Cyber Hobby 1/35 PzKpfw II ausf C mit Zusatzpanzer
|KIT:||Cyber Hobby 1/35 PzKpfw II ausf C mit Zusatzpanzer|
|PRICE:||$40-47 MSRP (depending on the shop one visits)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
In 1934, delays in the design and production of the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks were becoming apparent. Designs for a stopgap tank were solicited from Krupp, MAN, Henschel, and Daimler-Benz. The final design was based on the Panzer I, but larger and with a turret mounting a 20 mm anti-tank gun. Production began in 1935, but it took another eighteen months for the first combat-ready tank to be delivered.
The Panzer II was the main battle tank of the German Panzer divisions beginning with the invasion of France, until it was replaced by the Panzer III and IV in 1940/41. Afterwards, it was used to great effect as a reconnaissance tank. The Panzer II was tested in the Spanish Civil War and used in the German campaigns in Poland, France, Holland, Denmark, Norway, North Africa and Russia. After being removed from front-line duty, it was used for training, on secondary fronts and for patrolling occupied Europe.
The Ausf. C version became the standard production model from June 1938 through April 1940. A total of 1,113 examples of Ausf. c, A, B, and C tanks were built from March 1937 through April 1940 by Alkett, FAMO, Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN, MIAG, and Wegmann. These models were almost identical and were used in service interchangeably. This was the most widespread tank version of the Panzer II and performed the majority of the tank's service the panzer units during the war. Zusatzpanzer means uparmored, or the addition of appliqué armor to reduce the tank's vulnerability to incoming fire.
There have not been many Panzer II kits produced (well, at least compared to Shermans and Tigers) and this latest from Cyberhobby is one of the best. Like all Cyberhobby/Dragon kits, the detailing is superlative. This kit features several improvements over the earlier variations. For instance, the fenders have the proper detailed tread pattern, the suspension has been improved to accurately represent the ausf C type, a slide molded 'Gen 2' MG 34 is provided, the turret is newly molded and the 2cm KWK 30 gun is superbly detailed with a nicely hollowed out muzzle detail.
The kit includes Dragon's Smart Track individual link track system that while not articulated, is highly detailed and not that difficult to assemble. The kit also provides a complete interior and engine detail, something I know you will all appreciate. A couple of photo etch frets are also included to add that additional detail level for those who wish to use it. I appreciate the fact that Dragon does not always require p.e. to be added to their kits as many modelers are still not fully at ease with it. As usual with these limited releases, most of the sprues are from previous kits and many of the parts are not needed for this particular version. You can see this by looking at the parts drawing to the right.
Instructions are superb with 22 well drawn construction steps. Optional items are clearly shown as are Gunze color references. There are markings provided for six vehicles, though seven are shown on the box side. In desert tan are the box art vehicle from 15 PzDiv in Libya during 1942, an unknown unit also in Libya during 1942 but with khaki green splotches, and a 10 PzDiv vehicle in Tunisia during 1943 with a broad white stripe around the turret. In panzer grey with whitewash are a 5 PzDiv tank from the eastern front in 1941 as well as one from an unknown unit during the Caucasus campaign of that year. The third option is from Norway in 1940 in overall panzer grey. Not sure that this final option is legit for the uparmored version or not. Those who know more will be sure to let me know! The small decal sheet is nicely done and should provide no surprises.
IThose of us who like these early tanks will be quite pleased with this one. Though it is a small vehicle, it is jam-packed with detail and is sure to be a popular subject. Like all Cyberhobby kits, this is a one-time issue so grab yours if you want one.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local store, on-line at the link, or have your shop order it for you. t
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