Panzer IV Ausf.G boxart border dn models scale model masks

Panzer IV Ausf.G Winter Ops

Panzer IV Ausf.G is by itself a milestone in Pz.Kpfw. IV production timeline. It was the first seriously up-gunned from the IVth Panzers and was the reason for some serious changes in tactics and usage. Initially, Panzer IV was used as a supporting vehicle with modest firepower. During WWII though, weapons changed rapidly in terms of quality and quantity, leading to the early versions of the Panzer becoming obsolete fast. The solution came in the face of Pz.Kpfw. Ausf. F2, later renamed Ausf. G. With more than 1700 produced /some sources claim more than 1900/, it is the third most produced Pz.IV variant ever. in other words – an important historical vehicle.

Ausf.G was used in Africa, but its most memorable war participation was on the Eastern Front. There, in the harsh winter conditions and against formidable enemies like KV-1 and T-34, driven by nearly fanatical soldiers, Ausf.G was to gather all its fame and glory. The models we are about to take a look at here are dedicated to that theatre as well. Both are coming from serious producers and with great foundation to be among the best options in 35th scale.

panzer iv ausf g winter dn models scale model masks

Around the same time both Border Model and Rye Field Model announced winter camouflaged Ausf.G Panzers in 35th scale coming. The main difference between the two appeared to be the winterketten of the RFM kit. Otherwise, simply looking at the boxart, we are looking at almost equal representations, covered in winter camo. But besides the enormous opportunities that the paint schemes offers to modelers, both companies are approaching the subjects from different perspectives.

Ausf.G features

Panzer IV was a mid-size tank for its time. In 35th scale this means rather compact in size vehicle. However, with the proper stowage and goodies, such models are greatly enhanced in appearance, which obviously, RFM and Border knew perfectly well.

Both tanks are coming with different features. Border, being the slightly more modest player compared to RFM, offer photo-etch fenders, one-piece lower hull, and extras. Those extras are T-34 tracks, a bucket, toolbox, wrapped tarps and such. This, only few years back was reserved for resin aftermarket makers. Greatly, that’s not the case anymore.

border panzer iv ausf g features photo etch helmets t34 tracks dn models scale model masks

Rye Field Model on the other hand, hit the soft spot for many – winter tracks. Winterketten make StuGs and Panzers look like a rally cars, not tanks, adding serious aggression and widening the silhouette of the vehicle. Rye Field also added jerry cans, helmets, machine guns and fuel drums to that, announcing that the tracks are workable. Oh boy. If that doesn’t make you wonder which will be better, we don’t know what will.

rye field model panzer iv ausf g winterketten machine guns fuel drums helmets dn models scale model masks

Things doesn’t end there too.

Panzer IV G add-ons

Rye Field Model plans to offer an aftermarket set on top of that all. It is designed specifically for RFM RM-5102, the Panzer IV described above. The goodies here are even more irresistible and include photo-etch clamps, PE side box for the spare wheels, resin tow cable eyelets and resin muzzle break with canvas cover. The photo-etch fenders are here too, just like we have ’em in Border Model’s release. But there’s more. Like resin hooks and fire extinguisher as well.

rye field model add on set panzer iv ausf g dn models scale model masks rye field model add on set panzer iv ausf g dn models scale model masks

Winter Profiles

Eastern Front gave a lot to everyone to work with. Historians, military experts, modelers. Winter camouflage is one of the things that modelers love to exploit when it comes down to that specific period of the WWII. And not surprisingly, both RFM and Border are offering 4 versions each, all of them /except one/ covered in white winter wash.

The one that isn’t is in the Border’s court and feature light grey vehicle, which doesn’t look overly realistic on the profile, but in all our honesty, neither do the rest of their paint options. They aren’t bad, but the painter could have done far better job, especially with the three winter washes, seemingly applied over desert yellow tones.

border model panzer iv ausf g winter profiles dn models scale model masks

RFM on their hand offer something slightly more vivid both in terms of profiles and in terms of options. There, things are divided in half, one being yellow beneath the wash, the other being grey. Numbers used are too – more various in form, place and appearance. Which – if not else – seems a bit better.

However, with all that said, such a winter wash allows for various art representations that end up in the hands of the modeler finishing the kit, not being limited in any way from the producer. This is one of the upsides of the winter wash and Eastern Front theater.

rye field panzer iv ausf g winter profiles dn models scale model masks

What to Expect?

We would dare to make a conclusion before even seeing the kits mentioned above. And we are making this bold move based on what we have seen from RMF and Border over the last few years. We expect two great additions to the Panzer IV line and specifically themed – Russian Winter. Both will probably satisfy enough, with the slight edge belonging to Rye Field Model.

We are saying that without final conclusion though, because sometimes things are different from what they appear at first glance. But most definitely, at that same first look, RFM did a better job. That includes the winter tracks, extra add-ons and profile options, all combined in what seems to be the next best Ausf. G Panzer IV of the 35th scale market. With this vehicle specifically, that is a tough title to get, especially with newest Tamiya, MiniArt and classic DML out there. Yet somehow, Rye Field managed to pull of that rabbit from the hat.