The Panzer IV was the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the course of WWII. The final version in the Pz.Kpfw. IV family was the Ausf.J This particular variant commenced production in June 1944, and a total of approximately 3125 were eventually manufactured. The Ausf.J succeeded the Ausf.H, and rather than being an enhanced version of the Ausf.H, the final design was actually simplified in an attempt to ease and speed up construction. Thus, the electric turret drive was deleted and an extra fuel tank was fitted in its place. Other distinguishing features include the absence of Zimmerit.
Dragon has produced a Mid-Production variant of the Panzer IV Ausf.J in 1/35 scale. This plastic Smart Kit offers some special features of this period of Pz.Kpfw.IV production, including the use of solid steel Schurzen plates prior to Thoma-type wire-mesh side-skirts being introduced. For maximum modeler enjoyment, Dragon supplies these Schurzen plates as separate pieces made from metal, thus allowing complete realism.
The kit offers two different turret-top ventilation covers for greater versatility. Two newly tooled flame-suppressing exhaust mufflers are also supplied for the rear of the tank. The running gear continues to feature four return rollers, for these were only reduced to three at a later stage. Details on this kit are finely detailed, the product of widespread use of slide molds. To complete the model, 40cm Magic Tracks are supplied. Various photo-etched metal components are included, things such as engine ventilation grills, and mesh for the turret baskets. This kit offers modelers the convenience of producing a typical Mid-Production Ausf.J tank without having to resort to kit-bashing or extensive conversion.