As the three sets are basically the same apart from the muzzle brake variations we will look at all three together as the assembly is also the same for all three barrels.
The three options are set #B48-008 with the final model muzzle brake for the Ausf.J late, set #B48-009 with the late model muzzle brake for the Ausf.H late to Ausf.J early and set #B48-010 with the mid model muzzle brake for the Ausf.G late to Ausf.H although it is quite possible some variations of muzzle brake could be found on the different vehicles.
Each set consists of an aluminium barrel hollowed out at the muzzle but without rifling, four brass parts for the muzzle brake and eight very small etched parts for the inner flanges and fittings.
Assembly is similar to the 1:35 barrels although there is no treading on the barrel but the small brass collar fitted to the end of the barrel followed by the etched O ring fitting perfectly as does the rear section of the muzzle brake added next.
The inner muzzle brake flange has two small etched rings added again like the 1:35 muzzle brakes but unfortunately these did not fit over the raised lip on the flange and I had to carefully file out the inner diameter a little which was quite tricky with such a small part. For this reason I only added one etched ring instead of the two as indicated and the flange is then fitted inside the front muzzle brake section.
The outer muzzle brake section fits very well inside the rear section but there was some minor brass residue on the inside lip which didn’t allow the two halves to sit evenly and this has to be trimmed to get a perfect fit.
The assembled barrel/muzzle brake sees the armorscale muzzle brake noticeably larger than the Tamiya item and on scaling down the Panzer Tracks 1:35 plans it shows the armorscale muzzle brake to be the correct size and the Tamiya part slightly undersized.
To fit the assembled barrel to the Tamiya kit will need a little surgery on the kit barrel which has a long neck that goes through the gun housing/mantlet to fit into the inner trunnion holding the whole assembly together.
It is best to cut off the kit barrel at the point where the inner bevelling begins and then attach the armorscale barrel to the rear section of the Tamiya barrel, there is a very small pin left on the back of the metal barrel from the machining process and this will help centre and attach the metal and plastic barrel parts together.
This assembly is then slipped through the kit gun housing/mantlet as per the kit instructions to complete the assembly.
These three barrels are extremely finely crafted for 1:48 scale and despite a bit of adventure during assembly will add considerable detail to the Tamiya Panzer IV with sets B48-008 and 009 being more applicable to the Ausf.J.
Thanks to Robert from armorscale for the review set.
Page created May 15, 2006