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Contemplating a Panzer IV build? Then...

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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:52 pm

Then.... these are a few pointers to watch out for. They're areas on the tank that HL and Taigen have erred on badly.
Panzer IV ausf G.jpg
Panzer IV ausf G.

The engine deck behind the turret, should slope away from the Turret. much as the frontal area does. The top of the storage bin on the turret should be (in most instances) flush with the top of the turret roof, and not obscure, or encroach at all on the Commander's Cupola.
Here the Heng Long (L) and Taigen (R) ausf. F2s reveal how the storage bin stands quite proud of the Turret roof. While this allows HL/Taigen models to retain the standard HL elevation unit, it the rivet-counter's refined ideas of authenticity and accuracy!. :O It's a glaring error. Incidentally, the Taigen upper hull is identical to the Heng Long version, and so they are both guilty of poisoning the tank's profile. Trumpeter produce Panzer IVs (G and J models) with the correct bin shape and orientation, and so do Tamiya with their ausf, J.
Panzer IVs compared.jpeg
Taigen and Heng Long Pz IVs compared
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:03 pm

...now for that slope. For comparative purposes, I've set a Tamiya ausf. J upper hull (fawn- foreground) beside a Heng Long (grey) offering. Ignore the detail differences between F2/G and J models. The basic shapes and outlines should be broadly the same.
Tamiya HL Pz IV engine deck slope.jpeg
Tamiya and HL upper hulls compared

The Tamiya version has the correct shape. The HL (also Taigen) unit has a level engine deck, and that's plainly wrong :eh:
The arrows serve to indicate the degree of slope: none on the Taigen HL and a few degrees on the Tamiya. Click to enlarge the pics :thumbup:
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Tamiya HL PzIV engine decks compared copy.jpeg
Tamiya engine deck slope..
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:30 pm

Although the general dimensions, and proportions, of the two are roughly the same using a Tamiya upper hull with a Taigen Turret would be a major challenge, as would transplanting HL internals (elevation unit/ turret rotation unit etc) into the Tamiya upper. If you'd like to see how they're arranged, and how they differ, have a peek:
Tamiya HL Taigen upper Hull interiors.JPG
Tamiya HL/Taigen Upper Hull interiors

and again:
Tamiya HL Upper hull interiors 2.JPG
Another view of Tamiya HL interiors


If you're wondering why I've had a good look at the two, it's because my Pz IV project stalled when I tried to marry the HL upper hull to the Asiatam metal chassis/lower hull. Having sawn a fair chunk off the Asiatam lower hull to make it line up properly with the HL top, I began to notice just how inaccurate the HL part was. This made me think that the Tamiya offering might be a better option; but then on closer inspection that seemed likely to be a world of pain and modding too. :-<
There are fantastic Pz IV threads here on RCTW, by the way, where members have performed successful cosmetic surgery on HL upper hulls to make them more accurate, but for the novice or those with limited time or resources, it might be a step too far.
Converting a static Trumpeter ausf. G or J to full RC might be another option if correct detailing is what's required.
Trumpeter Panzer IV ausf J.jpg
Trumpeter ausf. J

The arrow shows how the storage bin is at the correct level, and not impinging on the Cupola. Note too that there is a slope on the deck behind the turret :thumbup:
However, the Trumpeter model isn't cheap, although it's a third of the price of a Tamiya model; and it's also a static kit.
Here's an ausf H being kitted out for full RC (note the correct deck angle, and bin orientation).
Trumpeter Panzer IV ausf.H copy.jpg
Trumpeter PzIV ausf H getting a heart transplant
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:42 pm

The return roller issue is one that has been discussed here numerous times, but essentially the roller should be lower than the three in front. HL/Taigen historically have the four in a line, and that's another affront to the conscientious rivet-counter. :O >:< :lolno: Tamiya models have the correct position...but at a hell of a price.
Lately, the recently released Taigen metal edition of the Pz IV sports an accurate representation of the storage bin, but fails to resolve the engine deck slope and return roller issue.
Taigen Panzer IV metal edn.jpg
Taigen's new PZ IV metal edn..

It's undoubtedly a nice piece of kit; but if you want to build something that actually looks like a Pz IV, you might be a little disappointed. If rivet counting's not your thing, then you might just build one of these.. :D :thumbup:
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Postby c.rainford73 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:45 am

Fantastic review Funny I was working in my shop this evening and went through a Box of random tank parts and found a partial IMAI Panzer iv upper hull. Yes even that rear engine deck was sloped way back when
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:07 am

c.rainford73 wrote:Fantastic review Funny I was working in my shop this evening and went through a Box of random tank parts and found a partial IMAI Panzer iv upper hull. Yes even that rear engine deck was sloped way back when


