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Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive (New Connection NC3574)

built by Werner Kampfhofer (1:35)


Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive (New Connection NC3574)
In 1944, Zahnradfabrik Augsburg equipped a normal Panzer IV H with a newly developed hydraulic steering system. The so called "Thoma" (non-liquid) oil drive transmission was installed and drive sprocket was replaced with the new one. The power train consisted of twin oil pumps driven by Maybach HL 120 TRM engine. In order to accommodate all the changes, entire engine deck and rear was modified. In mid 1944, this prototype was fitted with modified hydraulically operated turret.

Tests were carried on but were never concluded. At the end of the war, this vehicle was captured by the US Army and was sent to United States for further examination. This vehicle is still at Aberdeen U.S Army Proving Grounds in Maryland.

The kit

The New Connection conversion consists of a one piece rear, four driving gear housings and four drive wheels made of white metal and a few PE parts. I am not spoiled very much from the moulding quality of NC, but I was convinced that nothing could go wrong with a one piece casting. What an error! One side of the part is shifted 4mm to the right, the upper part suffers from a 3mm high hunch. The whole part is littered with an incredible number of tiny airbubbles. Such a piece should have never left the factory and go to sales! My customer decided to continue, as complaints to NC are very time consuming and he did not want to do it for this item. NC suggests to use Italeri's Panzer IV Ausf H, a choice I cannot agree upon. I would have chosen Tamiya's Panzer IV Ausf H, item MM209.
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I superglued the rear to the kit and filed of the hunch brutally. I filled up the holes with thinned Tamiya putty, a process which had to be repeated 2-3 times. The recess was sanded off with steel wool. I lot of filling and sanding is required where the resin part meets the kit parts. Italeri's Panzer IV shows two headlight, while the original had only one large Bosch headlight. I removed the sockets from the kit and added aluminium foil over this area. Prior to attachment the foil had been pressed against a photetched floorplate which was designed in the same pattern as the fenders of the Panzer IV.

The new headlight and socket cam from the spares box. The model was then detailed according photographs. NC's driving wheels lacked from missing or badly moulded rivets. I replaced them with plastic ones. According to NC instruction, the Italeri tracks should fit, as the track length of Panzer IV and Hydrostatic Panzer IV are identical ( according NC ! ). This theory does not withstand a practical try as the tracks do not fit. Also Tamiya's Panzer IV MM 209 tracks do not fit. Finally one pair of tracks from Tamiya's old Panzer IV series had the right fit.


I used Revell Airbrush email colours. I applied a black base, followed by different shades of yellow. After the decals had been added I applied a patina from dark brown oils. Raised parts were washed with dark brown/black oils. From those still wet oils I created streaks with a brush.

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I was waiting for such a conversion for a very long time but because of all shortcomings the NC conversion was a real disappointment! Normally nobody would built a kit from such trash, only return it. I plan to built such a conversion for my personal collection, but will examine the contents in advance. I only want to point out, that you should take care when ordering NC via internet and only order from such a company which would assist in case of a claim.

Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive (1:35)

  Model built by Werner Kampfhofer, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
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  Books / References:  
  Spielberger: The Panzerkampfwagen IV and variants
Tamiya News: Panzer IV
  meet the modeler      

Werner Kampfhofer

  Hi, I am Werner Kampfhofer, born 1963-03-05 in Vienna. I live there with my wife, my son and currently 3 dogs. My modelling career started at the age of nine and a plane from airfix. What began sporadically, turned into manic over the years (that's at least the opinion of my wife).

My main focus are AFV in 1/35, without a historical limit and I have no objections against kits from other branches. I always try to get out the best of me and thus modelling is not fun for me anymore, it is work, but a work I enjoy.
  Werner Kampfhofer  
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This page:  GALLERY: Panzer IV with hydrostatic drive (1:35)
was last modified on: Aug 31, 2004
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