by: Adie Roberts [ ]
The Panzerkampfwagen 35(t), commonly shortened to Panzer 35(t) or abbreviated as Pz.Kpfw. 35(t), was a Czechoslovak-designed light tank used mainly by Nazi Germany during World War II. The letter (t) stood for tschechisch (German: "Czech"). In Czechoslovak service, it had the formal designation Lehký tank vzor 35 (Light Tank Model 35), but was commonly referred to as the LT vz. 35 or LT-35.
A total of 434 were built; of these, the Germans seized 244 when they occupied Bohemia-Moravia in March 1939 and the Slovaks acquired 52 when they declared independence from Czechoslovakia at the same time. Others were exported to Bulgaria and Romania. In German service, it saw combat during the early years of World War II, notably the Invasion of Poland, the Battle of France and the invasion of the Soviet Union before being retired or sold off in 1942. It was used for the remainder of the war by other countries and as a training tank in Bulgaria into the 1950s. R-2, Designation used by Romania for LT vz.35 tanks supplied to the Romanian Army.
The box is a standard quite firm cardboard lower box with thin top with some nice art work on it.
11. Sandy coloured sprue's which are the main parts for the tank.
1. Clear sprue with glass and periscopes.
20. Light brown sprue's with track links.
1. Photo-Etch sheet.
1. Decal sheet.
1. Colour instruction booklet.
This kit of a Skoda LT v35, was certainly not one that I have come across before but as the Panzerkampfwagen 35T from the invasion of Poland and the battle of France it is fairly common. I have found several variants that both Bronco and CMK produced, they seem to be the only model companies that have done this Skoda LT v35 tank. First impressions are good when taking out of the poly bags for photographing, so time for a proper look at the tank.
The lower hull is full of detail which is both on the outside and on the inside with a nicely done escape hatch which I am not sure if you will be able to see it once built, however still nice to see that Bronco are putting such detail in their kits. The outside rivet detail is very good and gives you a distinct feel of age of the tank and the design from the mid 30's. There is some injector pin marks on the bottom of the inside of the hull some of which will be covered by some of the interior, as there is a large amount of interior for this little tank.
The detail is also high on the two sides of the tank and is also just like the bottom of the hull detailed inside and out. Also some very fine recessed panel lines where two large panels join one another on the outside of the side panels, the rivet detail is so good and is accurate to the real thing with twin lines of rivets on the joins. Drive wheel mounts on the sides look good and adds some extra detailing to the area.
The tanks suspension was inspired / copied from the British Vickers 6-ton with two bogeys, which has leaf spring suspension and sixteen road wheels on each side. An unusual feature was of a separate road wheel that acted as a track tensioner. All of this has been faithfully reproduced by Bronco and with some sublime detail with clear definition on the leaf spring suspension, some nice detail on the small road wheels. The drive and idle wheels are great in detail with rims that fit on the side of them.
The interior of the tank looks very nice with a full drivers compartment with all levers and controls these all look realistic, I found some old black and white photos and they look very similar to those provided by Bronco. There is some fantastically detailed radio equipment for the interior, however the parts to some of this interior equipment are very fine and will require sharp knife to remove from the sprue.
The engine is just a small part not a full engine but is still covered with detail and is very realistic looking; several ammo crates are stored inside the hull adding further detail including a first aid box. Such is the detail and thought put into this particular kit.
The main top of the hull is covered in detail with rivets and bolts, the plastic feels quite brittle and very thin which could be an issue with choice of glues used. In two parts you have the top for the turret, the inside of which is some great detail especially the fine teeth on the turret ring. Some more injector markings inside but these will not be seen once built. The second piece of the hull has the hatches for the access to the engine compartment which with some work the top hatch could be left open exposing the part of the engine that is included in the build.
The turret has two options one for the Skoda LT v35 and the other the R-2 there is not a whole lot of difference between them although both are full of the rivet detail, the same you find on the rest of the main body. The curves in the main turret are some of the best I have seen on such a small turret and although the plastic is very thin it feels much stronger than the top of the hull.
The housing of the machine gun on the front of the lower hull with all the riveting around the panels is a really nice touch, the machine gun is very well moulded with some exceptional detail although some of the parts for the gun are very small.
The main turret gun is a 37mm with a 7,92mm machine gun, the main gun is one of the best that I have ever seen for a kit of this size in a very long time. The intricate detailing of the end of the barrel is sublime with its hollow barrel, adding to the realism the muzzle break is just beautiful with the amount detail on it.
The turret is nearly full of interior though I could not find any pictures to verify this for accuracy. You can at this stage leave the commanders hatch open to see the commander’s seat, ammo and a couple of storage boxes. At this point you do have options for either the LT Vz35 or the R-2, the difference between these two turrets is very minimal.
Stowage on the tank includes spare wheels various tools including some spanners, shovel, a bar, pick axe, large jack all of these parts look well made if not a little fine on some parts. The photo-etch is a large and quite comprehensive sheet, there is like with their plastic loads of very small parts on the sheet and will require a very sharp knife.
Instructions and Decals
The instructions start with a brief bit of history on the tanks, although brief there is enough information for you to get to grips with the tank. They have a colour suggestion for the colours of the tanks using MR. Hobby, Mr Colour, Humbrol and Tamiya.
The instructions are colourful, clear and easy enough to follow without any issues they list everything that is needed including small boxes that show either a photo etch part or if there is a change for a different option. It is set out in twenty three pages broken down to fourteen for the build, in twenty nine different build instruction windows, seven pages of colour profiles for the eight tanks that you can build one of.
1 is for an R-2 412 1 Tank Regiment, 1, Royal Armoured division, Romania Army, Don Front Summer 1942.
2. R-2 1, Royal Tank Regiment, Romania Army, Bucharest, Oct 1941.
3. R-2 1, Royal Tank Regiment, Romania Army, Stalingrad, winter 1942-43.
4. R-2 114' Bucharest Romania Military Museum collection.
5. Skoda LZ Vt35, 8th Company, 1st Tank Regiment 1st Armoured Brigade, Bulgarian Army, Eastern Front, 1944.
6. Skoda LZ Vt35, 6th Company, 2nd Tank Regiment, 1st Armoured Brigade Bulgarian Army, Eastern Front, 1944.
7. Skoda LT Vz35, Slovakian Army, Eastern Front.
8. Skoda LT Vz35, Hungarian Army Unidentified Unit.
The decals are quite colourful and very clear the carrier film is noticeable but applied properly this will not be an issue
Bronco has really put a lot of thought into the manufacturing side of this kit and it really shows. The level of detail is very high in almost 90% of this kit and will please even the hardest of critics. Radio equipment that you would normally have to buy from the after-market providers are all included in this kit along with the tools and detail on the whole tank really is very high. However for all of this fantastic detail it does come at a price, some of the parts are very fine and small 1 to 2 mms. The plastic feels a little thin and fragile, add to that the fact that you will be using some of the smallest plastic I have ever seen you could say that maybe it is a bit over engineered! This is not going to be a five minute wonder build, it is going to take time and a considerable amount of patience, but the end results will be not just worth it but very pleasing to the eye.