German Medium Tank Pz. IV Ausf. L 9./B.W. development
OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. 72092
This recent OKB Grigorov offering deals with a Wehrmacht plan to introduce, at the very end of 1942, a new Krupp-designed Pz.Kpfw. IV hull with a sloped glacis. Beside a 50mm-thick sloped glacis, an 80mm-thick hull front, a 20mm-thick forward belly plate and the use of wider tracks would have greatly increased the weight of the vehicle. This weight issue the high demand for ‘standard’ Pz.Kpfw IVs, it was decided to cancel the introduction of this 9./B.W. new hull and consequently it never was put into production.
The kit contains 111 finely cast parts, plus 2 metal plates with 50 photoetched parts, and a turned-metal barrel. The quality is typical of this artisan with in particular a very nice and well detailed hull as seen here:
The trickiest part of the build will certainly be the bending of the (very neatly detailed) tracks around the drive sprockets and idlers.
The instruction sheet is quite clear and useful, in particular for the placement of the PE parts.
It should be pointed out that on the instruction sheet, 4 types of turrets are proposed by OKB Grigorov to be fitted onto the 9./B.W. hull; those are references 72075, 79, 91, 92, respectively the ones of the Kugelblitz, the late Pz.Kpfw. IV’s turret, the Krupp’s proposal modified Pz.Kpfw. IV’s turret (planed to be mounted on a Pz.Kpfw 38t chassis) and the Panther schmalturm. Only the latter is included in this kit, and it is of corse the small turret with the 7.5 cm KwK L/70 gun that should have been fitted to the Panther Ausf. F but that was also offered by Krupp, in November 1944, for the Pz.Kpfw. IV chassis. This was never carried out as it would have probably overloaded the Pz.Kpfw. IV chassis while the long barrel of the 7.5 cm KwK L/70 gun would have hindered movement of the tank. Nevertheless, OKB Grigorov’s turret is a pure beauty and is provided with a metal barrel as well as a clear resin cupola.
– Panzer Tracts N° 20-1 Paper Panzers. Panzerkampfwagen, Sturmgeschuetz, and Jagdpanzer. Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle. Panzer Tracts 2001;
– The Spielberger German armor & military vehicles series. Vol. IV : Panzer IV & its variants. Walter J. Spielberger 1993.
Review and pictures by Jean-Paul Oudinet.