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FEATURE
  Building the DML Panzer IV E
AlanL
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: August 12, 2005
KitMaker: 14,487 posts
Armorama: 11,670 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 11:25 PM UTC
Hi Vinnie - Al here.

I work in the same profession as you and only started modelling again in late 2005.

I had a similar pointless comment on a question I posted recently about LCVP's.

I like many others model for fun and whilst accuracy is important one can only do ones best.

The reviews provided by yourself and others are invaluable to me and many others.

I say good luck to you if Dragon think highly enough of your skills to send you a free kit to review. I've been pestering them for months to increase their range of British vehicles and figures and if they sent me a kit (based on an idea I had given them) I'd be delighted.

Keep up the good work.

Al
BillyBishop
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 20, 2002
KitMaker: 347 posts
Armorama: 167 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 10:19 PM UTC
Excellent review. Felt like I was building the kit too.

I can't wait to get my new glasses so I can see again and get me one of these!

Cheers, MSW
PanzerKarl
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 20, 2004
KitMaker: 2,309 posts
Armorama: 1,858 posts
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2005 - 03:15 AM UTC
Well am just taking a brake from doing the suspension on this kit,done one side,first off i was scratching my head for about 30 minutes trying to put all the pieces together,well i worked it out in the end.easy when you know how
i think the kit is top notch in my book,but what do i know ,i just build them i dont know the right measurements to a panzer or any other kit and i dont realy care,as long as your happy with it thats all that matters
people should just build the god dam kit and admire the the work thats gone into producing such a fine model.
so its thanks to dragon and tom cockel for this dream of a kit,the beers are on me

cheers karl
ShermiesRule
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Michigan, United States
Joined: December 11, 2003
KitMaker: 5,409 posts
Armorama: 3,777 posts
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2005 - 02:54 AM UTC
I believed that a feature was just a journal of a builder's experience with the kit. It is not a critique to historical accuracy or detail. It is simply a diary of the person's building experience. If the kit is full of inaccuracies but yet easy to put together, the feature will more than likely be favorable. If filling a gap or sanding a few parts is enjoyable to the builder the feature will likely be favorable.

A review is probably done by a person (but not always)with an interest in that subject and will comment on the accuracies. These would be a little more critical about the way a part looks or how it fits together because it is a technical inspection.

It is also my understanding that for Armorama, the samples go to a few central people who them randomly redistribute them to numerous volunteers with no say in what type of sample they receive. So for an individual, there is no benefit in "flowering" a review because he/she cannot curry favor for additional sample kit in the future from any manufacture.
SKurj
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: November 28, 2005
KitMaker: 235 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2005 - 02:28 AM UTC
Vinnie,

Thanks for this build, just bought this kit as a xmas present to myself. I wonder if you could outline your advice when it comes to what to assemble or not when it comes to painting. This is the most advanced kit I have built, and after two days I am trudging away on the bogeys still.

I am also new to airbrushing so any advice as to what parts I should or shouldn't attach for painting would be appreciated.

P.S. I also don't have the steady hands required to hand paint tools and the like once attached!
DIAMONDS088
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: March 11, 2005
KitMaker: 34 posts
Armorama: 29 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 04:15 PM UTC

Hi Vinnie ,
I just purchased this kit and can't wait to start building it. Luckily, I also found your "resume" on this gorgeous kit.I printed everything...promise, I won't sell it. Anyways, thank you for your usual input, you are always a "teacher".Glad that you are on board.Looking forward reading some more from your future experiences,
Claude aka diamonds088
Diablo
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Gelderland, Netherlands
Joined: February 01, 2004
KitMaker: 1,699 posts
Armorama: 433 posts
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2005 - 10:47 AM UTC
just do your thing Vinnie,i like what you are doing and with me a lot of other peeps on this site.my understanding was that you buy most of the kits you builld/review and simply thanking dragon just because they made them and not because they have you in their pocket.i only say this once;vinnie is for real in my book.on to the next build/review/feature or what else that you all do.

cheers mate.

jeroen................
Teacher
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 05, 2003
KitMaker: 4,924 posts
Armorama: 3,679 posts
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2005 - 09:10 AM UTC
I have tried to refrain from posting in this thread, and instead have allowed others to use it as a 'platform' for airing their grievances, real or imaginary, against firstly Dragon, presumably for making a fantastic kit which some people have no problems with, and secondly, against reviewers they see as less perfect than themselves. I'm just glad that this great site can provide this sort of person with somehwhere to post. :-) :-) :-) By the way Xavier, great links on the Glacis.....I particularly like the knock out pins which you've left for their 'visual' effect.

