Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Gotha G.IV




 Roden's 1/72 scale Gotha is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 011
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 149 grey plastic parts; 16 page instruction booklet; decal options for six aircraft
Price: USD$12.99 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Very well researched; accurate mouldings; realistic rib representation; thin trailing edges; attention to detail
Disadvantages: Decal sheet out of register; minor fit issues
Recommendation: Very Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




The German Army was keen to continue its attacks against England, but by late 1916, were disillusioned with the results obtained by the Zeppelin. A decision was made to continue the attacks using aircraft such as the Gotha G.IV and the later G.V.

Experience with the G.III showed that there was a substantial area below and to the rear of the aircraft that the existing lower gun position did not cover. Thus was born the famous “gun tunnel”. This consisted of the removal of almost the entire lower rear fuselage surface. The rear gunner now had a much greater field of fire, via the elongated hole, in which to defend the aircraft. To compensate for the weakened fuselage, plywood was used during construction to provide this area with the necessary strength.
Both upper and lower wings were given ailerons, which were connected to each other via a strut.

A total of 232 G.IV bombers were built using two licensed manufacturers. Gotha produced 52 aircraft, Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (LVG) 100 and the Siemens-Schuckert Werke (SSW) made 80 aircraft.




The contents of Roden's 1/72 scale Gotha G.Iv comes in their usual soft packaging, with all parts being trapped in a single plastic bag. There are 5 large (actually 7 “lettered”) sprues of light grey plastic as well as one of clear plastic. This amounts to 149 parts although some are used for other versions. A 16-page instruction book with comprehensive rigging guide and a decal sheet for 6 aircraft complete the contents.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The parts display excellent detail with only minor flash on the wings. All flying surfaces exhibit very thin trailing edges and despite the length of the wings, my example showed no warpage at all. There is a fabric texture represented but this is extremely subdued, so those not wanting this effect can easily sand it off or fill it in with paint. The ribs are subtle and therefore a credit to the pattern maker.

The fuselage suffers from the odd sink mark, and the necessary ejector pins on the interior will have to be cleaned up.

Moulding limitations mean that some of the smaller parts will no doubt be the subjects of after market photo etched part sets.





The first deviation from the G.III kit is naturally with the fuselage. For this kit, Roden supplies a G.V fuselage and asks the modeller to modify it back to G.IV standards. Obviously this is done to save tooling costs, as Roden plan to release a G.V in the future.

The modification is not a particularly difficult one. All that is needed is to remove the 4 metal strengthening strips from the fuselage and replace the G.Vs port side cockpit bulge. Although fiddly, this should not pose too many problems, as it’s a rectangular insert that is used.

The forward fuselage of the G.IV had a false bottom, which allowed the leading edge of the wing to line up with its lowest part. Roden correctly allow for this with a new part for the wing attachment as well as the lengthened bulkheads. As the instructions indicate, shortening of the wing mount is necessary as again, this part will also be for the G.V.

The Gotha “gun-tunnel” has been ingeniously designed as an insert that fits into the underneath of the fuselage. This will allow for a seamless opening from top to bottom. A dry fit indicates some careful trimming and filling will be required to blend it to the fuselage sides.

Thankfully Roden provide a full complement of vents on the engine nacelles. Modellers just sand off the ones that are not applicable to the aircraft they are reproducing. Not mentioned in the instruction sheet is that the inner faces of the nacelles were void of these vents, although the different style rudder for the LVG built aircraft is.

Naturally the kit contains the new lower wings that have ailerons, which were appropriate for the G.IV. The separate one-piece wing sections only allow for a butt join so re-enforcing via the “drill and pin” method would help keep things together.

Those wondering what parts G1 and G2 and the smaller diameter wheels were for in the earlier G.II/III kit are now enlightened. They provide for the SSW designed “Stossfahrgestell”, which translates as shock landing gear. This mounted under the forward fuselage to reduce the occurrence of “nose overs”. A very handy device for training aircraft!

A comprehensive, but daunting, rigging diagram is provided that will keep masochists happy for hours.




There are six schemes available from the decal sheet.

1. Gotha G.IV (fictional serial 401/16), Kagohl 3, May 1917.

Commander - Captain Ernst Brandenburg.

I was surprised at this choice of aircraft due to the aircraft’s serial not being known. Obviously the temptation to represent such a famous machine was irresistible to Roden! This aircraft was part of a group of 21 others that bombed British towns, and for which Brandenburg was awarded the Pour le Merite.

2. Gotha G.IV serial 410/16, Kagohl 3, April 1917

Commander – Obltn. von Seydlitz

The painting guide does not mention it, but the leading edge of the stripe is white. This was the personal marking of Obltn. von Seydlitz. Not supplied is the small “410” that was present on the wheel hub. The trestle/lift markings are not quite shown in the typical location for this machine. They should be positioned slightly more to the left.

This aircraft crashed on April 23 1917.

3. Gotha G.IV serial 604/16, Kagohl 3, May 1917

Although the instructions suggest the wheel halves to be pale blue and dark
green, it is more likely that they were white and dark green.

4. Gotha G.IV (LVG) serial 983/16, August 1917

5. Gotha G.IV (LVG) serial 991/16, November 1917

One of the most colourful aircraft, the name “MoRoTA” was made up from the names of the three crew members: Mo = Ltn Mons, Ro = Ltn Roland, TA = machine gunner

This aircraft came down short of the airfield and crashed into a farmhouse. The farmer, his wife, and the three crew members died.

6. Gotha G.IV (SSW) serial 232/17 (unconfirmed)





Roden’s 1/72 scale Gotha G.IV is an accurate, well produced, kit of a very significant WW1 bomber. With a colourful choice of markings, and cleanly moulded parts, the sheer size of this kit should not deter any first time bomber builder.

The amount of rigging will frighten some, but this should not be used as an excuse not to give it a go!

Very highly recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2001 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 05 October, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page