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PzKfw IV Ausf J (late) w/full interior - Rye Field Model #5043


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Good evening, everyone.  After a long slog, I am finally done with the RFM Panzer IV J w/full interior.  


Generally speaking the engineering is pretty amazing. Everything fits as advertised, even with all the tight clearances. Many parts are so tightly-engineered that they won't actually fit together until you apply thin cement, melting the mating surfaces enough to get tab A to insert into slot B, so to speak. I think the biggest complaints I have are lack of indexing pins or other marks in some critical spots that can leave the modeler guessing the orientation of a part. For example, I'm used to other manufacturers that key the two halves of the drive sprocket so that the teeth align. RFM doesn't make any such provision and I managed to glue two halves a sprocket together crookedly (exactly offset from where they need to be).  I also managed to glue the breech assembly to the front turret plate upside down. A simple tab key would have eliminated that possibility altogether, but RFM didn't do that, so... whoops.


The instructions are pretty decent, but even with a separate/addendum sheet to the main instructions, I found several parts that were never called out for installation. They just sort of appear in later steps without any specific callout. A prime example is the forward fender hanger on the right fender. It just appears as already installed in step 42, about 20 steps after the fender work was completed. Not the end of the world by any stretch, but still frustrating. With so many pieces still left on the sprues (at least a quarter of the overall parts remain), I wonder how many other parts I missed. Additionally, there are locator holes on the firewall for a part that is never called out or visible anywhere in the instructions. I couldn't find any unused part that fit those holes, so I didn't include anything, but there are molded on wires running to the part that should be there, so who knows?


tl;dr Overall it's an incredible kit with a lot of detail. A lot of that detail comes at the cost of some tedium because RFM definitely followed a dictum of "why use one part when eight will do?" Not for the beginner, but not bad if you just take your time and really pay attention to what you're doing - also, avoid alcohol while building. :| The instructions are good, but not great. I would recommend for sure, just not for the beginner.


Now it's back to my regularly-scheduled program of winged things in hefty scales.  


This is an album with all my photos, including WIP shots of the interior.  The completed model is incapable of being disassembled for display other than the hatches and such.



Completed photos:




































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First off, this build turned out very well. I hear you on the RFM instructions as well as the parts count. I built their VW Type 82 staff car and while I enjoyed it very much overall, there were some frustrating points in the build. As you said though, incredible kits with alot of detail. 

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On 5/3/2021 at 2:47 PM, ChuckD said:

There's one on the recuperator housing for the main gun too.  I'm not sure, but I've heard them refered to as gas attack indicators before.  Could be way off though.


Indeed they are late war fitted metal plates on which to mount gas indicator paper , a lot of the big cats had them as well on the turret . Not sure why the Germans got worried about poison gas in the last year of the war  , maybe a reaction to propaganda about the approaching Soviets  ?


Nice build Chuck , late PIVs get complex with all the added on stuff , you've pulled it off nicely . I especially like the distressed wire skirts. 


I've got the Border Models take on the same vehicle to have a crack at eventually ...although thankfully without the interior . 

Edited by Panzerwomble
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