|Kit # PS720001||Construction review by Rob Haelterman|
For a preview of this kit, containing a scan of the sprues, decals and instructions see here.
History and version
The Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C (7.Serie/La.S.100) was built in 1938-1939, and was the most modern version of this tank at the time WW2 broke out.
The kit represents an early to mid Ausf. C:
out of the box, this kit would represent a vehicle from just after
the campaign in the West. I will be leaving the Notek off, to make
it fit in with a France, May 1940 diorama, or a scene from shortly
As this is a kit with a small number of parts, it won't come as a surprise that this will be a small construction review. Note that there are two identical kits included in 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 presence of a seam on their centerline.
the hull parts together. Fit was perfect. The only thing that needed
to be remedied were two small "notches" in the glacis, apparently
due to the plastic not reaching the very end of the mold. These are
less than half a milimeter across, so not something that can't be
remedied. (They are difficult to see in the pictures, as I had already
primed the kit in black.)
I assembled the turret. I chose to model the turret with the hatches
closed, as there is no interior detail (not even on the hatches) and
I was not going to put a figure inside. Note that you get parts for
a closed hatch and for an open hatch.
It seems the tracks can be attached to the hull without glue, which will aid painting them enormously. The way they are engineered is a mixed blessing. It makes them very easy to install and keep straight, but I am a disappointed about the level of detail on the tracks. The leaf springs are also way too far out from the hull. Obviously, they should support the axles, not the wheels themselves.
At this point the kit is almost finished. I only need to add the jack, the PE for the exhaust and possibly part PE2, which is a removable metal plate for the identification number of the tank in the unit. More about it later.
I started looking at the accuracy of the kit, and this were the nits I chose to pick:
For those who are wondering why there is a section on the right rear fender where the fine threadplate pattern is missing, well, it seems this corresponds to the actual vehicle.
quick-build kit it is remarkable that there is a metal barrel and
PE included. I didn't use the PE barrel, as the plastic part is fine
in its own right. The PE rhomboids are for the vehicle number, but
not all marking options show vehicle numbers on these plates. I decided
not to use them. Note that you would need three rhomboids per vehicle,
while you only get one.
on the subject of the tracks for a very long time. Overall, the kit
is extremely well-done (even if it hadn't been a quick build), but
the quality of the tracks is a disappointment. If S-model would just
add a tad more detail to the face of the tracks (like they did to
the rest of the running gear, inlcuding the guide horns) and re-engineer
the leaf springs, this kit could stand any level of scrutiny.
Camouflage and markings
4 marking options in this kit, all in overall grey:
There are enough decals to do each of the four vehicles. The black and white Balkenkreuze show some slightly jagged edges.
that the first option (4th Pz.Div.) has a rhomboid marking at the
rear, but not on the sides, which is an unusual (?) combination. The
side markings are on the turret, but you get enough small vehicle
numbers to cover three rhomboids if you fashion them yourself.
planned to do a vehicle for the campaign in Belgium and France, but
after having sprayed the vehicle grey, and being pleased with the
result, I was loth to add the brown disruptive pattern, which all
vehicles (should have) carried prior to June 1940. As the French campaign
lasted until June 22nd, I imagined my vehicle would be a replacement
sent during the campaign, or shortly thereafter.
Often when a Balkenkreuz was painted on the hull, it was "repeated" on the antenna trough. As S-model does not provide enough decals to do this, I sourced one from the spare's box that was "close enough" and cut it to shape.
With all the work I went through to embellish the tracks, I might as well have gone the extra mile and remove the leaf springs from the roadwheels and glue them to the hull instead, so that they no longer sit proud of the latter. It might be that this wouldn't work without actually scratchbuilding new springs though. (Thanks to Andy Lang for drawing my attention to this.)
As mentioned in the preview, a very nice MG34, used as a sMG, is included. I will definitely use that one at a later date for a diorama. Why it is included is anybody's guess, but I am not complaining.
Panzer No7, PzKpfw I / PzKpfw II; M. Bitoh; Dainippon Kaiga; 2002.
(Japanese text, with traces of English)
sample provided by the Hobby