Fiat L3/33 Light Tank
|Kit # PS720002||Construction review by Rob Haelterman|
For a preview of this kit, containing a scan of the sprues, see here.
(aka CV33) was developed from the British Vickers Carden Lloyd Mk.VI
and was armed with two 8mm Fiat Model 14/35 machine guns. Early production
machines only carried one gun, and a good number of them was re-armed
with various types of gun, including a 20mm Solothurm anti-tank rifle.
Two flame-thrower variants also existed. A tank-destroyer carrying
a Breda 47/32 gun was also produced in small numbers, as was a bridge-layer.
Some of these tankettes received a new suspension with 4 large roadwheels
instead of the eight smaller ones shown above3.
(Note that there are two identical kits inside one box.)
I started by removing the bigger parts and cleaning them up. This was an easy affair with only the tracks demanding a bit more work due to the large number of attachments to the sprue.
I mated the upper to the lower hull, trapping the MG mount, which remains mobile after assembly. Little glue was required and fit was perfect.
the tracks can be attached to the hull without glue, which will aid
painting them enormously. Still, I believe I will add just a small
drop of glue to the rear attachment to ensure alignment.
As you can see from the pictures, there is no interior, although the hatches can be opened. If you put a figure in the hull, not much extra work will be needed. If not, some additional detail might be welcome.
The tiny roadwheels are a pain to paint. This is not really a fault of the kit, but the ready-assembled suspension doesn't help.
S-model gives us a tiny decal sheet. The Italian "colored bar" system is well-known, but I am at a loss how to use the numerals. They are on a single carrier film, by the way, while the bars are on individual carriers. The decals look thickish on the sheet, reminding me of Hasegawa decals, but once applied they seem to have "normal" thickness. What can't be seen on the sheet is the white between the bars. Once applied it becomes visible, and you discover that the white is slightly out of register with respect to the red, and that the edges are somewhat ragged. (Without applying the blue bars, I can't tell if they suffer from the same defect.) My references show that (at least some of) the vehicles carried the bar-markings in four locations, while S-model gives you only three. Also note that you cannot build the two vehicles in the kit in markings of the same unit, due to the lack of sufficient decals.
At this point the kit is mostly finished, except for some weathering and varnishing.
In general the dimensions of the kit look spot on.
Note that, if you don't want to simulate the lenses of the headlights, that you can always "cover" them with a canvas cover that only left a small slit.
sample provided by the Hobby