UM 1/72 Pz Bef 38 (t) Commanders tank




$9.98 ($8.96 at Squadron)


Three options


Scott Van Aken




Paraphrasing from the instructions: "Since 1939, Czech tanks LT vz 38 began to appear in German units. Since July 1939 to June 1942, they were issued as PzKfw 38 (t). Several of these tanks had been altered to PzBef 38 (t) commander's tanks with additional radios and a fake wooden barrel, though the 7.92mm machine gun was real enough. In all other areas it was identical to the standard PzKfw 38 (t). In addition to the German army, they were used by Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria."


Well, since this has to be about fifth or sixth vehicle they've done with the PzKfw 38 (t) chassis, you'd think the molds for that part of the kit would have become a bit worn by now. However, that does not seem to be the case as they are just as good as with the very first issue. There are still some issues with the rather large ejector towers on some of the larger parts, but removing them and cleaning the attachment point should be rather easy as they are all on large, flat bits.

The only real difference in this kit and the others in the series is the inclusion of the sprue with the radio mast that is in the left center of the parts image. If you really wanted to, I imagine you could do a standard tank, but if that is the case, then why buy the commader's tank variant? The small etched fret is for a case on the side of the tank that has the jack atop it. In all, the detailing level is quite good as UM seems to have making these down pat. This boxing also includes a few extra jerry cans on the radio sprue so that's nice.

Instructions are well done with Humbrol and generic color references. I find UMs instructions a tad busy, but this one isn't too bad as things go. There are markings for two tanks in this boxing, even thought the decal sheet hints at more. One is in panzer grey from the start of the Russian campaign in 1941, the other is a panzer yellow one from 1943 and this is shown on the box art and on the back of the box as well. The decal sheet is well printed with large clear carrier film around each one. It seems to me that there are a set of markings for a captured version as well, judging from the red stars on the sheet, but nothing is alluded to in the instructions.


Add this to your list of winners when it comes to small scale armor kits. I've been working on one of UM's kits and it is going together very well. I don't see any reason why this one wouldn't be the same. For one thing, you can have a goodly number of vehicles for the price of one 1/35 kit!

October 2005

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