Here we take a look at the PLA 59-2 Medium Tank from Hobby Boss in 1/35th scale.


The type 59 tank is in essence a type 54 Soviet tank both inside and out, with some simplification having taken place. This being the type 2 version of the type 59, it is the last production variant, differing due to the fitting of the OTAN L7 gun obtained via Austria and produced in China as the 105mm type 81 rifle gun. This information was obtained from the


This offering arrives in a sturdy cardboard box, with a separate section to offer further protection for some elements, a cardboard lid showing the artwork completes the presentation. The sprues are individually bagged except where they are duplicated, with the only moulding issue I have seen being some large ejector pin marks which are at least shallow, that should be tackled on the underside of the track guards. Sprue gates are of a pleasing size and limited in number in most cases. The only part that I am not in favour off is that some of the sprue gates are mounted to the mating face of parts, meaning that clean up needs to be perfect or gaps will be the result. 

The lower hull of this release has very good moulded on detail, that is accurate from what I have observed. The suspension unit are not workable and I do not believe can be realistically be made workable. The drive idler and road wheels have very good new detail to them, and in the case of the road wheels weathering should be applied to show the detail on the tyre and portions of the rubber breaking out, as these two events occur rapidly when a wheel is fitted to a tank. The tracks themselves are individual links, with good detail moulded in place. Unfortunately four connection points need to be cleaned up. There are ejector pin marks in two locations on the track face, but these are very light will not easily be seen with the naked eye, and once the tracks are weathered should not be seen at all. 

The upper hull of the model is a multi part affair, with the front upper glacis and turret ring portion being one, with the engine deck being a separate piece. The driver’s hatch can be assembled open or closed and the periscope for the driver has been provided in clear plastic. The engine deck is provided with photo etch grille covers, and from what I can see is accurately replicated. The track guards are added to the model after the tracks are fitted, and this will make the addition of the tracks that much easier. I would also consider not adding the track guards until you have got your detail painting done, at least in the case of the upper run of the tracks. The ribs at the front of the underside of the track guards are provided in photo etched pieces, and I remember of old that it was one of the facets that I did not enjoy tackling. The track mounted fuel tanks have good detail moulded on them, with easily seen portions of the fuel lines moulded in place, but the detail from the tanks specifically is not present. Brass wire is provided for the tow cables, with separate moulded eyes, and while I am pleased to see Hobby Boss provide cables, I myself would use alternate materials. The rear mounted fuel tanks are not something I have seen used often and I myself would leave them off as I quite like the wooden log used for getting the tank out of sticky situations.

The turret of the model in the case of the upper portion has been moulded as a single piece, and has a pleasing, very fine cast texture were required which I feel is pretty much spot on. The area of the turret where the two hatches mount have unfortunately been textured and everything is telling me that these should be smooth, as they were rolled armoured plate - if you know differently please correct me. The DG machine gun is made up of several pieces and so has a good level of detail in it. It has unfortunately not been slide moulded. The details on the turret are largely represented using photo etched parts, which while offering a more accurate scale to this small items it will make some modellers less that happy as I can see people searching for pieces that have pinged off into the stratosphere. Moving to the main gun, you have been provided with the option of a bare mantlet or a canvas covered one. The canvas cover is more regularly seen, but for reason known only to the modelling gods this plastic part is a different colour to the rest of the model. The main barrel itself has been moulded in two halves which is disappointing to see, with a hollow muzzle provided with a separate part at that end. Hobby Boss has provided two finishing options for this model, but has again provided no details on what the finishing options represent.


For the most part I like what Hobby Boss has done with this release, with the exception of the barrel being moulded in two halves, and the area of the turret that I feel should be smooth not being so. The Ejector pin marks on the track links I can forgive as I very much doubt that most people will ever see them. The moulding quality is by and large very good, with my only concern being the ejector pin marks under the track guards. I am also going to have a little dig at Hobby Boss for not providing any detail on what the finishing options represented, especially when it comes to a Chinese medium tank. Lastly, always leave on a high, and I approve of the clear plastic parts for the periscopes and where else required.



You may also like