UM is a Ukrainian company that is producing a series of early Soviet tanks and these Czech tanks pressed into use by Germany during WW2. The moldings are nice and crisp, and look similar in quality to the old Esci kits but more up to date. This review will sound similar to a review I did on the Sd.Kfz. 140/1 reconnaissance tank, kit number 349. This is because the 38(t) shares the basic hull and tracks sprues (Ax2, B) with that kit. A different sprue C/D is added as well as a different photo etched fret.
The kit consists of four sets of sprue molded in light gray plastic. All parts are shipped in a zip lock bag. Sprue A (2 included) has the length and link track, suspension arms, road wheels, return rollers, sprockets and idler wheels. The detailing is nice and superior to the Attack Hobby Kits 38(t) suspension.
Sprue B includes the hull, superstructure, fenders and most detail parts. The hull is a multi piece affair typical of eastern European kits. The lower tub is built up with five flat pieces. One is an interior bulkhead. The interior hull floor has a tread pattern and some internal ribbing with rivet detail. Other than that, there is no interior to speak of. Step number 3 shows a spot where 0.9mm of the forward edge of the hull sides needs to be trimmed. I recommend doing so prior to assembly of the lower hull pieces.
Sprue C and D are attached into a single sprue. This sprue includes the turret and upper hull plates. Turret assembly shows the main gun cemented in place. The design of the gun trunion leads one to believe that the gun may be left moveable. I will confirm this when I build the kit.
The photo etched fret is a nice touch. This small fret includes the perforated stowage box and fender braces. A kit this size does not need a large super set of expensive PE.
The instruction sheet is a four page document. Page one is a brief history of the vehicle, parts map, and instruction legend. The other three pages are the assembly guide with page two showing the Humbrol colors and page four showing the decal placement. There are markings for four different tanks included in the kit. Markings are for a vehicle used in Poland, another used in France, Russia and Hungary. The box art shows an all over panzer gray vehicle.
In conclusion, having built the Attack Hobby Kits Pz.Kpfw. 38(t), the UM kit is vastly superior. The detail is sharper; moldings are cleaner and the parts actually fit. Squadron.com carries the UM kit for the same price as the Attack 38(t), so the choice is obvious. This kit is highly recommended for the Braille scale modeler of moderate to expert experience. A novice may have difficulty handling the miniscule photo etched pieces.
The Unimodel (UM) Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf. C light tank is a Czechoslovakian design that was delivered to the Germans after they occupied the country. Germany realized the tank was superior to the Pz.Kpfw. I and II and put the tank to use. The tank is armed with a 37mm gun in a fully rotating turret. According to the Squadron Signal book, “Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) in action”, 110 Ausf. C models were built between May and August 1940.