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ICM Mobile Brigade West – Schnelle Brigade West 1943 (DS3517) 1:35Mobile Brigade West – Schnelle Brigade West 1943 (DS3517) 1:34 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd Schnelle Brigade West was formed in France during the Spring of 1943 as a fast response unit to Allied advances, being highly mechanised and capable of rapid relocation when the need arose. German industry was struggling to keep up with demand from their forces at that point, and this necessitated the pressing into service of captured vehicles, as well as captured vehicles that had been adapted to better suit their needs, which included many of the new Marders that were based on French tanks of differing types, some of which were designed by their industrious and inventive commanding officer Major Becker. It also included the quirky-looking Laffly V15T, which had been captured or surrendered after the armistice and been pressed into German service. Despite their relatively light armour and armament, they were available in sufficient numbers to be of use, and the Brigade was soon used to reform the 21st Panzer Division after the original Division surrendered in Africa. This set depicts some of the vehicles that constituted this relatively short-lived unit, at least by that name, with three kits included in the large top-opening box with the usual captive lid on the lower tray. The three instruction booklets have been slipped inside a cardboard folder, and the small decal sheets can still be found within the front pages of each one. Each kit is separately bagged with an orange sticker having the kit number printed on it. Each decal sheet has an option for the Mobile Brigade West, but also has two alternatives if you just wanted the kit for the contents rather than the headline option. 10.5cm leFH 16(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen FCM36(f) The Geschutzwagen (gun vehicle) series of Self-Propelled Howitzers were originally created to fill a need for mobile artillery that could be self-sufficient and yet work in unison with troops and tanks at the high speed of Blitzkrieg, similar to the Marder, but with indirect fire from behind the lines their stock-in-trade. The concept was to mount a large diameter howitzer on a captured tank chassis that had been stripped of its superstructure and given an extended splinter shield around the gun and its crew, whilst leaving the roof open to the elements. Like the early Marders, they were built on captured French tank chassis, such as the obsolete FCM 36, with a large shield that extended almost the whole length of the vehicle, housing a WWI era 105mm leFH 16(Sf) howitzer, which was of 1916 vintage. Incidentally, FCM stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. Only a very few of these vehicles were made due to the relatively small number of FCM36 chassis that were originally captured, and some say that as few as eight were built, although there are numbers as high as 12 mentioned elsewhere. Either way, there weren’t many. They saw service in Europe during the relatively inactive period after their conquest of France and before D-Day, and by 1944 there weren’t any on charge according to records, which up until that point were pretty reliable. The tank was only lightly armoured to protect their crews from shrapnel, shell splinters or small arms fire from all-round, which is somewhat better than a standard artillery piece would afford its crew, although the open roof would make a tempting target for grenades or demolition packs in close combat. However, they weren’t meant to be near the front line under normal circumstances, so it mattered less than it did with direct fire vehicles such as Marders. It would however have been uncomfortable for the crew in bad weather necessitating a temporary tarpaulin roof to keep the precipitation out, but very little of the cold. This is another re-tool of ICM’s previous FCM 36 kit, adding the relevant parts for the conversion undertaken by Baustokommando Becker at the time. Inside the resealable bag are seven sprues in grey styrene, two flexible black sprues of track links, a decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the back pages for painting and markings. The original FCM 36 kit was only released in 2020, so it’s a modern tooling with plenty of detail and this boxing includes the majority of the interior due to the open roof. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides that are cut back slightly to accommodate the different upper hull, as shown in an accompanying diagram, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on adjustable tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding apertures on each side, idler adjustment mechanisms and some towing eyes on the back plate. