German Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F
Reviewed by Brett Green
|Stock Number and Description||Tasca German Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F. Kit No. 24-001|
|Media and Contents:||383 parts in tan coloured plastic, around 250 individual track links in black plastic (each with a metal track pin), 9 parts in clear plastic, 24 polythene caps, a photo-etched fret and markings for two vehicles.|
Distributed in USA by Pacific Coast Models
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Very high level of detail; excellent individual track links; poseable hatches and driver's visor; best kit available in 1/24 scale|
|Disadvantages:||No interior detail|
|Recommendation:|| Highly Recommended
Tasca charges across the 1/24 scale frontier with its brand new Panzer II Ausf. F.
The popular impression of a typical Panzer is a Tiger tank picking off a column of Shermans.
In reality, however, the workhorses of the German Panzer Divisions were the Panzers II, III and IV.
The Panzer II was an interim development of the Panzer I, enlarged and fitted with 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon and a co-axial 7.92 mm machine gun in a newly designed turret.
The Panzer II remained the most numerous weapon in the Panzer Divisions’ arsenal until after the invasion of France. It was used extensively in Poland, Western Europe, Denmark, Norway, the Balkans, North Africa and during Operation Barbarossa. Although the gun tank was phased out of front line service by the end of 1942, variants based on its chassis would soldier on until the last days of the Second World War.
Almost 1,900 of these lightweight stopgap tanks were built between 1935 and 1943. Despite its modest specifications, the Panzer II proved the effectiveness of the Blitzkrieg concept from 1939 to 1941.
Tasca appears to be employing its new Panzer II as a spearhead too. In this case, Tasca has crashed across the border of 1/24 scale.
The Panzer II is not the first military model to appear in this scale. Hasegawa offers a family of Kubelwagens and Jeeps in 1/24. Many years ago, several companies including Tamiya, Academy and Nichimo also released a number of armour kits in the similar scale of 1:25. However, this is the first time that we have seen a state-of-the-art tank model in 1/24 scale.
Tasca’s 1/24 scale Panzer II Ausf. F comprises 383 parts in tan coloured plastic, around 250 individual track links in black plastic (each with a metal track pin), 9 parts in clear plastic, 24 polythene caps, a photo-etched fret and markings for two vehicles.
The lower hull is supplied as a flat pack with separate sides, front, rear and floor. The upper hull is modular too, with a separate engine deck and multi-part superstructure. Although interior detail is almost non-existent (there are some louvres under the vents of the engine deck), all of the hatches and vision ports are supplied as separate parts.
The suspension and running gear are lavishly detailed. The leaf spring suspension is especially impressive. The individual link tracks look fantastic. Assembly is by way of a single metal track pin per link. Once the three sprue connectors have been removed from each link, assembly should be very fast and easy.
All this is very good, but it is the smaller details where the model really shines. The closer you look at the sprues, the better this kit gets. The delicacy of some of the parts has to be seen to be appreciated. Clamps for on-vehicle equipment are a case in point.
A modest photo-etched fret includes the metal heat shield for the muffler.
The cupola is fitted out with a full compliment of clear periscopes, and the driver’s visor may be positioned open or closed. The headlight lens is supplied as a clear part too.
The 2 cm main gun barrel and 7.92 mm machine gun are solid plastic parts, but they feature hollow muzzles and deep depressions representing perforations. Nice stuff.
Markings are supplied for two vehicles, one in Panzer Grey and the second in disruptive camouflage of Dark Yellow and Dark Green.
The Panzer II was a diminutive vehicle, so it will not take up too much shelf space even in this larger scale. It looks like this kit will be a roughly the same size as a 1:35 scale Tiger I.
Tasca’s brand-new 1/24 scale Panzer II Ausf. F is an impressive kit. Tasca has announced that they will be releasing a Commander figure plus more armour kits in this unique scale. Judging by the high quality contents of the box, Tasca might just carve out a new niche in armour modelling.
Thanks to Tasca Modellismo for the sample www.tasca-modellismo.com