Tamiya 1/48 Panzer 38(t) ausf E/F
KIT #: 32583
PRICE: $29.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes metal weights


The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was originally a Czech tank of pre-World War II design. After Czechoslovakia was taken over by Germany, it was adopted by the German Army, seeing service in the invasions of Poland, France and Russia. Production ended in 1942, when its armament was deemed inadequate. In all, over 1400 were manufactured. The chassis continued to be produced for the Marder III (1942-1944) with some of its components used in the later Jagdpanzer 38 (1944-1945) tank destroyers, turretless assault guns, anti-tank guns and anti-aircraft guns.

The (t) stands for tschechisch, the German word for Czech; the Czechoslovak military designation was LT vz. 38 (Lehký tank vzor 38, Light Tank mark 38). Manufacturer's designations included TNH series, TNHPS, LTP and LTH. The special vehicle designation for the tank in Germany was Sd. Kfz. 140.

The PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf. E-F was a Pz 38(t) with frontal armour increased to 50 mm by bolting on an additional 25 mm armour


The kit is molded on four sprues. Two of them, which contain suspension bits, road wheels and the track links are identical. There are also two large oval weights and a bag with polycaps. The weights fit on special mounting posts that are installed on the flat hull bottom. To this are added the four sides, the right and left side pieces have the main suspension molded in place.

The tracks are link and length with the single pieces molded as to fit around the idler, sprocket and forward/aft road wheel. The road wheels all have rubber rims so the builder will probably need to alter the construction sequence or paint as the kit is built. The upper hull section has separate front and side pieces with a machine gun fitting into the front. Engine covers are separate but there is nothing to see inside the hull. A nice selection of pioneer tools is included along with various tool boxes. Spare track sections and a muffler is provided to add to the busyness of the hull.

The turret is comprised of five pieces with a six piece cupola. There is a separate hatch, but again, nothing to see on the inside. The poly cap is used to allow the main gun to elevate. There is no breech and a single piece barrel. For those who want something inside that open hatch, a tank commander figure is provided.

Instructions are well done with detail drawings as needed. There are only Tamiya paints provided as color references. Two markings options are given, both in overall panzer grey. One is the box art vehicle from the 22nd Panzer Division on the Eastern Front in 1942. The other is an unmarked vehicle from the same place and time period. The small decal sheet is nicely printed.


Overall it is another fine addition to Tamiya's growing 1/48 military vehicle line-up. I have built several of the series and each one is a well engineered, easy to assemble kit. I expect this one to be the same.



May 2015 

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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