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than having the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is a new part that was also seen on the recent Marder I kit, and has an opening at the front where the turret would have been, and has the two fender sides fitted to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull, hiding most of the upper track run. At the rear a large louvred panel and fixtures on the final-drive access hatches are glued on first, with the two shrouded exhausts and their mufflers slotted into grooves to their side, and a shallow C-shaped manifold joining them at the top. Pioneer tools and towing eyes are fitted later, because the gun must be made up first, after adding a driver’s panel and vision slit it fixed into the top of the glacis plate. The WWI era 10.5cm leFH 16(Sf) gun, is begun by making up the combined cradle and breech, then adding the cradle trunnions and elevation mechanism on both sides, after which the floor is made up with the underfloor ammo storage depicted by gluing the 36 striking plate charge sections of the two-part ammunition into the box-sections in the forward floor. It is mated to the hull on a substantial C-shaped plinth with a locking washer, covering up the former turret aperture, then adding aim adjustment wheels before the gun’s splinter shield is begun by adding the two faceted side panels and the cheek parts, the former having been fitted out with shell racks, radio boxes and machine gun ammo canisters. The forward splinter shield that moves with the gun barrel is added outside the main shield, preventing stray rounds or shrapnel from entering the cab or damaging the gun slide, the latter part comprising two sides with angled front to deflect frontal shots. A louvred panel is fixed into depressions on each of the side walls, and the back panel with moulded-in access hatch are glued onto the rear of the crew compartment, then two sets of 21 x 105mm shells and a few more separate charges with striker plates are placed next to them. At this stage the pioneer tools can be attached to the exterior compartment walls at the rear of the vehicle, with light cluster, spare track links and barrel cleaning rods at the front, plus an antenna perched atop the side wall to the rear, and a self-defence MG34 machine gun on the front, then you can put on the two-part muzzle brake that gives the impression of a hollow barrel. Markings There are three markings options on the small decal sheet, with variation between them and some interesting camouflage schemes, all of which saw service in 1943. From the box you can build one of the following: Mobile Brigade West, 1943 931st Assault Gun Division, France, 1943 Training Camp of Mobile Brigade West, Summer 1943 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Marder I on FCM 36 Base The Marder series of Tank Destroyers were originally created to fill a need for mobile artillery that could be self-sufficient and yet work in unison with troops and tanks at the high speed of Blitzkrieg. The concept was to mount a PaK40 or captured Soviet 76 mm F-22 Model 1936 divisional field gun on a captured tank chassis that had been stripped of its superstructure and given an extended splinter shield around the gun and its crew, whilst leaving the roof open to the elements. Many of the initial Marder Is were built on French Lorraine or Czech 38(t) chassis, but a small number were constructed on the obsolete FCM 36, with a large shield that extended almost the whole length of the vehicle. FCM stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. They saw use on the Eastern Front initially, then also in the West after D-Day. Although they were intended to be mobile artillery that was capable of destroying most tanks at a respectable range, they were only lightly armoured to protect their crews from shrapnel, shell splinters or light arms fire from all-round, which is somewhat better than a standard artillery piece would afford its crew, although the open roof would make a tempting target for grenades or demolition packs in close combat. It would have been uncomfortable for the crew in bad weather too, necessitating a temporary tarpaulin roof to keep the precipitation out, but very little of the cold or blowing snow. This is a substantial re-tool of ICM’s previous FCM 36 kits, adding the specialised parts for the conversion designed again by Baustokommando Becker. Inside the bag are seven sprues in grey styrene, two flexible black sprues of track links, a decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the back pages for painting and markings. The original FCM 36 kit was only released in 2020, so it’s a modern tooling with plenty of detail and this boxing includes the majority of the interior due to the open roof. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on sliding tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding apertures on each side. