Hobby Boss 1/35 VK1602 Leopard
KIT #: 82460
PRICE: $48.99
DECALS: Generic insignia and numbers
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New mold kit


Since 1941, plans were made for the development of a new reconnaissance tank based on the PzKpfw II ausf J (VK 1601). The mock-up wasready in in May/June of 1942 and the first prototype was to be finished by September of that year. However, the entire production was cancelled in January 1943 when the first prototype was still incomplete. The reason for the cancellation was the heavy weight and lack of heavy armament, making the tank vulnerable to enemy tanks then in service. Adding to it, the Leopard was quite similar to the new Panther and it was pointed out that a recce version of the Panther could be developed and produced at a lower cost.


Molded in the tan plastic that Hobby Boss likes to use for armor, the kit comes with the various sprues well packages. As one would expect, there are multiples of various sprues, mostly those related to the suspension. The box is compartmentalized with the upper and lower hull parts in a separate compartment that has a lid on it. Twelve of the sprues are for the individual track links, three are for road wheels and torsion bars and two are for the return rollers, idler and sprocket and some small hull pieces.

The molding on the parts is superb with no hint of molding defects. There is an etched sheet included that covers mostly screens, but also some smaller detail bits that work well in photo etch, such as fender braces. The kit has a full gun and breech, though the latter will remain invisible as there is no interior. No optional parts are included. Actually, the tank looks very much like a small Panther and those of you who have built a Panther will find this to be quite familiar.

Instructions are very well drawn and typical of Hobby Boss armor kits. There are 13 construction steps that include some color information during this process. Paints in the instructions are by Gunze reference. On the full color painting guide, a number of other paint references are provided. There is a five view of the tank shown on the box art. The decal sheet (not shown) is quite generic providing insignia and a good selection of white outlined numbers.


It is great that Hobby Boss is moving into the realm of project vehicles. Since it is doubtful that we'd see this vehicle from anyone else (at least one that isn't in resin), Hobby Boss should be encouraged to do more of these. Show your support by picking one up.


The side of the kit box as what I found on the Internet was pretty much the same.

October 2010 

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview sample. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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