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Tamiya Panzerkampfwagen IV

Tamiya Panzerkampfwagen IV is a kit well known and popular among modelers. The tooling is rather old, but since it was made as it should be from the get go, there is nothing negative that one might think of when it comes down to it. Tamiya are usually like that. 9 out of 10 of their releases are almost perfect and last forever. Nowadays the market for Panzer IVs is over-exploited though, which can create additional friction between… let’s call them “schools of modeling”. Latter ones are established ways and principles accepted by groups of modelers who for whatever reason prefer one or the other. Some prefer simplicity of Tamiya, while others consider the straight-forwardness of the kit its weakness and sometimes – lack of skills in the builder.

The case is different though. Tamiya recently re-released Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. F and Ausf.G with Motorcyle. Both kits feature the bike. Those are not new, nor contemporary toolings, but they are pretty good. In the same time the market is full with new Panzer IVs, which supposedly should make Tamiya suffer in their sales to some extent. But modelers are still warmly accepting the new releases. Why is that? On top of everything, modelers complained that old kits are being returned to us. Don’t you like abundance people?

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Tamiya toolings cannot be compared to Rye Field Model nor MiniArt when it comes down to this vehicle. But neither of those cover the subject presented by Japanese model maker completely. Border and Dragon does, however Dragon are rather old-ish just like Tamiya and Border Model, even though very nicely touched are models that simply cannot bring the pleasure of Tamiya’s building process. Border are also under critique by many and usually not preferred against Dragon or RFM. But that is another story. They are not bad, it is just a trend.

With the information age came trouble. By trouble we mean many controversial statements, historical “facts” some of which were pure fiction, as well as true and honest well of knowledge, that many can drink from. That made life miserable for modeling companies with mediocre research and in the same way elevated the status of those who did their job well. Here’s the secret of Tamiya. They did it from the start.

While during the years people complained and complained about wrong instructions from Dragon, Japanese company held their ground. Missing or wrongly placed elements in the new “contemporary” kits – again, Tamiya stood straight. Poor fit, bad plastic or absurd engineering? Yep, some of those kits have it. Tamiya doesn’t. All that somehow kept those abovementioned re-released toolings in time and obviously still makes them competitive. And as with everything, it is not just the beauty of it, nor the qualities, but its longevity. Every product is sooner or later judged by that virtue.

1/35 border ausf.f - dn models scale model masksSame subject, very good kit, but not quite pleasant as Tamiya’s

So maybe that is why those rather old kits are still popular. It is not because they are so full with elements, nor feature the tiniest details of all. But because Tamiya did them properly once and that lasted. And because Tamiya kept their prices affordable. Also because they somehow manage to get a grip of the sweetest way in model building – The silver line. Something that nobody has done to this very day. At least not like Tamiya. And we agree, that there are more modern Panzer IV toolings, which are with superb accuracy, all-in-one-box thing, modern engineering, etc. But the overall greatness of Tamiya as a company is what sells here.

And if you wonder why Tamiya re-released their old toolings, slightly re-touched…well, that is why. The foundation was laid properly and is here to stay.

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