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than give the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is a new part, and has an opening at the front where the turret would have been, and has the two fender sides fitted to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull, hiding most of the upper track run. At the rear a large louvred panel and fixtures on the final-drive access hatches are glued on first, with the two exhausts and their mufflers slotted into grooves to their side, and a C-shaped manifold joining them at the top. Pioneer tools and towing eyes are the final parts for now, because the gun must be made up first. The PaK40 is begun by making up the cradle and inserting the breech, then the one-piece gun tube and part of the elevation mechanism. The cradle trunnions are held in place by the side frames, which are fixed to the arrow-shaped floor. More of the elevation mechanism is added, then the floor is mated to the hull, covering up the turret aperture, then having armoured supports slipped under the overhang. The gun’s double-layer splinter shield is slid over the barrel and glued to the gun, then the two faceted side panels are fitted out with shell racks, then attached to the side of the vehicle, to be joined by the rear wall after adding some stowage boxes inside and a pair of louvred panels to the sides. Twenty-eight shells are supplied on the sprues to be slotted into the holes in the racks nose down, then some spare tracks are fixed to the sides, and the self-defence MG34 machine gun is fitted to the front shield on a short pintle-mount. An outer splinter shield slides over the gun, and then you can put on the two-part muzzle brake, which gives the impression of a hollow barrel. Markings There are three markings options on the decal sheet, with a nice variation between them, all of which saw action (or training exercises) in 1943. From the box you can build one of the following: 931st Assault Gun Division, 2nd Battery, France, 1943 Training camp of the Mobile Brigade “West”, summer 1943 Mobile Brigade “West” 2nd Battery, Manoeuvres, Spring 1943 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Unusually for a model review, we’re going to talk about actual paint. That’s because ICM have launching their own range of paints, the first release a set of 6 pots for this particular model, the rest of the range totalling 77 in all. Here is a link to the paint set in case you’d like to avail yourself of it. Laffly (f) Typ V15T The Laffly V15T was a particularly niche entry into the French Artillery Tractor roster, with only 100 being made before production ceased at Laffly to be taken over by another company. The type saw limited service in the French army pulling the outmoded 25mm anti-tank guns, and after capitulation, in service with the Wehrmacht as transport or radio wagons, where they bore the suffix (f) to denote their French origin. The unusual aspect of this vehicle was the four apparently ‘vestigial’ wheels on axles spurring off the chassis rails that were intended to increase the off-road abilities of the type. When viewed from the side however, the small balloon-wheels appear to be above the level of the main axles, so whether this actually worked anywhere but in the deepest ruts is a mystery. We don’t see them on modern vehicles, so I’m guessing they were more trouble than they were worth. This is a reboxing of a brand-new tool from ICM, and I was not wrong when I imagined we’d be seeing a few more boxings, and that’s no bad thing. It’s typical of modern ICM in that it is well-stocked with detail, and there are seven sprues of grey styrene inside, plus a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, a small decal sheet and the glossy-covered instruction booklet with spot colour and colour profiles to the rear. It’s a full interior kit including engine, chassis and crew compartment, so there are plenty of parts to get your glue on. Construction begins with the chassis, with an option to remove the rounded rear-end where the towing hitch attaches, which is cut off easily with a scalpel or razor saw using the red outlined section on the drawings as a guide. A number of cross-braces are added, and a jig is placed under the inverted chassis onto which the rear suspension arms are laid, so that they set up at the correct angle, taking care not to glue the arms to the jig. If you have left the rear section on the chassis, the towing eye and other parts are glued in place, then the various leaf springs, ancillary axles and other suspension/steering parts are attached to the sides, with a sizeable transfer box and twin drive-shafts placed in the centre facing aft. The front axles are made up and glued in place with twin springs above them on the chassis, two more drive-shafts pointing forward, and more suspension/steering parts for the small wheels. The little balloon tyres are each made from two halves each, and four are created to affix to the small axles that project from the chassis rails, the front one of which has some limited steering capability. The 4-cylinder 2.3L petrol engine is next to be built, beginning with the two-part block and adding the sump, timing pulleys, transmission, exhaust manifold and finely-moulded cooling fan, plus other ancillaries that should result in a highly detailed rendition that just needs some HT-wires and sympathetic painting to complete. It is laid into the centre-front of the chassis along with the airbox and intake hosing, then is bracketed by a pair of tapered inserts that fill the gap between the block and the chassis rails. The main cab is based on the shaped floorpan, with sides, aft bulkhead and some internal structures added along the way, which later form ammunition storage bunkers around the sides of the rear portion. The front