Thanks for the plaudit, Carl. :thumbup: Looking again at the new Taigen metal ed., the rearmost return roller does appear to dip a tad below the others, but maybe that's an optical thing.
For anyone wishing to see how the upper hull exterior of the Tamiya ausf. J differs from the HL/Taigen (F2/G/H) upper, here's a pic:
Tamiya HL Pz IV Upper Hulls compared.jpeg
Tamiya - HL/Taigen upper hulls compared

Although the 'J' version offered fewer features than earlier Pz IVs (simplified because Germany needed quantity over quality towards the end of the war..), the F2/G and H versions are fairly well represented by the Taigen HL upper hull, as is the 'J' model by Tamiya- although some might say it needs more detail.
Maybe it's size related, but I found the Tamiya hull to be almost as robust as the HL offering. :thumbup: BUT....it does have the advantage of the accurate engine deck slope. That makes it a winner for me, and worthy modding for my Asiatam metal hull project. Or maybe, I'll just but the Tamiya metal hull and some bits to work on as a starter pack..... :think: Kerching! Kerching!.. I can hear the sound of cash draining away :lolno: ...rapidly 8O
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Postby Arnie_DK » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:48 pm

I have the Metal PzIV from Rctank.de
The return rollers are all at the same height. So yeah, they are still wrong. Basicly the entire lower hull is the exact same as the HL and plastic versions, but a lot harder to fix, since its fully cast in metal. only the wheels and suspension can be removed. Transmission cover and return roller holders are molded in.

The american version that you can get from taigentanks.com will at least have the last return roller fixed in the correct position. Imex-Eric saw to this and the pictures on their website confirms it.

If this will implemented to later european versions though... only time will tell.
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Postby jarndice » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:17 pm

Arnie I thought it was me with a Panzer 4 fixation, :crazy:
If you have a Dremel drill stand with the Dremel turned through 90 Degrees fitted with a "Diamond" Cutting Disc it should remove the offending roller mounts,
You would need a sturdy unshakeable vise to hold the hull, then with it all lined up you pull the pillar drill handle down and remove the mount,
I reckon lining it all up would be the biggest problem.
What puts me off is the inability to fit Gearbox output shaft bearings
Shaun.

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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:37 pm

Im still surprised about everybody claiming against the latest return roller as always and nobody about the main sprochet location, which is too low in the heng long-taigen, but not in the asiatam and tamiyas.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:58 pm

Rad_Schuhart wrote:Im still surprised about everybody claiming against the latest return roller as always and nobody about the main sprochet location, which is too low in the heng long-taigen, but not in the asiatam and tamiyas.


Having just looked again at the PZ IV (real thing- top pic), and compared it with the new Taigen metal edn., Rad, it appears as if the Taigen/HL idler is not low enough. That, or it's slightly too big to match the shape evidenced by the real thing. :problem:
I agree that the main drive sprocket appears to be sited too low, but if it were slightly larger, the line it forms with the rollers and the Track guards/fenders, might look more convincing. :wave:..and Shaun, it's obvious that the Pz IV has its hooks in quite a few of us :lolno:
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Postby Arnie_DK » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:06 am

Rad_Schuhart wrote:Im still surprised about everybody claiming against the latest return roller as always and nobody about the main sprochet location, which is too low in the heng long-taigen, but not in the asiatam and tamiyas.

Actually. In my review of the new Taigen, I recomended people getting the Asiatam lower hull instead, as its more acurate and easier to work with, than the new Taigen metal lower ;)

Yeah. I have all three lowers... Guess Im a Pz IV addict :P
One day, I guess I'll get the Tamiya as well :)
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:07 am

Arnie_DK wrote:I have the Metal PzIV from Rctank.de
The return rollers are all at the same height. So yeah, they are still wrong. Basicly the entire lower hull is the exact same as the HL and plastic versions, but a lot harder to fix, since its fully cast in metal. only the wheels and suspension can be removed. Transmission cover and return roller holders are molded in.

The american version that you can get from taigentanks.com will at least have the last return roller fixed in the correct position. Imex-Eric saw to this and the pictures on their website confirms it.

If this will implemented to later european versions though... only time will tell.


Yes, I saw your review of the metal version, Arnie, and was impressed with your appraisal, videos, and garden as well! :D There's no doubt that it's a fine looking machine, with many improvements, and really quite alluring; but it still exhibits those historic flaws. At least the luggage bin has been given a makeover, however, and now looks the real deal :thumbup: ..and there's the future promise of a correctly positioned rear roller.
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Postby Arnie_DK » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:39 am

Here are my comparisons. All have metal road wheels/return rollers and Drive/idler wheels as well as modded metal suspension.

