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World of Tanks Leichttraktor Rheinmetall 1930 (03506) 1:35


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World of Tanks Leichttraktor Rheinmetall 1930 (03506)

1:35 Carrera Revell

 

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After WWI the German military were forbidden from developing any serious form of weapons by the Versailles Treaty, so their initial efforts were made underground, with the assistance of their then-friends the Soviet Union providing the trials locations.  The name Leichttraktor translates literally to "Light Tractor", which was part of the subterfuge, and both Rheinmetall and Krupps produced design proposals for consideration for VK31.  Rheinmetall created prototypes, which were a fairly unusual (for the time) engine-first design, with the fighting compartment for the four crew and turret bearing a 37cm cannon at the rear.  The tracks were suspended using leaf springs, and an order for around 300 examples were made initially, but later cancelled after testing.  Only the two prototypes were made, due to the vehicle's poor performance and reliability, especially the tracks, which were prone to slipping off the poorly designed wheels, and were hard to swap due to their poor design.

 

World of Tanks

Many of you will have heard of the game World of Tanks (WoT), and some will even have played it because it is a Free-to-Play game for the PC and major consoles that allows players to take the role of a tank commander of any of the major combatants almost anywhere in huge play areas set in WWII.  You have to grind to work your way up the tree to the monsters such as King Tigers, the Maus and other top-flight tanks, but you’ll get plenty of experience in light tanks like the Leichttraktor on the way unless you have deep pockets and can afford to become a ‘whale’ and pay-to-win.

 

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of a 2019 tooling from ICM of this little tank, and as such it is a modern tooling.  The kit arrives in a WoT themed box and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, four lengths of black flexible tracks, a tiny clear sprue, a generic decal sheet and the instruction booklet.  Detail is good throughout as we've come to expect from ICM, with plenty of external detail, including the spiral exhaust mufflers. There is a small card with a special bonus code for players on the PC and three invite codes for you to give to friends to introduce them to the game and give you some squad mates to play with.  These two freebies mean the following to the PC version player:

 

Bonus Code

2 x +50% Experience for 2 hours

2 x +50% Credits for 2 hours

2 x 200% Crew experience for 2 hours

 

Invite Code

T2 Light Tank

Garage Slot

7 World of Tanks Premium plus days

1000 Gold

 

I don’t profess to know what all that means to the players, but the info is there for you to see.  There are long alpha-numeric codes and a URL for the website to redeem your codes, so good luck with that!

 

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Construction begins with the upper deck for a change, which has two engine access panels with individual louvers fitted beforehand, and a smaller armoured cone-shaped hatch further back toward the turret ring.  Either side are two crew hatches, the left of which stands proud of the deck, while the right-hand hatch is flush with the deck.  More louvers are added to the front bulkhead before it and the top deck are attached to the right side of the hull, then it has the floor and rear bulkheads glued into place and is finally closed up by adding the left side.  The rear bulkhead has a crew hatch on the right side, which is added along with a bunch of shackles and towing eyes, with none at the front.

 

The road wheels are made up in four pairs per bogey, which are held in place by two sets of triangular parts trapping the small wheels in place.  There are three of these per side, plus two double-bank return rollers, and another pair on the lower run just aft of the front-mounted idler wheel.  The idler and drive sprocket are both made of two parts, with the teeth on the drive wheel central within the flat outer section.  With the wheels done, the mud-shedding fenders are constructed from the outer panel and a run of box-sections, and they are then fixed to the hull sides with two pins locating them firmly.  The process is repeated on the other side, and the rubber tracks, which are accurate to the initial designs that are mostly rubber with metal inserts, and these are made up from two sections each with one run each side.  You will need to use super-glue for the joins, as liquid glue doesn't melt the plastic they are made of – I know because I tried.  The top plates are fitted last to the rear three quarters of the track run, and then attention turns to the turret.

 

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Despite this being an exterior-only kit, there is a nicely detailed full breech included in the kit, which is made up over six steps, then set aside to wait for installation.  The turret is supplied in two halves, with crew access hatches in each side, which are separate parts and could be left open if you desire.  The two halves are brought together around the breech, and sealed in by the turret ring below, and the fairly featureless circular roof part.  The mantlet is next, covering the interior of the breech, and is completed by adding the coaxial machine gun mount and the barrel, which is a single part with a short insert at the dangerous end to give it a hollow muzzle.  The turret is then decked out with two roof-top vents, lifting eyes and other small parts before it is twisted onto the hull and held in place by a pair of bayonet lugs.  The clear headlight lenses are fitted to the domed rear and attached to each side of the front, and a wrap-around railing is glued around the aft area of the hull and turret area.  The unusual exhaust exits the right side of the hull and travels over the fender, with a spiral muffler and short tip - this section being made in two parts to achieve the correct shape.

 

There is just one colour option and that’s green, which is shown in a four-view set of line-drawn profiles.  The decals are generic and representative of the way the game allocates players to groups.  There are eighty clan symbols in various styles and colours, plus four each of German, Soviet, US and US roundel markings if you decide to depict your model as a more realistic combatant.

 

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The decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

A nicely rendered model of this failed attempt to create a light tank prior to the Panzer I, which was actually a lot more suited to the task and performed well in the early days of the German expansionist attempts.  It's also dinky, so won't take up much space on the shelf once built, and if you're feeling adventurous you could always hack it up and create the drop-top early version that had a windscreen where the turret front was later to be found.  There are some pictures of them online if you're up for a challenge.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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