The kit consists of five gray sprues, one vinyl sprue and a photo etched fret. The turret sprue is molded in a slightly lighter shade of gray than the other sprues. This is most likely due to the fact that the other sprues are common to the Pz.Kpfw. IV kits and the lighter colored sprue contains the Ausf. C components.
For the most part, the sprues were well molded with crisp detailing. One of my suspension sprues had traces of flash on the runners (see photo), but the parts were not deformed in any way. The Pz.Kpfw. IV suspension has always daunted me. The multitude of road wheels gives me shivers just looking at the sprues.
The parts are superior to the older Hasegawa and Esci Pz.Kpfw. IV kits, but are not quite up to the new Revell Pz.Kpfw. IV kits. Like many eastern European kits, the hull builds up from several flat pieces instead of a preformed tub. One of the features the Mirage kit has that is not found on previous Pz.Kpfw. IV kits is separate suspension arms. The Revell, Esci and Hasegawa kits all have the suspension arms molded as part of the hull sides.
Another nice feature of this kit is the amount of spare parts that are included. There are two sets of suspension sprues with several drive sprocket and idler wheel options. There will be plenty of road wheels remaining to update older kits as well. The only optional pieces called out in the instructions are the drive sprockets and the turret storage bin, both used to depict a late service tank with the 21st Panzer Division.
The tracks are nicely detailed inside and out and they are in a soft, pliable vinyl. They appear to have a slight wave to them, but they may straighten out once fitted to the tank. Also included on the track sprue are a pair of vinyl tow cables. It would be interesting to see how these work out, but they are not identified as being used in the instructions. Typical of some eastern European kits, Mirage includes a small photo etched fret. The fret contains front and rear fenders, side boarding steps, and some hold down fixtures.
The decals are rather sparse, despite including markings for three vehicles. Markings depict a vehicle in Germany 1939-40, Balkans 1941, and Normandy 1944.
In conclusion, this is a very nice model of the Pz.Kpfw. IV that outshines two out of three of the available kits. The fact that this is an early variant not previously modeled makes this a must buy. Overall, this is a highly recommended kit for the Braille scale modeler of moderate to expert experience. A novice may have difficulty with the fragile photo etch parts.
Our thanks to Military Model Distributors for the review sample.
One of Mirage’s latest kits is the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C. By the time the Allies invaded Normandy, the Ausf. C was relegated to second line forces comprised of a mixture of outdated German equipment, captured French equipment, old veterans and green troops. Mirage has produced a series of early Pz.Kpfw. IV. The variants include the Ausf. A, B, C, D, E and a tropical E. These versions were not previously available in 1/72 scale. This Poland-based company has filled the gap with these kits.