German Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. E/F
Tamiya 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
B a c k g r o u n d
The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was originally a Czech tank of pre-World War II design.
After Czechoslovakia was taken over by Germany, the 38(t) was adopted by the German Panzer Divisions, seeing service in the invasions of Poland, France and Russia. Production ended in 1942, when its armament was deemed inadequate.
More than 1400 were manufactured.
*Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_38(t)
F i r s t L o o k
In 2018, Tamiya upgraded their Marder III Ausf. M, originally released in 2002, to include link-and-length tracks plus four additional figures.
They have now delivered further value to the family with a new 1:35 scale Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. E/F
Tamiya’s 1:35 scale Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. E/F comprises 244 parts in dark grey plastic, one photo-etched fret, four polythene caps and markings for two vehicles on the Eastern Front.
The only parts in common with the 2002 Marder III release are on Sprue A, which contains the road wheels, suspension units and a few detail parts. Quality of these parts is as good as the newer sprues, which is very good indeed.
The link and length tracks from 2018 have been revised slightly. Sprue J with the bottom run, the short lengths and individual links are the same as before, but there is a new Sprue P with the long sagging top run that replaces Sprue K on the 2018 Marder III.
All the other parts are brand new. The hull is broken down as a flat pack with separate lower, side, front and rear sections.
Most of the stowage fittings are also broken down into multiple parts. I was impressed to see that the toolbox was moulded wth full perforations.
The suspension is made up from four units of just three pieces each. The road wheels are one piece each and feature raised bolt head detail on the outside and inside surfaces. They are glued to the suspension arms. The drive sprockets are attached via polythene caps, making alignment of the link and length even easier.
The link-and-length tracks are in Tamiya’s usual recent style, with long runs for the bottom and the top – the top run sagging realistically between return rollers – and a combination of short sections and individual links to wrap around the drive sprockets and idler wheels.
Track detail is crisp inside and out.
The turret is well detailed. The cupola is made up from 14 individual pieces. Vision blocks are supplied in solid grey plastic.
There is some limited interior detail including the basic main gun breech and the turret and hull machine guns. Tamiya provides a mechanism that moves the Commander's direct sight when the main gun is elevated or depressed - nice.
The hull and turret machine guns will be moveable after assembly if you are sparing with the glue.
Tamiya supplies some stowage including jerry cans, helmets and infantry equipment. Although not mentioned in the instructions, several straight sections of tracks may also be used as stowage on the front of the hull.
A Commander figure rounds out the plastic sprues. He is in a casual pose, perched on the open cupola lid.
A small photo-etched fret supplies the cover for the rhomboid-shaped engine deck vent.
Markings are supplied for two Panzer 38(t)s on the Eastern Front in 1941 and 1942.
Registration and colour saturation look good.
C o n c l u s i o n
I have already built this model (see the photo below), and I can confirm that it is another classic example of Tamiya’s ability to produce a well-detailed kit that is also fast and easy to build.
The flat-pack hull, mutli-part stowage boxes and 14 part cupola all fit together perfectly and are really no chore whatsoever.
The inclusion of the link and length tracks (which, surprise suprise, also fit together perfectly) and the relaxed Commander figure just round out this great little package.
*Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia.
Thanks to Tamiya Japan for the sample
Tamiya kits are distributed in the UK by The Hobby Company Limited for the sample.
Text and Images by Brett Green