Darren Baker takes a look at the Bulgarian Maybach T-IV H from MiniArt in 1/35th scale.


MiniArt continues to release Panzer IV tanks both with and without full interiors. This release listed as a Bulgarian Maybach T-IV H or Panzer IV H as the rest of us would know it, is a kit without interior and if I am totally honest beyond markings I cannot identify anything that marks it specifically Bulgarian. 


This release from MiniArt in 1/35th scale of a Bulgarian Maybach T-IV H is packaged in the usual MiniArt manner, of a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. The card lid having a particularly pleasing presentation of the model, and offers no less than eight finishing options. The model itself arrives in a single plastic bag, but contains all of the model parts - with the exception of the instruction booklet. A critique I have, is that the decals and clear sprue are packaged in a plastic bag along with everything else, which could lead to damage of the decals. The workable tracks and their pins, are also packaged in additional plastic bags inside the package. Lastly the photo etch is protected inside a card sleeve which is a positive step in my opinion. An examination of the contents reveals no issues of note with the plastic parts, beyond some minor flow lines in the plastic. Access for removal of the parts is good, however, I strongly advise that care is taken during the removal of some pieces from the sprue due to the finesse of the mouldings.

With this model being available both with and without interior, some interior aspects are presented in the model, which provides the modeller who wishes to show hatches open without going to the trouble of a full interior some pleasing detail. The lower hull of the model is all made from individual panels, which could make assembly difficult but is saved due to the engine bulk head being included and so keeping the orientation of panels accurate. Another bug plus of these kits being offered with and without interiors, is that the modeller can show them open or closed regardless of which option they have chosen.

The upper hull is also made of various different panels, and this has offered the modeller one very big plus in that detail on every face is of a very high level due to detail not having to be sacrificed for the sake of moulding ability. All hatches are again supplied separately, and so can be shown open or closed. The bow machine gun has been tackled in a way that allows it to be orientated however desired. The tools stowed on the model, for the most part have separate clamp detail and where that is not the case detail is still very good.

The Wheel suspension units have been supplied in order that they can be articulated, but while they can be articulated I would not describe them as workable. The wheels have good detail on all faces, with the tread of the wheels having the manufacturers detail embossed on them. The idler and drive wheel also have very good detail throughout, and I appreciate the effort. As mentioned earlier the track links are workable individual offerings, and a jig is provided for ease of assembly. I have used these tracks on more than one occasion, and as long as clean up is thoroughly, assembly is relatively easy. The result of this effort is possibly the most accurately looking tracks, with the possible exception of metal track links, which may sag slightly more realistically.

The turret of the model again benefits from both interior and non interior models being available, with a lot of the turret interior present in this release. The full breach of the main gun is there in every detail, along with wall and roof interior detail parts, and so showing all of the hatches open on the turret is a definite prospect without additional work being required. Placing crew figures in any or all of the hatches, will add a very nice touch in terms of helping a person assess scale. The side walls of the turret and roof are separate panels and so offering good detail. The Commander cupola has a very high degree of detail and has clear periscope lenses present, with ports that can be open or closed. The barrel for the main gun is moulded in  a single piece, so some minor seam lines will need cleaning. There are four muzzle breaks offered for different finishing options.

Additional armoured plate, or if you prefer ballistic protection has been provided for around the turret, with scale thickness, door openings and mounting brackets being well provided for in the release. Unfortunately, despite being a Panzer IV H the Shurzen that would normally be present to protect the sides of the hull and wheel units is not included in this release, which gives the tank a different look.

The finishing options for this model are as follows:

1stArmoured Brigade, Bulgarian Army, August 1944

1stArmoured Brigade, 2nd Bulgarian Army, NIS, Yugoslavia, October 1944

2ndBulgarian Army, Sofia, December 1944

2ndBulgarian Army, Sofia, December 1944

2ndBulgarian Army, Sofia, December 1944

1st Army, during Dravska Operation, February 1945

1st Army, Hungary, March 1945

1st Army, Hungary, April/May 1945


This offering from MiniArt in 1/35th scale, in service with their Eastern allies during World War II, is another great addition to the line. The amount of detail provided should more than meet the requirements and expectations of most modellers, and by covering Eastern European armies working with the Axis powers, is a fairly original series of vehicles to cover. The Panzer IV may not have been the best tank on the Eastern front, but it was a major work horse and this release from MiniArt covers it well.



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