KIT: Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf G with interior
KIT #: 6290
PRICE: $  39.90 DSRP
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts


The Panzer 38(t) was a conventional pre-World War II tank design, with riveted armor and rear engine.

The riveted armor was not sloped, and varied in thickness from 10 mm to 25 mm in most versions. Later models (Ausf E on) increased this to 50 mm.

The two-man turret was centrally located, and housed the tank's main armament, a 37 mm Skoda A7 gun with 90 rounds stored on board. It was equipped with a 7.92 mm machine gun to the right of the main ordnance. Interestingly, the turret machinegun was in a separate ball mount rather than a coaxial mount. This meant the machinegun needed to be trained on targets independently, rather than being aimed with the main gun. The driver was in the front right of the hull, with the bow machinegunner seated to the left, manning a 7.92 mm machine gun. As with many 1930s tanks, the bow gunner was also the radio operator. A total of 2,550 rounds were carried for the bow and coaxial machine guns.

The engine was mounted in the rear of the hull and drove the tank through a transmission with five forward gears and one reverse gear. It drove a forward drive sprocket, with the track running under four rubber-tired road wheels and back over a rear idler and two track return rollers. The wheels were mounted on a leaf-spring double-bogie mounted on two axles. Despite the large wheel size, the tank did not use a Christie suspension.

Production of tanks for Germany continued into 1942, and amounted to more than 1,400 examples. Examples were also sold to a number of German allies, including Hungary (102), Slovakia (69), Romania (50), and Bulgaria (10). In German service the 38(t) was used as a substitute for the Panzer III.

A modified Panzer 38(t) chassis was also the basis for a number of self-propelled gun mountings and tank destroyers, including the highly successful German Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer tank-destroyer.

The Panzer 38(t) was manufactured up to the middle of World War II. Manufacture ceased because the small turret wasn't capable of taking a weapon big enough to destroy the latest tanks. However, because the chassis was mechanically reliable, turretless versions were built with a weapon mounted on the superstructure. Assault guns, anti-tank guns and anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the chassis. A Swedish variant, the Sav m/43, remained in use until 1970, which is probably a longevity record for a pre-WW2 tank.


 This particular kit has everything you need for a superlative model. The kit is finely molded with the sort of accuracy that you expect from Dragon. It includes their special Magic Track individual link tracks. For a tank this size, these work well as there are not a zillion of them to assemble. You will also find many optional parts like suspension parts, drive sprockets and even periscopes. The surface bolt detail has to be seen to be believed as it is just incredible in the fidelity of detail.

Of course, the main point of this kit is the full interior and engine that are supplied to add that additional level of detail you just don't find on all kits. A rather unusual commentary is made in the instructions on the fenders. There is some discussion as to whether they were 'pre-bent' or the installation caused that feature. You are able to provide either option with this kit. The bend isn't great, but then, most fine details like this are difficult to see unless you know what you are looking at.

An excellent photo etch set is included that really is quite comprehensive. It consists of a variety of bits and pieces that attach to the vehicle including various vents and screens and protective coverings. As you might guess, a number of these parts are used to help detail the interior.

Instructions are quite comprehensive, showing not only the placement of these myriad parts, but also offering additional drawings to be sure that you have things in the right location. Very helpful stuff. Few parts are not used so you are in for hours of building pleasure with this one. Markings are for six different vehicles. Four are in Panze Grey, one in Panzer tan and another in an mottled green/brown over tan. There are three on the Russian Front as well as one operating in Bohemia during 1945, another used by the Hungarians in 1942 and a third as part of the Slovak National uprising in 1944. Interesting stuff and the decals are well done to add some interest to things.


Overall you could not ask for a more complete armor kit. It will give you what is without a doubt the most accurate model of this famous Czech built tank ever offered. One that you are sure to enjoy.


September 2007

The review kit was provided Get yours at your favorite hobby shop for visit at the link for more information.

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