Vinnie
kuz
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Vestsjalland, Denmark
Joined: November 14, 2005
KitMaker: 23 posts
Armorama: 12 posts
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2005 - 08:52 AM UTC
Hey all armor freaks
Being an old man in Panzers, I started some 35 odd years ago doing a conversion of a Nichimo Panzer IV F1 into an E version, things certainly have changed since then , I have on and off, been doing some early German Panzers up to 1942, or more correctly the later months of 1942. Seeeing the new releases of Dragons good looking version, yet only in review form makes me wonder, why no one, or at least only a few have mentioned the Tristar version, or perhaps I haven't found it yet
Modellers today are more “picky“ than earlier, in their search for precise detail, where, at least here in Denmark, people sat pride in correcting errors, and getting a more “correct“ model, that was the difference between mediocre models and “the super models“, ring a familar bell
We have certainly been spoiled by the manufacters these last years, now I only need some soft skin early german vehicles.
By the way a SUPER SITE with lots of good stuff for almost every taste.
Greetings to all contributers from Denmark
sharkmouth
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New York, United States
Joined: December 01, 2001
KitMaker: 40 posts
Armorama: 24 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 05:03 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Also (I already discussed this by mail with Saúl Garcia) there are far too many "In box reviews" on the net that look like "covert adverts".

I think that, when a company sends a kit to a reviewer, the reviewer should:
1/ First know the subject he is talking about (for instance, if you don't know modern armour, don't review modern AFV models).
2/ OPEN the box (yes, sometimes you wonder if the reviewer actually opened the box)
3/ Objectively examine the parts for moulding quality and SHOW digital pictures of the sprues and details in the review.
4/ Check accuracy (dimensions, details) with historical documentation (that's why the reviewer needs to know the subject).
5/ BUILD the kit, at least partly, to check the acual fit.
6/ Only then write his conclusions.



Hi Xavier,

Sharing our information, are you?

This is in defense of the sites which get samples from manufacturers. Truth be told, it is difficult to find someone who is expert, or at least knowledgeable, in all subjects. Keep this in mind since many vendors do not ask what samples they should send, they just do. For example, it took me a while (and some money spent) to gather the necessary references to be able to review Dragon's aircraft carrier kits which I was sent. I did not find anyone with the combination of skills (which include photography) so I could send it to them.

As for number 2, yes...I have been left scratching my head sometimes as well!

Three is very important and a reason why some knowledgeable modelers I know do not get samples forwarded by me. Photography is important. In some cases, I will photograph the sprues and then send the kit. By reading the submitted text, I will know if the kit was actually built since I PREFER build reviews. This goes towards your fifth point as well. Test fitting of major parts is the least to expect.

The fourth point is the most difficult. Every modeler I know has a reference library. Sadly, there are occasions where this library is not up to date. Not everyone has the wherewithal to buy the latest books on a particular subject. So the accuracy check you find is limited to what the reviewer had at hand. For this reason, I ask that all reviews include a list of references used. Note that the sites you mentioned include them? So even if some item is not accurate, the reviewer can point out that it was to the references they used. No one is perfect and we should not expect them to be.

Value was not mentioned. This is a personal thing, just like the overall opinion. For example, (even if the kit was sent for free) how do you feel paying full price for the kit? Again, there are many factors here since a kit’s price may be different in other areas of the World.

So I ask that reviewers state the facts, where they got the facts, show us some images so we can form our own opinions and give me theirs (which I may or may not agree with).

What to do when inaccuracies are found? Point them out and how to overcome them. Let the reader decide if they wish to go through the trouble, if at all. An example is this Panzer IV Ausf E. Many improvements can be made to it, while I plan to do all I find; some may do some and others none at all. It is a beautiful kit. Here is where opinions some into play. Some modelers will not bother trying to improve the kit and revel in all (and there is plenty!) that is right. Some may be thrilled at the value, all the goodies including such a wonderful figure. Some may be disappointed since they are in the quest for the perfect kit (a very long quest, of that I am sure), and others may see the inaccuracies, fix them, and be so happy at having added their touch to a wonderful model.

