ICM Panzer IV Ausf D

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by charliec, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Model: Panzer IV Ausf D
    Publisher: ICM Papermodelling
    Scale: 1:50
    Format: Free download http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~naka
    Designer: Aki Naka

    Our moderator suggested a review of the ICM kit as a comparison with the
    Modelik 1/25 offering. I'm not sure they are truely comparable so I'll try to comment on this kit within the context of its scale and the design compromises which must be made at this scale. It has always seemed to me that the 1/50 scale is a bit of an orphan in armour modelling - not large enough to accurately model detail and too large to model for general impression as the 1/72 models do. However this design is an extremely good example of how to arrive at a compromise and still have a nice looking model.

    The download is in two parts:
    - Three page pdf with most of the parts - the organisation and labelling of the parts sheets is really good - I think some of the commercial publishers could learn a lesson from this designer.
    - Eight page instruction pdf with Japanese text but lots of construction photos - my inability to read the text was no disadvantage for this kit. There are also a number of small roll up parts embeded in the instructions.
    The print/pdf quality is excellent it puts most commercial printed kits of the same vintage to shame.

    The hull is modelled as a simple box with no frame - if it was scaled up to 1/25 it would need some internal framing. The upper hull parts and turret appear accurately modelled and seem as if they would fit together well.
    The track design is quite innovative - it's a departure from the usual two bands of card - it seems to require a lot of accurate cutting and an origami fold up procedure to create the track. The drive wheels are modelled as toothed disks and the road and idler wheels as simple cylinders - the overall effect seems to be quite impressive. Oddly the design doesn't seem to call for cutting out the drive slots in the track so the track guide teeth will have to cut off where the wheels rest on the track.

    The detailing on the top of the hull is impressive - not only are the usual collection of tools modelled but also items such as the trough for the aerial and fold down steps for crew access. The last two items were missed in Modelik Panzer IV model.

    The model represents a Panzer IVD of the 7th Panzer division and seems quite accurate at first glance. The Panzer grey colour is probably too light in the light of modern views of how dark RAL 7021 really was - it prints as a mid grey rather than the nearly black colour that the Panzers probably were. (No correspondence will be entered into about Panzer colours - it's just too controversial)

    This model has been around for a few years now (2001) it the only pity is that the designer hasn't had the time/resources to design more models.
    This model looks as if it could be scaled to 1/25 and still be a credible model. It probably would be buildable by anyone with some experience but it's more like a 1/25 model scaled down rather than 1/72 model scaled up so the build time is going to be much longer than smaller scale builds.

    Instructions: A (based on the diagrams - can't judge on the text)
    Paper quality: n/a
    Level of detail: A
    Printing quality: n/a
    Artwork: B (weathering would be nice)
    Value for money: A (can't beat free)
    Skill level: Intermediate
  2. Al hazlet

    Al hazlet Member

    I think he's Yasu Tanaka. Its been a while since I read Japanese, so I was using the Rikai J-E tool for Mozilla, and that's what I read.

    Cool site.

    Al Hazlet
    (I was a student of Japanese History, before I switched to Nautical Archaeology)
  3. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Thanks for digging the designer's name out of the site.


  4. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    We both got the ICM designer's name wrong. I had an e-mail from the designer - his name is "Aki Naka" - I've corrected the reviews.

    To quote from the e-mail (remember he's a Japanese speaker):

    "Thank you for evaluating my work well.
    It became the encouragement for making a work."

    Perhaps the concerns about reviewing free downloads isn't as much of a problem as some writers have suggested.


  5. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    I've finally got around to adding images to the ICM PzKpfw IV Ausf D review.



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