In the late 1930’, Germany’s confiscation of over 100 of Czechoslovakia’s LT38’s resulted in the Pz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf A, and set the course for this chassis to become of the Second World Wars’ most widely used tanks. In time, variants of it would be used for the Grille, Hetzers, flammpanzers, and of course, the Marder series of Tank Destroyers. This variant was the Panzer Befehlswagen 38 (t), or cammander's tank, fitted with radios and a false turret with a wooden fascimile of a gun. In reality the tank was only armed with a 7.92mm MG37.
Inside the end-opening box are 4 sprues of softish, light grey styrene, instruction sheet, decal sheet and small photo etch sheet. The rear of the box itself holds a full colour illustration as painting guide.
The instuction sheet is of the exploded line-drawing type, and looks reasonably clear, with Humbrol paint numbers being called out during construction. The photo etch sheet provides the supporting ribs for the fenders and a lovely little example of a toolbox! The painting guide provides markings for two options, 19th panzer Dv. eastern front 1941, and 20th Panzer Dv. 1943.
Three of the sprues are common to other vehicles in the UM range of vehicles based on the 38(t) chassis, with two new sprues for the turret and frame antennae specific to this version.
The detail is well moulded, sharp, and with very little flash present. There are a few injector pins, but most appear to be in places where they will not be seen on the finished model. The same points I made for their Marder III hold true for this version since the same sprues are used, i.e. although the hull builds from flat panels, locating these is a little hit and miss, and very careful dry fitting and testing will be required in order to get the best from the kit.
Having said that, the detail on the parts is very good indeed, with nothing looking out of scale, except perhaps the frame antennae being a little thick, but at this scale, that is to be expected.
Something I missed on the Marder III review is that UM provide a small amount of rivets on the Hull sprue which we are supposed to shave off the sprue, in order to use them on one of the panels. I defy anybody to do this without a microscope! I think the kit can be built leaving these rivets off, without hurting the final appearance too much!
Great little kit. Needs very careful assembly, but the basics are there, and at a very reasonable price.
My Thanks to Squadron for the review sample