Book Review
Pz. Kpfw. IV family
miniTopColors: Pz. Kpfw. IV family
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]

Kagero Publishing have recently released another book in their miniTopColors series which focuses on ground vehicles. This series focuses on a particular type of war machine and presents it in colour profiles, along with a decal sheet attached to the book containing the markings shown in the book. This time the authors Marek Jaszczołt, Jacek Pasieczny, and Sławomir Zajączkowski present the Panzer Kampfwagen IV and a few other types based on this construction.

The content and style of each publication is always the same, it only differs in the topic. Issue 32 focuses on the German workhorse tank of World War 2, which undoubtedly is the Pz.Kpfw. IV tank. Over 20 pages the authors have presented 16 machines of this type and its derivatives. This way inside the book we can find eleven different Pz.Kpfw.IV's of five versions and five other machines based on the Panzer IV hull – one Sturmpanzer IV, one Sturmgeshutz IV, one Panzer IV/70 (A) and two Panzer IV/70 (V) (one of them is a commander’s vehicle – a "Befehls").

Vehicles depicted in the publication, in order of appearance, are:
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 (G) coded "1233" of III./Pz.Rg.23, 24th Panzer Division, southern Russia 1942
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2 (G) coded "B11" of Pz.Rgt.29, 12th Panzer Division, Ssinjawino, Russia, spring 1942
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. G coded "623" of II./Pz. Rgt.15 of 11th Panzer Division, the battle of Kursk, Russia, July 1943
• Befehlswagen IV Ausf. G coded "055" of Stab/SS-Pz.Rgt.1st SS Panzer Division LSSAH, Zhitomir area, Ukraine, November 1943, vehicle was commanded by SS-Ostubaf.Joachim Peiper.
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded "715" of the 7th company, II./Pz. Rgt. Herman Göring, 1st Fallschirm-Panzer-Division Herman Göring, Italy, spring 1944
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. H/J coded "511" of II./Pz.Rgt. Großdeutschland, the battle of Târgu Frumos, Romania, April-May 1944, vehicle was commanded by Oblt.Hans-Joachim Jung.
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded "813", named "Germaine" of II./Pz. Rgt.26, 26th Panzer Division, Lanuvio area, Italy, May 1944
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. H coded "821", named "Gisela", unit unknown, Eastern Front, 1944
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, coded "531" of II./Pz. Rgt. 16, 116th Panzer Division, Normandy, August 1944
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. J, coded "732" of II./SS-Pz.Rgt.3, 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, Warsaw, early August 1944
• Sturmpanzer IV, coded "8" of Stu.Pz.Abt.217, Aachen area, autumn 1944
• Panzer IV/70, coded "223" of II./Pz.Rgt. Großdeutschland attached to the Führer-Beleit-Brogade, Trier, Germany, January 1945
• Sturmgeschutz IV coded "214", unit unknown, Eastern Front, winter 1944-1945
• Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. J, coded "831" of II./Pz.Rgt.31, 5th Panzer Division, Königsberg area, East Prussia, March 1945
• Panzer IV/70 (V), coded "522", unit unknown, Germany, May 1945
• Befehlswagen Panzer IV/70 (V), coded "101" of s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt.655, Oldenburg, Germany, May 1945
Each machine has a detailed description in both Polish and English languages, as detailed as possible. These details focus on a brief historical background and characteristics of its painting schemes, including colours, types of camouflage or even some technical features of appearance of the portrayed tank.

For a good few years now the decals attached to Kagero publications have been printed by their subcontractor Cartograf, the world-leading Italian company. The decal sheet is about 19x22cm and contains markings in three popular scales: 1/72, 1/48 and 1/35. The markings for particular vehicles are separated from others by dotted lines so there is no chance for any misinterpretation, and they are grouped together by scale. They are glossy so you will need to use a final varnish to harmonize it with the whole model, but I'm pretty sure you already do that. What I always like very much is thin carrier film which sticks closely to the emblem or letter. Thanks to these two characteristics the decal adjusts nicely on protruding shapes, reacts to decal setting agents and minimizes risk of silvering. Colours are very nice, vivid and saturated. Although many letters or numbers have thin outlines none of them is misaligned. Each vehicle can be fully decaled using just this set as you get individual numbers together with national insignias, kill markings and unit emblems.

Kagero once again have provided us a very good source of joy in our the hobby. This publication gives you both reference material and the tools to make the model. As this publication is very comprehensive you just have to focus on choosing the right plastic kit. If you already have a proper kit in your stash but you're waiting for an inspiration you can find an interesting and eye-catching selection of vehicles here. Kagero provides a preview of all machines on their website while I have presented just few of them to put you in the picture about general content.
Highs: Comprehensive, great deals, very nice drawings.
Lows: None of my note.
Verdict: Useful and inspiring. Any of these vehiclces will surely add attraction to your collection.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-83-62878-47-5
  Suggested Retail: 13.3EUR, 16.9USD, 10.6GBP
  PUBLISHED: Feb 24, 2013

Our Thanks to Kagero Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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