Note that I do not represent any one site. I have posted my reviews here (mostly aircraft, books, or in Spanish) and Track-Link (only armor in English). I do get samples from many vendors and pass them on to reviewers such as Christopher Wilson, Konrad Schreiber, and others.

Regards,
Saúl García
Panther88
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: November 01, 2005
KitMaker: 70 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 04:58 AM UTC
Vinnie, you are my mentor. I have been modelling for over 20 years now but mostly aircraft. I have just got into WWII armour and I love it. But I did have so much to learn with preshading, tracks, painting and weathering and your articles have helped me so much and probably kept me from giving up and going back to aircraft.

I just wanted you to know this and to thank you and tell you to keep up the reviews and tips, love them and I need them.

As for the other guy with comments and accusations, well you are intelligent enough to ignore him and I believe your response was tackfull and warranted.

Thanks again.
jimbrae
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Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 04:47 AM UTC
There are lots of different PzIV kits on the market, so logically they'll all look a bit similar. I'll repeat what I said before. 'SUPERKIT' has never been used by DML to describe ANY of it's kits... Jim
nicoropi
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Vaud, Switzerland
Joined: September 29, 2005
KitMaker: 243 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 04:01 AM UTC
Hey Gary,
Not sure I understand you...
Do you mean to say the kit called "superkit" is not from Dragon?
Looking at the name they give it, apart from the superkit word, it looks like it is the one Vinnie has reviewed, or is there many many kits of this one? I do realize my question is silly as I write it...
So the best is probably to wait for the parcel to arrive and to judge then.
Again this is only 2 boxes of Dragon or Tamya figures out of 15... so the panzer IV doesn't have to be that nice...
jimbrae
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Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 02:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

have a question about this kit. Do you know if it has the attribute of "Superkit" in the Dragon package, or at least in Germany?
I've made a deal on eBay, and the seller is missing 2 of the boxes I've bought, I don't know which but most were Dragon figures. The seller is offering to replace with the Dragon Panzer IV E (Superkit).
Do you know if it would be this kit or is there different kits?
Anyway, it doesn't sound too bad a deal to replace 2 boxes of figs (or maybe a Tamiya truck) with a Dragon Panzer, does it



In my opinion, I wouldn't touch this 'offer' with a bargepole. The 'Superkit' thing is a load of garbage - it was NEVER classified by this as DML. Sounds like the seller is out to make a fast buck...Jim
nicoropi
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Vaud, Switzerland
Joined: September 29, 2005
KitMaker: 243 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005 - 11:24 PM UTC
Hey Xav!
Funny how I notice straight away a countryfellow 's post! :-)
Have you been burning some cars lately?

Anyway back to the thread, where is the gap?

I have a question about this kit. Do you know if it has the attribute of "Superkit" in the Dragon package, or at least in Germany?
I've made a deal on eBay, and the seller is missing 2 of the boxes I've bought, I don't know which but most were Dragon figures. The seller is offering to replace with the Dragon Panzer IV E (Superkit).
Do you know if it would be this kit or is there different kits?
Anyway, it doesn't sound too bad a deal to replace 2 boxes of figs (or maybe a Tamiya truck) with a Dragon Panzer, does it?

Vinnie thanks for all your contributions to the site!
jimbrae
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Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Joined: April 23, 2003
KitMaker: 12,925 posts
Armorama: 9,484 posts
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005 - 10:13 PM UTC
Xavier, first of all, welcome to the site. Secondly, I have to say that you raise some interesting points - very few of which I would disagree on.

Where I particularly agree with you is in in your first point:


Quoted Text

1/ First know the subject he is talking about (for instance, if you don't know modern armour, don't review modern AFV models).



This is a policy we have here on Armorama. There is nothing more irritating when I see reviews on other sites done by people who have a) No knowledge or b) No experience with the subject being reviewed.

