First to Fight

WZ. 34

Kit #: PL1939-007 Preview by Andy Lang - ajn(dot)lang(at)talktalk(dot)net
Jakub Jastrzebski - god_save_the_queen(at)Gazeta(dot)pl
Edited by Al Magnus

The First to Fight range has expanded further with the release of the wz.34 armoured car kit and I thought that I'd offer my thoughts on it. My own view is that the Polish subjects in the First To Fight range seem to be generally better than the German equivalents. Opinions seem to be divided on the wz.34 kit, but I like it. This post is partly a preview and partly a suggested tweaks list.

The highlight for me is the hull piece, which is really crisp and well detailed. The rear hull door is supplied as a separate item and it would be possible to cut out the support lugs from the inside, then add an interior. All the other parts appear on a single sprue and I presume that this will be shared with the forthcoming kit of the later model wz.34. The chassis and suspension are very simple, but I don't have a particular beef with this. The leaf springs are rather plain, but I think that they could be replaced with scratchbuilt items without reducing the structural integrity of the suspension too much.

The single biggest change that will benefit the kit is replacement of the overly thick mudguards, although it will be a shame to lose the fine detail of the strengthening ribs atop them. The turret has optional parts for a Hotchkiss MG or a 37mm gun: the former is certainly a bit heavy and could do with replacement.

I recently exchanged e-mails with Jakub Jastrzebski on the subject of the wz.34 kit. He is a bit more conservative about it and pointed out that the dishes of the wheel hubs on the rear axle are too shallow. He also identified many of the possible tweaks in the list below.

  • Mudguards. Replace the mudguards with scratchbuilt items. Fill in the square holes for the overly thick support brackets and replace the latter with wire. I plan to support the mudguards on the tyres with small pieces of plastic card for added strength.
  • Wheels. Jakub has suggested replacing the dished hub of the rear outer wheels with deeper scratchbuilt items. This won't affect fit of the wheels to the axles as the inner rear wheels provide this. Add a disc of plastic card to the front wheel hubs to increase their depth.
  • Chassis/suspension. Replace the armour plates protecting the front & rear of the chassis. Replace the leaf springs with items laminated from strips of 10 thou plastic card.
  • Hull detail changes. Replace the blade of the shovel and the head of the pick. Make two grab handles from fine wire and add to the sides of the bonnet.
  • Turret detail changes. Replace the Hotchkiss MG barrel. Add a small disc of plastic card atop the cupola to represent the circular panel there. Either sharpen up the lower edge of the turret vision ports or cut them off and replace with 5 thou card.
  • Engine starter crank: Often seen in period photographs, this is missing and will need to be added if desired.
Of course, all of this is fantasy modelling at present as I have yet to build the kit, but I hope that it helps a few modellers out there. Of course, it is up to the individual to decide which ideas, if any, to use. My thanks to Jakub for his input to the ideas above. Scans of the kit parts appear on Henk of Holland's splendid website.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 13 May 2014