DOC 1/72 CV-33 Tankette




$13.98 (12.96 at Squadron)


Many options


Scott Van Aken




As I recently read in the excellent book Italian Armored Vehicles of WWII, the Italians had decided that much of the next war would be like WWI. In that conflict, the Italians spent much of their time in hilly and mountainous terrain fighting the Austro-Hungarians along Italy's northern border. In that type of a campaign, a large tank was useless. What was needed was a special type of light tank that would operate well in confined spaces. Even what we think of as a light tank would be too much so the tankette was developed. These were in the 2-3 ton range, had room for probably two crewmen and utilized light armament such as machine guns or small calibre cannon. They were designed to provide infantry support and not to be put up against enemy armor.

Well. WWII didn't exactly go as planned by the Italian army and they had a lot of these small tanks. While they were fast and did relatively well in recce work or keeping the peace in the colonies, they were not at all useful in the open desert battles that the Italians found themselves fighting. They quickly disappeared from main combat and were used to fight partisans in the Balkans and for general policing duties away from where the heavy fighting was taking place.


Upon opening the box, one finds one sprue, two thin tracks, and an upper hull part. Not much, but then, these were not big vehicles. The parts themselves are superbly molded with crisp detailing, no flash, no sink areas and no ejector pin marks. The sprue attachment points are quite small and this means that the kit will require little in the way of prep other than sanding down where they were removed from the sprues. The main bogies are molded in two groups of three on each side. Now some may wish for separate wheels and such, but I'm a firm believer in not over-doing the complexity issue. Besides, these parts would be truly tiny! The small latex tracks are well molded and it seems that attaching them won't be a problem. Again, I prefer single tracks over separate ones, though I guess a case could be made for doing the tracks in sections and in styrene.

The instructions are very well done in several well-drawn construction steps with each part being unambiguously shown. No painting info is provided during construction. There are guides for three different vehicles. The first is the box art CV-33 in tan with some green as used in Libya during 1941. Next is an overall sand one from 1944 in Torino, and finally a darker sand and green version from Corsica in 1942. All three of these are shown in color on the back of the box. There is also a color chart located there providing matches in Lifecolor, Humbrol, Tamiya, Gunze, Testors, and Molak. The decal sheet is well printed and provides a wide variety of markings to be used on these tankettes. Using the reference mentioned in the historical section will allow the modeler to choose just about any vehicle used, though he'll be on his own in terms of camo.


Overall a truly excellent first kit from a new company. I do hope this sells well so they can do other Italian subjects.

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