Monday, October 7

A new 1/35th scale Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J Late / Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J on the way from Ryefield Model

So next on the train of Panzer IV releases are Ryefield Model - they have a rather nice looking exterior only kit of the Panzer IV coming in a "2 in 1" kit that enables you to make a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J Late Production or a Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J. We have some of the features of this new kit in our preview...

RyeField Model's new 1/35th scale Panzer IV "2 in 1" kit...

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J Late Production/ Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J 
"2 in 1"
Kit no #RM-5033
1/35th scale
So Ryefeild Model has made the announcement of a whole new Pz.Kpfw.IV series in 1/35th scale coming our way. To start the series, they have introduced a "2 in 1" kit featuring both the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J Late Production and the Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J 2 in 1. We thought before we look at the CAd features of this kit we might see what these variants 

Panzer IV Ausf J with Thoma schürzen Eastern Front
The Panzer IV Auf J: The late, simplified Panzer IV...
the Ausf.J, began to roll off the factory line at Nibelungenwerke (at St Valentin, Austria) and Vomag, as Krupp was now involved with other tasks, and incorporated more mass-production oriented simplifications, rarely welcomed by the crews. A first example was the removal of the electric turret drive, traversing being done manually, sacrificed for an additional 200 litres of fuel capacity, raising the operational range to 300 km (186 mi), a lesson hard learnt from the Russian campaign. Other modifications included the removal of the turret visor, pistol ports and turret AA mount in favour of a Naehverteidigungswaffe mount. Zimmerit was not applied anymore, nor was the Schurzen, replaced by cheaper Thoma type wire-mesh panels. 
The engine’s radiator housing was also simplified. The drive train lost one return roller, and two Flammentoeter (flame-suppressing) mufflers were installed, as well as Pilze 2-ton crane mount sockets. More critically, the late Panzer III SSG 77 transmission was mounted, despite it being clearly overloaded. Despite these sacrifices, the type J monthly deliveries were increasingly threatened by Allied bombings and the shortages caused, and only a total of 2970 were built until the last days of March 1945, Compare that to the total planned of 5,000, including modified models sporting the Panther turret. All prototypes developed by 1942 were dropped, in favour of the Panther. The chassis was also used for some variants.

Destroyed Panzer IV Ausf J with Thoma Drahtgeflecht Schurzen
The Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J:
 The Panzerbeobachtungswagen IV was an artillery observation vehicle based on the Panzer IV. Work on it began in September 1943, and it was hoped that production would begin in April 1944. The Pz Beob Wg IV featured the same commander’s cupola at the StuG III, with seven periscopes instead of the vision slits of the normal Panzer. 
A SF14Z scissors periscope was fitted, which could be raised without opening the cupola. The vehicle was also equipped with artillery plotting equipment and three radio sets. To make space for this the turret machine gun was removed. The Pz Beob Wg IV was used by Wespe and Hummel units. 90 were converted to Pz Beob Wg from July 1944-March 1945.
Panzer IV Ausf.J specifications
Dimensions L: 7.02 m  W: 2.88 m H: 2.68 m
Total weight: 25 tonnes
Crew: 5
Main Armament: 7.5 cm Kw.K 40 L/48 gun
Secondary Armament: 7.92 mm MG34 machine-gun
Armour: From 10 mm to 80 mm (80 mm on hull front)
Propulsion Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 265hp gasoline engine
Top road speed 38 km/h (23.6 mph)
Max. road range 210 km (130 miles)
Total production 1758 June 1944 – March 1945-0

This new kit from RFM:
We have some CAD Images of the kit in its early form to show you - these show in red some of the features that apply to this late Ausf J and the Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J.
There is also an additional set that will be sold separately to this kit - the Photo-etch upgrade kit RM-2003 Upgrade Solution Series for 5033 & 5043 Pz.kpfw.IV Ausf.J late production - this is also available in June. 
This will fit this kit and the #5034 kit that is about to be released by Reyefield.
More on this kit closer to release - Until then check out the RyeField Website for more info on their kits.