The first of the pnzIV’s I’ve built in the last couple of months… Only got a turned metal barrel, as you really don’t need anything else for this kit. (OK, the side-skirts could have been switched to PE, but they look pretty good out of plastic, too.) I did notice the barrel makes an incredible difference. When you use the plastic barrels provided with models you can’t really see the tiny irregularities, the seams, the marks left by sanding, unless you look for them, but your brain notices. Swapping the plastic barrel for a metal one is the easiest thing to do to improve your model’s looks. It also saves you from the pain of trying to remove a longitudinal seam.
Guest performer: a Flak88 conversion I’ve been working on since October.
I had this kit since two years ago when I finally found it in a ModelZone in Manchester. The decision to build it was not really made consciously. There were several factors: the currently ongoing Flak campaign on Armorama where I planned to build a pnzIV with a flak88 conversion. I had two boxes of the same kit (the second one came from ebay for about $5). And last but not least I also had the 1/72 Bison decal set for Hungarian tanks. So instead of one tank I built two in parallel.
The tracks are given as link-and-length plastic tracks, which would make assembly awkward should you decide to glue the two halves of the hull together. This necessitates building an painting the model in two halves.
The tracks are on, the lower hull is weathered (it’s easier to apply pigments before you glue the roadwheels on).
The tracks are OK. They are easy to work with, and do look convincing; the plastic is elastic and soft enough so you can bend it to shape on the top; after all, there should be a slight sag between the return rollers. NOW you can glue the two halves together. Next step: painting the tools, and adding some paint chips with a darker version of the yellow onto surfaces/edges. I tried to choose parts which are subjected to wear and tear by the crew and by the environment (hatches, mudguards, side-skirts, etc).
Weathering: pinwashes and filters using oils. I also applied a very light layer of pigments dissolved in water onto the vertical surfaces to simulate dust.
Pigments dissolved in white spirit are applied to the lower part of the side-skirts and the chassis to add some wet-mud effect. The whole “Hungarian markings” come from two small insignia placed onto the side-skirts… not a very difficult job. After drying the paintwork and decals were sealed with a very light matte varnish spray.
Last step: the good old pencil along the edges to add some metallic shine. Glue the tank onto the base of the display case, and done.