Here we get a look at what Hobby Boss has done with the Panda model 1/16th Panzer Kampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. E/F and its well worth a look see.


During the early stages of World War 2 Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia paid great dividends with the capture of the CKD and Skoda factories. Initially it was LT vz 35 tanks that were rushed into German service with the LT vz 38 being a tank akin to the German Panzer III being the star. These tanks performed well for the German army during the war with the hulls later being used for roles such as tank destroyers and gun emplacements when they had been superseded by German tank designs and which this kit from Hobby Boss in 1/16th could be modified and released later.


This offering from Hobby Boss is packed in a large and robust cardboard tray with separate cardboard lid; inside is a divided off section for protecting parts Hobby Boss feel need extra protection. The sprues are individually packed in plastic bags except where duplicate sprues are provided. An examination of the sprues causes me only one concern at this stage which is the size of the gates between mouldings and sprues in some cases. I will say at this stage of the review that this release is the original Panda Model offering with Hobby Boss giving it a pretty complete interior from what I can see.

I have compared the interior to the photographs provided in (Praga LT vz. 38 Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) authored by Vladimir Francev, Charles K. Kliment ISBN 80-86524-01-9). These images show a tunnel over the drive shaft from engine to transmission; that feature is not replicated in the model but the images do not show and Ausf. E/F version and so could be particular to an earlier variant or a later addition. The viewing slits are also missing the padded element; something easily added. The turret interior of the Ausf. E/F I drew a blank on and so I cannot comment on accuracy overall of this area. The engine and cooling aspects of the vehicle do look to generally match images in the title above. The modeller who really wants to go to town will need to add cables and fuel lines to really add that wow factor. I cannot see any ammunition storage for the machine guns and so will need to be addressed.

Moving to the exterior and I actually started counting rivets and checking patterns as from the outside it is the rivets on the panel in front of the driver and radio operator and those on the turret rear plus the sides of the gun mount that pick this vehicle out as an Ausf. E/F. Having spent a few hours looking these details over I am 99% sure that the exterior is accurate and very well represented. The main gun has a nicely detailed breach as are the rear sections of both machine guns. The periscopes are moulded in clear plastic which is something I am pleased to see. The access hatches for both the crew and the engine can be modelled open or closed; which is a nice touch in this release. The tools are provided clean and there is photo etched clamp detail provided. There are a couple of photo etched frets as can be seen in the pictures and take note that not many of the items are small in size; another plus.

Moving to the traction for the vehicle and you are provided with accurate and in theory workable suspension units; I myself would set these as desired rather than moveable which usually results in breakages. The only issue I have seen is that the leaf springs will need to be carefully cleaned of their seam marks. All of the wheel elements also appear accurate to me and are again moveable, but I again would set them in place to avoid damage. The track links are individually moulded and also workable. These are pinned from both sides with sided pins; I would have preferred full length pins but these will do the job. I again would glue them once the function is no longer needed due to the risk of breaking the track pins. I do accept that you may wish to display this in more than one way and so the function of all elements is there if needed.

This release has six finishing options which are:

25th Panzer Regiment, 7th Panzer Division, Russia 1942

204th Panzer Regiment, 22nd Panzer Division, Crimea 1941-42

204th Panzer Regiment, 22nd Panzer Division, Crimea 1942

204th Panzer Regiment, 22nd Panzer Division, Crimea 1942

19th Panzer Division, Russia 1942

10th Panzer Regiment, 8th Panzer Division, Russia 1941


I will start by suggesting you try to find a copy of Praga LT vz. 38 Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) authored by Vladimir Francev, Charles K. Kliment ISBN 80-86524-01-9; it is out of print but it’s a great reference for this build. The model is pretty damn good in all respects; certainly from an accuracy standpoint from my observations. The modeller does need to add finer details such as cables which are not exactly new. I also like that Hobby Boss has provided finishing options that are identified. This kit is well worth adding to the collection of the big tank fan.



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