crew have a seat each with separate backs, and there is another optional wider seat in the middle of the rear compartment, which installs over a moulded clamshell door with pull-handles. A set of driver controls are added to the left front of the body, then a firewall with pedals, a breadbin-like compartment and other small parts is fixed to the front of the body, with a steering column and wheel added after the bodyshell is fixed to the chassis. The dashboard with dial decal is added over the wheel, and the area is covered over with a curved scuttle panel. In the rear compartment, the tops to the stowage boxes are fitted, and these have the individual sections and their handles moulded-in. Returning to the engine compartment, the steering column is extended into the lower chassis and a horn is fixed to the trim panels, then the three-part radiator is assembled and glued to the front of the vehicle, defining the engine bay. A loop of hosing joins the radiator to the engine, and the cowling panels are closed over the compartment, although you have the option to leave them open if you wish. Some small parts are added to the lower edges of the cowlings, which has crisply detailed louvers moulded-in. A pair of curved front wings are glued to the lower body over the wheels, and each of the four main wheels have a brake drum part added to the end of each axle, after which the wheels themselves are made from two hub halves that mate inside the hollow tyres and glue to the axles, allowing the vehicle to stand on its own wheels. At the rear, an axe and shovel are fixed to the bulkhead with a stop sign and the towing hook, a folded tilt is added to the rear, and the windscreen is made up from a frame and two individual clear panes. A trio of rolled-up canvas anti-splatter covers are pinned to the fronts of the door apertures and the two headlights have their clear lenses glued on before they are put in place on their mounts next to the tiny wheels at the front. The final parts are a front number plate board and an optional square unit plaque on the left front wing. Markings There are three varied markings options provided on the decal sheet, one more than the original boxing, and they’re painted in differing shades, depending on where they were based and the prevailing colours at the time. From the box you can build one of the following: Unknown Unit, 1941 931st Assault Gun Division, France, Mobile Brigade (West), 1943 Mobile Brigade (West) France, 1943 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of dials, number plates and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and good solid colours. Until the first boxing of this kit arrived, I had no clue that the type existed, and it’s a curious-looking beast that’s endearing for its unusual shape and design. Detail is excellent, and if you didn’t fancy the options on the sheet of the original kit, these alternative schemes are a lot more interesting, and you have to love those weird vestigial wheels. Conclusion These boxed sets from ICM represent excellent value for money to the discerning modeller, and we’ve been blessed with an interesting range of kits included in their various offerings. This one is no different and will look grand either on a shelf or in a diorama. What’s more, the three kits arrive in a box barely larger than that of a single kit, so it’s good for the apparent stash size. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
Tamiya Marder 1
4509davidb posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - ArmourHi All, Here's the Tamiya Marder 1 which was based on a captured Lorraine artillery tractor. Fantastic kit making for a very enjoyable build Used the hairspray technique sparingly as I always usually destroy the white coat. Figure painting the ongoing issue. C&C welcome Thanks David
German Pz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf E/F - 1:16 Panda Hobby
Mike posted a topic in AftermarketPz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf E/F 1:16 Panda Hobby The Panzer 38 started life as an inter-war Czech designed medium tank that was co-opted into service by the Nazi war machine when Czechoslovakia was annexed prior to WWII. It's age is exhibited by the comparatively light main armament and the riveted and bolted construction of the armour plates. Additional armour was deemed necessary in German service, which was achieved by the addition of extra plates to the existing armour, rather than replacing the panels, and these were designated as E through to G. Although it was already a fairly old design by the outbreak of WWII in Europe, manufacture continued until 1942, when the realisation that it could not take on the Russian tank of the day, the T-34 dawned upon the designers. Its chassis carried on however, and was used as a Flakpanzer, the well liked (by its crew) Hetzer and the Marder III. Crews said of the drivetrain that it was well-designed for use as well as maintenance, which resulted in a low breakdown rate, with easy repairs when it did fail. Its main use was on the Eastern Front, but it was pulled out of frontline use due to its light armour, and although it continued as a reconnaissance tank, that