Thursday, December 3

Preview: MiniArt's 35th scale Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. H Vomag. Early Prod May 1943. Interior kit coming soon

MiniArt's latest Panzer IV is backdated from the Ausf J model to the ubiquitous Panzer IV Ausf H - Vomag production early model on the way. This kit features a full interior, decals for three kits plus lots of other features. We look at the tanks and the features in our preview...

New Miniart Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. H Vomag. Early Prod May 1943. Interior kit coming soon:

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. H Vomag. Early Prod May 1943. Interior kit 
From Miniart Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #35298
Decals for three variants 
The Subject: PzKpfw IV Ausf H (Sd Kfz 161/2) Vomag...
This was a new production model which introduced several mechanical and constructional features when introduced in mid-1943. The 7.5 cm KwK L/48, first introduced on the late Ausf G was standard, as was the thickened ( 100mm) cupola, which had a single flap rather than two half flaps. On some vehicles, a V-shaped splash plate was welded to the turret roof forward of the cupola. Like the late Ausf G, the Ausf H had extra 30mm armour plates welded or bolted to the nose and front vertical plates. A new eight-spoked driving sprocket of a webbed pattern was fitted, and the gearbox was changed from a ZF SSG 76 to an improved type, the ZF SSG 77. 

British Officer examines a burnt-out Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, in Italy, September 1943.
The very late production Ausf H had entirely new armour disposition, a single thickness of 85mm replacing the welded or bolted layers, and the armour plates were of inter-locked construction. Very late vehicles also had a new idler wheel of webbed and welded construction, the return rollers were of all steel type, and simplified limiting stops were fitted for the bogies. New vehicles were all fitted with Schurzen as standard, these being intended mainly as protection against hollow-charge projectiles of the bazooka type. 

 A crashed and burnt Vomag- built PZ IV
The side skirts were mild steel, 5-9mm thick, hung from rails attached to the vehicle sides. These plates were removable. The turret skirting was similar but was a permanent fixture, with hinged panels opposite the turret side doors. Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste was a usual covering on new vehicles in the 1943-44 period. A semi-circular rail, Fliegerbesschussgerat, was fitted to the front of the cupola in most vehicles to take an MG 34 mount for AA defence. The output of the Ausf H was huge, Nibelungenwerke being the major producer with 46% of production. Krupp and Vomag built 27% each. Chassis numbers: 84001 - 90000 in at least six production bands.
Vomag Panzer IV H:
The Panzer IV was originally intended to be used only on a limited scale, so initially Krupp was its sole manufacturer. Prior to the Polish campaign, only 217 Panzer IVs had been produced: 35 Ausf. A; 42 Ausf. B; and 140 Ausf. C; in 1941, production was extended to Vogtländische Maschinenfabrik ("VOMAG") (located in the city of Plauen) and the Nibelungenwerk in the Austrian city of St. Valentin.

Panzer IV Ausf H Korsun Pocket 1944
In 1941, an average of 39 tanks per month were built; this rose to 83 in 1942, 252 in 1943, and 300 in 1944. However, in December 1943, Krupp's factory was diverted to manufacture the Sturmgeschütz IV and, in the spring of 1944, the Vomag factory began production of the Jagdpanzer IV, leaving the Nibelungenwerk as the only plant still assembling the Panzer IV.

Captured Panzer IV Ausf H code 831
MiniArt's new kit: What we know...
MiniArt is coming to market with their Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. H Vomag. Early Prod May 1943 kit. This kit has three marking choices and also a full interior for those who want to see all of the details inside once the turret is off.

Kit Features:
Driver Compartment Interior Accurately Represented
Fully Detailed Fighting Compartment Interior
Highly Detailed Interior Of Turret
All Hatches Can Be Posed Open & Closed
Full Ammunition Included
Engine Included
Workable Tracks Included
Clear Plastic Parts Included

Of course, there is a decal sheet and three markings are included on it - the photo etch for the tank and for the sideskirts is also supplied for the modeller.
The three choices - Unidentified Unit - Soviet front 1944
PZ regmt. 35. 4th PZ Div, Orel, Soviet Union 1944
Pz Rgmt2. 16th Div, Slaerno Front in Italy September1943