Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H Build in 1/72 Scale

This is the Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H in 1/72 scale, kit number 5017 released in 2018. This is a scaled down version of their 2017 release in 1/35 scale which uses the same box art. The box depicts a Panzer IV in Normandy, an early version with the Zimmerit paste in abundance (even on the Schürzen) but the kit is molded without the Zimmerit texture. This is a wise decision as fewer and fewer surfaces received the Zimmerit treatment as Panzer IV production continued.
Zvezda uses a hard plastic, overall molding is crisp and flash-free. The Schürzen are molded as single pieces. While the edges are thin, the plate overlap is not represented. Tracks are single pieces and pliable enough to wrap around the running gear with careful gluing.
The lower hull is built up from separate panels. The gun barrel is molded as a single piece and the muzzle will need to be drilled out. Despite what is depicted on the box art, there is no spare track provided for the front of the glacis plate.
The hull tub components lock into place well providing a good alignment. Likewise, the running gear builds up quickly and lines up well. I pulled my usual trick of lining the bottom of the hull with BBs and fixing them in place with old casting resin.
The particular vehicle I have chosen to model carried Zimmerit on a few panels. I made this with Mr. Surfacer 500 and a fine flat-head screwdriver bit chucked into a pin vice. Easy enough to do, and any mistakes can be “erased” with lacquer thinner and a little more Mr. Surfacer.
I replaced the kit Schürzen panels over the tracks with panels made from Evergreen sheet so I could replicate the slight overlap, the turret skirts are from the kit. I scratchbuilt one of the turret skirt side doors so I could show it open. My plan is to leave the Schürzen off for now so I can better get at the hull for washes and weathering. The panels were arranged in the proper order on the cards so the camouflage will be consistent.
The model received a coat of Future (Klear) to protect the finish from the weathering process. I applied mud to the lower hull and running gear, this will be mostly hidden on the finished model but I can use the practice.
Here is the finished model after weathering. Decals are from Kagero Top Colors 32 and depict a Panzer IV from the 116th Panzer Division in Normandy, August 1944. I found the mixed camo patterns of the hull Schürzen and the rest of the vehicle interesting.