armour in front of the main armour. Krupp-Essen works reported that there is a shortage of material for the Vorpanzers - and eventually the idea was dropped with the production of the Ausf. G with the longer 7.5-cm KwK. 
There is a photo of two Pz. IV with Vorpanzers, and the first has the name "Hansi" painted on it. There is no other markings to distinguish which unit it is. But by the overall look of the rest of the vehicles it looks like that it is a Pz Ausb Abt.

Pz.IV F1 Additional Armour
This is basically an addition of armour in the field - more tracks piled on to the front of the tank by their crews to improve the survival chances of their crews. These extra tracks are of course provided in the kit by Border Model as they did with the extra tracks on their original Panzer IV Ausf G kit.
You can see also the side skirts or "Shurtzen" included in the kit are here in the form of photo-etch parts to replicate scale thickness correctly.
That is all the info we have on this three-in-one kit so far - more to you all as it surfaces - until then try reading the info from the link to the Border Model Website