was the remaining chassis from the 1,400 that has been built were re-tasked in earnest. The Marder III was an attempt to break through the armour of the T-34 with captured 76.2mm Russian guns mounted in open turrets, and this in turn led to the more successful Hezter. The diminutive Hetzer (officially designated Jagdpanzer 38(t)) had a wider chassis and heavier armour in a turretless design, turning it into an effective tank destroyer that became increasingly common right up to the end of the war, with almost 3,000 built. The Kit This is the first kit in Panda's new "Huge Monster Series", as evidenced by the 16001 catalogue number on the end of the box. Even though it is a relatively small tank, the dimensions on the front of the box show a length of 288mm, width of 133mm and height of 144mm, which is handy to know if you're not familiar with the scale. The box is around the same size and proportions as an Airfix Valiant box, just to give you an idea of how it'd fit in your stash - it's a top opening box that is pleasingly heavy, and inside you will find rather a lot of styrene in individual bags. There are eleven sprues in dark grey styrene, seventeen ladder sprues in mid-brown styrene containing the track links, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a turned aluminium barrel for the main armament, and a sheet of decals for the tank's markings. The instruction booklet is in the form of a narrow A4 and runs to eight pages packed with construction sequences. The painting and marking sheet is A3 and printed in full colour on glossy paper, with a side-profile printed on the rear that could be framed and hung on the wall after use if you're careful with it, and so minded. First impressions are good, and after you stop looking for the hull and realise it is supplied in slab-sections, it is obvious that a lot of detail has been crammed into the parts, including a basic turret interior and full breech. It is also clear that the kit has been made with absolutely no regard for motorisation, which I'm sure will disappoint a few folks, but most will be happy with a static model of this lesser known, but important tank. Slide-moulding has been used where sensible, a turned metal barrel improves the look of the gun immensely, and the individual track links with separate pins have been well done, and have only seams and sprue links to clean up - not an ejector pin in sight. Of course, instruction starts with the drivetrain, and detail here is good. The drive sprockets are made up from two sprocket parts with two hub components coupled to the final drive, and the idler is similarly doubled up to trap the guide-horns, with a track-tensioner axle attached at the rear. The roadwheels are built up in pairs on their suspension arms, which have traditional leaf-springs between the axles. The wheels are separate from the tyres, which will please a lot of folks, and again, the two-part hubs are present. The return-rollers are built from two parts attached to a small stub-axle, and these are then attached to the hull. The hull itself is built up from a base with rolled front section, two side panels, front glacis plate with a large hatch in it, and the rear bulkhead, of which you have a choice of two for E or F models. Once that has set up, the running gear is added using locating pegs & holes in the sides of the hull, along with a bump-stop for the front suspension pair and two return-rollers per side. The fenders are one-piece per side, and run from stem to stern, with folded PE brackets providing extra strength on the real thing. The upper glacis panel is built up from the two layers of armour, and the ball of the bow-mounted MG is trapped between them, with a simple breech added to a socket on the rear of the ball. The muzzle of the 7.92mm ZB-53 gun is hollow thanks to some handy slide-moulding, but its part number is wrong. The vision blocks are shown in the open position, and have small hinges, stays and latches added during construction to finish them off. The upper hull with the turret ring is added next, and here Panda have taken the trouble of putting a highly detailed set of teeth around the aperture, although it will seldom be seen unless you model the tank as knocked-out. The fenders are festooned with pioneer tools, which are very well detailed with more realistic tie-downs when compared to the usual shapeless blocks you see on smaller scale armour. For some reason these steps are repeated in steps 13 and 14, so can be ignored. As mentioned earlier, the barrel of the gun is turned from aluminium and has a hollow barrel for realism. This is clamped between the breech parts, which are built up into a good representation of the 37mm kwK 38(t) L/47.8 cannon, the German version of the original Skoda A7 unit. The coaxial machine gun is also present in another ball-mount, this time trapped behind an internal bezel within the mantlet. This also has a breech identical to the bow-mounted one. Unlike the bow-mounted MG though, the turret coax doesn't have a hollow barrel, but could be quickly drilled out for extra realism if you wished - why they gave us only one hollow barrel is a mystery. The turret has a high cupola