by: Roman [ ]
The Panzer IV is one of the popular tanks that most modellers has or plans to have a model of that vehicle in their collection. There are a large number of kits available as well as a number of various extras to satisfy your needs. The Panzer IVís from Dragon are thought to be some of the best to date for Panzer IV and they cover the whole range of production modifications. However they did start with more complex kits with workable suspension and turret interior Dragon went on to removing many of these features while offering improved exterior detailing. Interiors are less visible on finished models, but they look great if properly painted and presented on a model with open or workable hatches.
Verlinden Productions are well known for their resin upgrades for various vehicles and the Panzer IV is not an exception. Although these sets were on the market for some years now they still offer a good and reasonably priced option for modellers. Earlier they had a set #1534 designed for Tamiya kits and this set #2324 is dedicated to Dragon kits.
The resin interior set comes in a hard cardboard box with a picture of a finished product on top. Inside the parts are packed in a large zip lock plastic bag together with black and white instruction sheet. The instruction sheet has a parts layout and directions on assembly and cleaning up the resin, as well as pictures illustrating the assembled parts. Here the quality of the printed photograph could have been lighter although after studying them you get used to the quality and are able to understand what is shown. As seen on the box art image this set has parts for hull and turret bin but sadly not the turret interior. This is one of the main differences between set #2324 and set #1534 for the Tamiya kit. As I understand this is due to the fact that some of the earlier kits from Dragon had more turret parts but the later releases unfortunately do not have these included.
The interior parts are cast in a light tan resin and in my sample there were no bubbles or other defects. The only issue was a broken seat rest for the driverís seat as well as one of the edges of the driverís compartment (this was due to the postal service). Some of the smaller elements have to be cut from casting blocks while larger items did not require any clean up at all. The driverís compartment has the floor, transmission and a number of smaller details cast as one part, seats, radios, levers, instrumental panel and the drivetrain are separate items, all with excellent detail. The middle section has the ammunition bins, floor and batteries cast as a single unit. Here the ammo bins are moulded without their covers and showing the shell bases. I think these could be drilled out and filled with brass items for better appearance. There are also two larger resin parts for the hull sponsons this includes ammo sections, MG ammunition pouches plus central cross beam the latter appeared to be a bit narrow (possibly mixed from the Tamiya set?). The part provided for drivers visor block can be discarded as Dragon has a great clear plastic visor block included with their kit. The engine compartment is separated from the fighting compartment by firewall that has detail on both sides and the engine compartment content is also included with this set (unlike the set for Tamiya). Here we have the Maybach engine with great details, cooling system, air filters and different tubing. Of course one can add additional detailing in this compartment by adding wires as well as in previous sections depending on aims and needs.
Unfortunately there is no turret interior included (apart from floor and roof ventilator) and I wish Verlinden Productions could update this set or make a separate set of turret interior for Dragon kits.
I briefly prepared my Panzer IV hull from Dragon for the installation of interior and larger parts fit inside without any problem. Some trimming and filling would be of course necessary to make it a great looking interior but it has a very good potential already.
A good set of complete interior for Panzer IV hull that includes everything necessary for good looking model. However the absence of the turret interior is a bit disappointing if you have a Dragon kit without the turret detail.