Hobby Boss- Pz. 38(t) Ausf. E/F with Full Interior
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Construction begins with the building of the transmission and engine in the first few steps. I annealed the PE strips that wrap around the transmission and that still required patient CA glue applications a bit at a time to get all attached.
Step 3-6 attaches all of this to the hull floor as well as the seats, radiator and fan, ammo boxes, side panels, and firewall.
Steps 7-8 have you attach all the bits to the side panels including radio, more ammo storage, fire extinguisher, and the like. Step 9 has you assemble the hull tub sides, front, and rear to the floor.
Steps 10-19 involve assembly of bits for the turret and cupola, including more ammo bins, cabinets, and periscopes. Step 24 begins a repeat of the instructions from the original Panda Hobby kit. Sprocket and idler, road wheels, and suspension are built through step 25. Step 26 involves the gun and breech construction and 27 the turret to the ring.
The next few steps involve adding the wheels to the hull as well as the mantlet and track guards. There aren't any great ways to attach the guard to the hull- you have to rely on whether you attached the PE bits in perfect alignment to slide over the hull bolts. The slots for the three points of attachment otherwise are very narrow so not too effective. Weird note-- one of the machine gun barrels is slide molded open, whereas the other is not and needed drilling out. Steps 31-32 add the pioneer tools to the track guards and the top deck whereas step 33 adds the rear details and the engine hatch covers.
Step 34 assembles the muffler and it is attached on the next step, as well as the top deck grill and spare track links. Speaking of tracks, they are assembled and attached on the last step along with the antenna and some small PE bits. Having built 1/16 kits with full sized pins to assemble the tracks, and these tracks with short pins going into either side, I must say I prefer the full sized pins. I spent more time pushing these pins in and doing so over and over again until I got a routine going. With 91 links on each side, this is a tedious process to say the least. As long as you can get them to stay in though, the tracks are fully workable.
Painting and Weathering
I ended up going with one of the newer schemes specific to the Hobby Boss kit- scheme III which features the 204 Panzer Regiment, 22 Panzer Division in Crimea 1942. I used AMMO paints for the dark yellow and field gray. Decals were minimal and went down smoothly with no issues. From there, I used oils and pigments to create the weathering. Adding some Value Gear extras to the interior and to the hull completed the build.
This was a more intensive build than my usual due to the interior- but the scale makes everything very easy to assemble with practically no fumbling with fingers. Parts fit was excellent and the only real challenge was the fitting of the track guards and fenders and the track assembly. I am no fan of the small pins to build them, and they are real tricky to push in. When assembled though, they work quite well- but glue is needed to keep those pins in! Overall the build took me just over two months and its a nice piece to add to the growing 1/16 collection.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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