Monday, 31 October 2011

PzKpfw IV F1 in 20mm by Airfix, Hasegawa and Plastic Soldier Company

We’re soon off to the next con, this time FlemCon 2, where the adventures from Stockholm Spelkonvent will continue in a participation game. Another day in the push against Minsk, in the early days of Operation Barbarossa.
If you happen to be around, do come and say hello!
I’ve been checking the tin- and plastics mountain, to see what I already have that could be suitable for this game. I found two boxes of Pz IV F1, one Airfix in 1/76, and the other a Hasegawa one in 1/72. I already have a finished Hasegawa, which played an important role in the last game.
When the first two models were nearly finished I stumbled upon the new 1/72 kit from Plastics Soldier Company!
The Airfix model – those wheels do sit tight and awful tracks
Airfix – you can build two variants, either with a short 75mm gun, or with a long one, presumably variants F1 and F2.
+: Um, ehr…. I already had it, so it was free…. sort of
-: It’s a very old model, and you feel it. The details seem to be a mish-mash of different marks, and they aren’t very crisp either. The wheels do sit very tight together. It’s a bitch to glue the hull together. Tracks made of soft plastics.
All in all, not a model I can recommend. That was too kind - stay away from it.
Hasegawa – sagging tracks
Hasegawa – here you buy the different marks in different boxes. This is the F1-model.
+: It went together very well, crisp detailing. The end-result looks correct.
-: The placement of some details were rather unspecific, I had to check my literature, and of course blew it in (at least) one place (the commanders hatch was placed off-centre, even though I checked it (an obvious curse, probably by the Russian players)).
About the same number of pieces as the Airfix model. Also here we see tracks made of soft plastics, but they get a decent sag by built in pegs (if painted black they are nearly invisible), pushing the tracks down, see photo above. Nice! Everything is better than individual links, so I won’t complain in this case.
A nice kit, all in all a good buy if you’re a modeller, and a bit less so if you’re a gamer and want lots of tanks quickly.
 Plastic Soldier Company- a wargamers dream
Three panzers in one box, and you can choose between variants F1, F2/G and H.
+: Nice price. Few pieces, very easy to build. Tracks of hard plastics.
-: Some of the details are rather rudimentary. No decals.
I built one of the three tanks in this box in a very short time. It is a wargamers model – no small details that will break during play, I mean gaming, and so easy to build.
Highly recommended if you’re a gamer, not so much if you want a detailed model. It that case the Hasegawa one is better.

All three are painted with Vallejo German Grey, drybrushed with basalt grey. Decals from Skytrex and Aleran.
Dirtied with Vallejo and MIG pigments, and a final coat of matte varnish spray.
I will probably use all the tanks, but the Airfix one will be in the back…
A comparison from above – Airfix, Hasegawa and PSC. The Airfix kit is noticeably smaller, being 1/76 scale.
I will use these as generic short-barreled Pz IV in both France 1940 and Russia 41-42. Yes, I know, it is heresy.
My effort to lower the tin- and plastics mountain failed, got rid of two kits, and got two more unbuilt tanks... again... at least the mountain isn't bigger....

Look here if you're interested in a later article comparing the PSC Pz IV Ausf F1 to Armourfast Ausf D.


  1. Cool post, the PSC jobs are quite excellent

  2. Panzer Marsch! It will be a pleasure to see these bad boys roll down the Minsk road on the 12th.

  3. Very nice, I'm eyeing the PSC kits up for a future buy. However, I'm on a self-imposed no-buy probation right now... no more shiny stuff until after christmas. (Hobby supplies is ok to buy to replenish stores though.)

  4. They're great but I bought Frontline before these came out and it still annoys me.

  5. I'm looking forward to the SdKfz 251 (Hanomags) and Universal Carriers from PSC. This kit really whetted my appetite for their models.
    I'm with Laffe on the probation idea, but i have failed miserably. Got a load of stuff coming in the next couple of days...