Friday, November 6

Preview: MiniArt's 35th scale Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf. J Late/Last Prod. 2 In 1 W/crew

Miniart has the second in their line of new Panzer IV's coming in a "2 in 1" kit that enables you to make a Pz.Kpfw.IV Late or Final Production Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf.J. We have some of the features of this new kit and the real thing in our preview...

New Miniart Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf. J Late/Last Prod. 2 In 1 W/crew kit coming soon:

Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf. J Late/Last Prod. 2 In 1 W/crew
From Miniart Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #35344 
The kit comes with 5 crew inside the box
Decals for four variants 
The Subject: Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf. J Late/Last Prod
MiniArt 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 Drahtgeflechtschürzen 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 Drahtgeflechtschürzen 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 Drahtgeflechtschürzen 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

MiniArt's new Pz.Beob.Wg.IV Ausf. J Late/Last Prod. 2 In 1 W/crew: What we know...
MiniArt is coming to market with their second kit of the Panzer IV Ausf J. This kit differs from the first ki tin this series (Kit no #35342 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. J Nibelungenwerk Late Prod. (Jan – Feb 1945)  in that it does not pack a full interior and it carries the observation and communication devices that were common to the Pz.Beob type. This kit also includes a bonus MiniArt crew inside the box.

The also very new 35342 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. J Nibelungenwerk Late Prod. (Jan – Feb 1945) kit from MiniArt
We have the feature set of the tank here to give you some context of what is coming in this kit.

The advertised feature set from MiniArt:
Metal Surfaces & Weld Lines Accurately Represented on the Model
Movable Hatches Can Be Modelled in the Open or Closed Positions
Workable Tracks Included
Clear Plastic Parts Included
Photo-etched Parts & Decal Sheet  Included
Markings for four options inside this boxing