First of is the HL/Taigen lower in plastic, with the modified return roller.
Image

Then we have an unmodified Asiatam Lower. No mods. Just axle supports under the hubs. Fits right in. Although the fenders on the upper hull had to be extended, in order to go over the drive wheels.
Image

And last the new Metal Lower from taigen with no mods. Nothing at all as it cant be done, wothout a lot of cutting and grinding.
Image

All three side by side.
Image

If you ask me. The most accurate lower, out of the box, is actually the one from Asiatam.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:58 am

:clap: Nicely done, Arnie. I agree that the Asiatam has the most accurate representation of the front drive sprocket in terms of size and position. Compare the front sprocket on this Finnish Panzer IV ausf J. with the 'G' metal end from Taigen:
Panzer_IV_Ausf_J_Parola_2.jpg
Finnish Panzer IV

Taigen Panzer IV ausf G metal edn.jpg
Taigen PzIV metal ed. ausf G
Taigen Panzer IV ausf G metal edn.jpg (78.86 KiB) Viewed 438 times

The top of the drive sprocket should be in line with the tops of the first three return rollers, and not below them as on the Taigen.. :problem:
My beef with the Asiatam hull...beefs, in fact:
a. nearly 1cm too long to fit any commercially available upper hull. :-<
b. none of the fittings fitted without divine intervention, or a drill, or a reamer, and a tapping set.. :/
c. Rear section of hull is flat, but should be bevelled, as with HL and Tamiya models..
d. fitting front bearings in supplied drive covers requires almost superhuman patience, and lots of dremel grinders.. :haha: But I managed it- no idea how :eh:
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Postby Arnie_DK » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:34 am

I only commentented on the lower hull ;)
The upper is a whole different story.

But actually. Except extending the front fenders I have had no problems getting the HL/Taigen upper to fit the Asiatam Lower ;)
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Postby Arnie_DK » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:43 am

Top view of the same tanks, Plastic HL/Taigen lower + upper. Asiatam Lower + HL/Taigen modified fenders upper. New Taigen Metal Lower with new upper (all stock. Just a repaint)

And please ignore the paint job on the middle one (Asiatam Lower) it was my very first Panzer IV and I didnt have an airbrush :P

Image



PS: I really like this thread! It brings some needed attention to the Panzer IV and the flaws the current models have :D
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Postby c.rainford73 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:48 am

Arnie_DK wrote:Top view of the same tanks, Plastic HL/Taigen lower + upper. Asiatam Lower + HL/Taigen modified fenders upper. New Taigen Metal Lower with new upper (all stock. Just a repaint)

And please ignore the paint job on the middle one (Asiatam Lower) it was my very first Panzer IV and I didnt have an airbrush

Image



PS: I really like this thread! It brings some needed attention to the Panzer IV and the flaws the current models have :D
I'm actually fond of the second one too
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Postby Raminator » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:35 am

A very comprehensive write-up, Roy. It's great having all of the inaccuracies visualised like that, this thread will be a useful resource for anyone who wants to go about correcting them. Nice work!

Kudos too to Arnie for the comparisons with the running gear. I can see why the sprocket location would need compromise (for the gearboxes), but I'll be damned if I can figure out the rationale behind the return rollers and idler.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:55 pm

Many thanks, Arnie, Ram and others. This Forum has an ever expanding reference collection of material, and it's a pleasure to add to it. :thumbup: Arnie, I see that your Asiatam build (middle, above) exhibits the lip on the front armour glacis plate I tried so hard to avoid, as it's not there on the full scale tank, nor the Tamiya/Taigen versions. I believe Rad 'stretched' his upper hull in a similar fashion to accommodate the excess length in the Asiatam lower hull. This harks back to the thread I initiated a year ago: the one where I decided to saw the back of the alloy hull (like some sort of crazed magician... :haha: ). It might be of interest to newcomers. The Asiatam hull (love/hate relationship..) is now the right length to support a Tamiya, Taigen or Trumpeter upper..
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21059&p=191023&hilit=asiatam+panzer+iv#p191023
For comparative purposes, I'll post a pic tomorrow of the Tamiya Hull set against the Asiatam alloy hull. The light's not right for pics just now. If any member wants dimensions from any of these parts, just let me know.
I bought the Tamiya Pz IV hull and partial running gear sprues from Axel's Modellbau, along with the upper hull. I'd hoped to source all the major components over an extended period, to assemble a complete Tamiya Ausf J. The boxed kit is just a shade too expensive for one fit of yielding to temptation. The instalments method is likely to cost more in the long run, but it's not so traumatic 8O :D .. In the event, Axel seems unable to supply certain parts (maybe the German Tamiya
monopolists are putting zer squeeze on ihn.. :lolno: ). That being the case, plan B will be an attempt to build a Tamiya/ HL hybrid a la Painless.. :think:
Quite why the PzIV is so captivating, I really can't say: but it is :thumbup: ..It's almost as cute like the Comet... :shh: ;)
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Postby foxtrotraptor » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:57 pm

good thing I saw this, Im starting a Heng Long IV build. Thank you. Awesome Info :thumbup: :thumbup:

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