Flyhawk

Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. L Luchs
W/Zusatzpanzerung

Kit : # FH3003

Preview by Rob Haelterman

1. Short History

100 Luchses were produced by MAN from September 1942 to January 1944. It carried an MG and a 20mm rapid fire cannon. A planned production variant with a 50mm gun never materialized. While a number of small variations appeared on this vehicle during the production run, the most noticeable one (and a feature that was not changed during retrofitting) is the size of the rear turret hatch. Early vehicles had a small hatch at the rear of the turret, later this was enlarged
Note that the very first deliveries of the Luchs were to 9.Pz.Div.

4.Pz.Div. modified their Luchses with additional armor on the bow and above the visors. The latter was actually made of sections of idler and I am not sure how effective this was, or if this was just a way to carry spare idler parts. Note that these idler parts were carried by most, but not all of the Division's Luchses.
While not mentioned on the box or in the instructions, it is this version that Flyhawk offers in this release.

2. The kit

The sprues are mostly the same as in the previous Luchs kit.

These main sprues and tracks are the same:

The body and sprue I are also common, with more parts of sprue I (on the left) now being used:

Compared to the scan above, which is actually from kit FH3002, sprue I now has a new sprue J attached for the smoke dischargers, additional armor and boxes.

The PE is slightly different.

Decals are the same as for FH3002, which isn't a bad thing as they included the markings for both kits all along and therefor will yield some spares.

Instructions are different, logically. Very little info is given about the unit represented in the marking options, but it can only be 4 Pz.Div. Note that 6 marking options are given. I am not sure if the five green-and-yellow schemes would have been perfectly identical.

A small cardboard base is again present. Unfortunately this also doubles as a packaging support for the PE and decals and gets punctured by a staple for that reason.

Note that, compared to the special release of FH3002 that we previously reviewed, no figure is given this time.


3. Variants

Not counting the planned version with sloped armor and 5cm gun, there were minor variations in the design of the Luchs during production:

  • September 42: narrow rear hatch of turret, no smoke dischargers on the turret, different periscope guards for gunner (right) and commander (left), no Orterskompass on turret roof, two Bosch headlights
  • Late September 42: smoke dischargers on turret
  • December 42: wider rear hatch of turret, same periscope guards for gunner and commander
  • February 43: driver's periscopes dropped
  • May 43: smoke dischargers on turret dropped
  • July 43: base for Orterskompass on turret roof
  • August 43: right Bosch headlight dropped

Another feature, that I was unable to put a date on, is a base for an antenna on the left of the turret that appeared at some time, possibly together with the larger hatch. It is present in the kit.

I've marked the kit features in bold.
I haven't checked which production version the vehicles of 2.Kompanie/Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 4 in the marking options actually were, but according to [2] the unit was shipped to the Eastern Front in September 1943 with 29 Luchses and still had 16 vehicles available in March 1945. The last replacement vehicles were sent to the unit in October 1944. This means that about any production variant is possible. While the presence of the Orterskompass and the smoke dischargers might seem incongruous, this is confirmed by pictures of the unit's vehicles.

Conclusion

A worthy companion to the previous Luchs release which will build into a stunning model.

 

 

References

[1] Achtung Panzer No7, Pz.Kpfw.I / Pz.Kpfw.II series and variants, M. Bitoh, Dai Nippon Kaiga, 2002
[2] Panzer Tracts No 2-2, Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. G,H,J,L and M, T.L. Jentz & H.L. Doyle, Panzer Tracts 2007

[3] PzKpfw II Vol.2, J. Ledwoch, Wydawnictwo Militaria N° 182
[4] 4 Panzer Division 1943-1944, J. Ledwoch, Wydawnictwo Militaria N° 112

 

 

Review sample provided by Flyhawk

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

Back to Flyhawk Kit List

 

Article Last Updated: 11 October 2016

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