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.

18 thoughts on “Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H Build in 1/72 Scale

    1. Thanks John! The overlap is subtle and hard to see in photographs. There may also have been variations produced without overlap. The plates hung loosely so there are ample examples of them hanging askew or missing entirely.

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  1. Has been a decade since I’ve built 1/72 armor, or any armor for that matter. Had used them in miniatures gaming and just like you did here I added weight to them. At this scale plastic models are so light that a cat sneeze could send them across the room!
    Although a tank’s looks probably don’t matter much to the crews, the long barrel Panzer 4s have always been good looking tanks to me.
    Yes, the mixed cammo gives much visual interest.

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    1. The weight is frivolous for a display model, but I like the heft and the resin stabilizes the lower hull. I like the Panzer IV too and there are lots of interesting camo schemes to choose from.


      1. Yikes; in that case it might be smart to neutralize the models’ mass with a pinch of inverse gravity so they will gently float to the floor like a freefalling feather when the cats inevitably play gravitational scientist.

        (fortunately the cats I’ve had through the decades so far have not messed with my models and trains – except for the couple times I deliberately set up trains on the floor for them to chase)

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  2. Even if I don’t comment on every post Jeff, I always read other readers’ comments. I like the photo with the paint jar. Gives some perspective of the size of it unless it’s a gallon-size jar.

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  3. Very nice Jeff, as always. I haven’t built 1/72nd scale armor since I was a kid, but I’d like to. I like the idea of the BB’s to weight the hull. I wonder if CA would work, since I don’t have any casting resin. I like the idea of using Mr. Surfacer to replicate the Zimmerit as well.

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    1. Hey Y’all; what I did was add 1 layer of tiny steel shot to hull bottom, either entire bottom or a section blocked off with strip styrene; then go over it with that cheap superglue you can get as a blister card of 4 small tubes in the hardware sections. Allow it to dry then if desired add a second layer. NOTE: some ACC packaging will say in the fine print that particular brand is not suitable for use with styrene!! In my experience there was not enough ACC to generate enough heat to distort the styrene of thicknesses typical in 1970s, 80s, 90s, 1/72 tank kits or for floors of HO and On30 model train cars. I don’t build tanks any more but do use the same process on model railroad cars made of and/or scratchbuilt of styrene.

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      1. Assuming this thing allows URL to link to Flickr photos, the only image readily available online at this time is this of Lindberg’s originally released 1958 styrene kit of US Moon Ship where I did that to its engine mount section because of breezes mentioned in another comment & also because my mods are adding mass near its top. You’ll just have to believe me or not 🙂 when I claim there was no ACC cure heat distortion of the styrene part. https://flic.kr/p/2i3zFi3

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      2. Cool Scott! I believe you, I was advising caution because I used a lot of CA as filler when I built my Los Angeles class SSN and it generated enough heat to burn my hand. Don’t know if there was any distortion, and given the wholesale nature of the filling and thick plastic I’m not sure I’d notice so long as it wasn’t catastrophic.

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