One thing that I will re-emphasise, is that (for example) in the case of DML, they put NO pressure on the site to 'slant' the review in their favor. They are suffciently confident in the quality of their product (and the professionalism) of the reviewers here... Some of the companies who don't provide samples for review, occasionally seem to be lacking confidence in their own products - that however is something for another thread! Once again, welcome!..Jim
LeXav
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Ille-et-Vilaine, France
Joined: December 02, 2004
KitMaker: 3 posts
Armorama: 3 posts
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005 - 09:53 PM UTC
Hi all,

To calm down the controversy, here is a picture of the actual gap that you can find on the PzIVE, gap that is filled using a 0.010 " (0.25 mm) styrene spacer.
The gap is greatly empashized on the picture, due to zoom effect.



If image doen't appear check url :
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/LeXav/PzIVE_1.jpg


In defense of Brian (who I don't know btw), I must say, that I too was amazed by the gap shown on Vinnie's pictures. It may lead people to think that there actually is a huge gap at this place.
In defense of Vinnie, at least he BUILT the kit.

Also (I already discussed this by mail with Saùl Garcia) there are far too many "In box reviews" on the net that look like "covert adverts".

I think, that, when a company sends a kit to a reviewer, the reviewer should :
1/ First know the subject he is talking about (for instance, if you don't know modern armour, don't review modern AFV models).
2/ OPEN the box (yes, sometimes you wonder if the reviewer actually opened the box)
3/ Objectively examine the parts for moulding quality and SHOW digital pictures of the sprues and details in the review.
4/ Check accuracy (dimensions, details) with historical documentation (that's why the reviewer needs to know the subject).
5/ BUILD the kit, at least partly, to check the acual fit.
6/ Only then write his conclusions.

Some reviewers do it, like on PMMS or here on Armorama, some don't even show a picture of the box content.

I say it again, a "plain-text-in-box-review" is completely useless.

So some "reviewers" should get less kits and write less reviews, in order to have time to make more thorough reviews. (and buy a digital camera too).

There are too many kits produced today to pretend to be able to thoroughly review ALL the released kits (just like trying to drink water from a firehose, as you say in english)

Pawel Wodnik spectacular reviews are a good example of what reviewers SHOULD try to attempt.

Regards and sorry for the broken english.

Xavier
Henk
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 07, 2004
KitMaker: 6,391 posts
Armorama: 4,258 posts
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005 - 06:24 PM UTC
I noticed the rivets on the turret roof, and have spend the last few days trying to find some clear pictures of an Ausf E (or indeed another Ausf.) with such large prominent rivets. No luck. I don't know if this has been brought up before, but those rivets seem rather 'over the top', if not downright fictional. As far as I'm aware all rivets or bolts/screws in the turret roof were countersunk/flush.

Cheers
Henk
Teacher
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 05, 2003
KitMaker: 4,924 posts
Armorama: 3,679 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 02:33 AM UTC
Don't mention it Patrick. We're here to serve!

Vinnie
PLMP110
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Alabama, United States
Joined: September 26, 2002
KitMaker: 1,318 posts
Armorama: 837 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 02:30 AM UTC
Thank you Vinnie for a great article. I received my kit yesterday and will be starting it very soon with your article printed and used alongside the instructions.

To the others who have added other tips; thanks to you as well.

Patrick
Teacher
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 05, 2003
KitMaker: 4,924 posts
Armorama: 3,679 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 02:20 AM UTC
Aha! That's what they are eh? Well they're still too springy!

Vinnie
jet
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 30, 2002
KitMaker: 306 posts
Armorama: 295 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 02:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi, Have a question here concerning step 10 in the area of the rear part of the two fenders. I see on parts ME 6 and 7 that just the end of this wire goes up through the fender and the rest lays underneath. What in the world are these things



Hi,
Those wires are the electrical leads to the rear lights.
sgirty
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Ohio, United States
Joined: February 12, 2003
KitMaker: 1,315 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - 08:21 AM UTC
Hi, Leaving them off sounds like the best idea so far, being as one of them has already went flying off into the 4th dimension anyway.

Since I'm using the fenders with the holes already in them, I think I'll just run a bit of wire of through that particular hole and out on top so at least it looks like the whole thing is there. A bit of Shep Paine's "gizmology."

Thanks and take care, Sgirty
Teacher
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: April 05, 2003
KitMaker: 4,924 posts
Armorama: 3,679 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - 02:45 AM UTC
The two pieces of wire actually do fit, with a lot of effort. They actually 'clip' around the rear towing hooks. I fit mine, but eventually left them off as they threw the alignment of the hull deck out somewhat.

Vinnie