for the commander, which has a quartet of clear vision blocks mounted in armoured blocks every 90o around the hatch. This is added to the roof of the slide-moulded turret part, which lines up with the four sections of the inner hatch wall moulded into the turret. Additional sighting is achieved by a periscope that sits just forward of the commander's cupola on the port side. The underside of the turret with its cut-out is glued inside the turret shell, and a pair of jump-seats are added on tubular brackets for the gunner and commander. The aft deck is fairly empty, save for one grille that has a PE mesh panel installed over it to stop debris and grenades from finding their way inside. The exhaust is on the rear bulkhead, and is cylindrical with input and exhaust tubes on either end. Attached to that is a shroud for the input pipe, and on the rear of the cylindrical section is a box that is intended for smoke candles, set on a bracket. Additional track links are added to the fenders, and here the repeated construction steps start to take their toll. Clearly there were other steps that have been missed out during production of the booklet, as there is a large sloped sided box on the starboard fender behind the jack-block, and yet it is not mentioned in the instructions until it magically appears on the back page. It's a shame, as it's a nicely done perforated piece, which has benefited from some slide-moulding to make it in one piece. The jack fits across the top of it in a pair of recessed, and this is also ignored in the instructions. A length of spare track also appears on the underside of the bow, with no word of how it is affixed, although I have a hunch that part E50 has a hand in it. Oops! I'm sure that this will be corrected now it's known, but in the meantime, a little guesswork will be required, and some reference to reference photos to see how it goes together. Oddly for a tank, the tracks are not covered until the very last step, almost as an afterthought. In a scrap diagram the links are shown being glued together, and you are told that you need 186 of them, which I assume will mean 93 per side. The track pins that are provided in large quantities on the side of each track sprue aren't mentioned however, but most tracks seem to be assembled with an open or closed pin, which are both supplied, six of each on each sprue. You'll need to check your references to see which one goes where, so take care when assembling them. The last act is to add the turret and some small PE parts to the upper hull, and place the communications aerial on the bow plate on its bracket that attaches to the port corner. Markings Decals forfour options are supplied in the box on a medium sized sheet that has been printed in China. Printing is nicely done, with minimal carrier film between the numerals, although there is a slight registration error between the black and white colours, so you'll need to trim the ends of some of the balkenkreuz (German crosses). From the box you can build one of the following machines: "525" Pz. Regiment 25 of the 7th Pz. Division, Russia 1942 - overall Panzer Grey "833" Pz. Regiment 204 of the 22nd Pz. Division, Crimea 1941-2 - overall Panzer Grey "522" Pz. Regiment 204 of the 22nd Pz. Division, Crimea 1941-2 - overall Panzer Grey "1003" Pz. Regiment 25 of the 7th Pz. Division, Russia winter 1941-2 - overall Panzer Grey with a worn white distemper overcoat Conclusion As someone that has recently been introduced to the world of 1:16 armour, I'm very pleased to see this kit, and it bodes well for the next and subsequent kits in this scale from Panda. Detail is excellent, just as you would hope with the increase in scale, and even the most hardened adherent to rubber-band tracks will be able to deal with these nice big links, although having to research where the pins go is a minor pain. Of larger concern is the mistake in the instructions, as less experienced modellers might struggle to figure out where the unmentioned parts go, and may not even realise that they are missed, resulting in an incomplete tank. Hopefully Panda will come out with a downloadable addendum for those that have the incorrect instructions, but it's a mistake that could have easily been averting by proofing or even a test build following the instructions. Somewhere along the line, the copy & paste machine took a wrong turn. Don't let that put you off the kit though - it's well done and highly detailed. We shall have to wait for the P38(t) experts to pick over the fine details to hear more about the accuracy of the shape when built, and to find out whether there are any smaller details that need working on, as is so often the case with any older, and even some of the newer tank designs where production was in a constant state of change from month to month. If you've not tried 1:16 armour before, this would make a great introduction, as the finished product is relatively compact, and the detail is that of a model kit, rather than a well-detailed toy. It deserves to do well. Highly recommended. Welsh Dragon Models are hoping to have amongst the first stocks in the UK soon. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops