Bronco 1/35 Panzer II ausf D1
|DECALS:||For ammo boxes|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Panzer II was the common name for a family of German tanks used in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen II (abbreviated PzKpfw II). Although the vehicle had originally been designed as a stopgap while more advanced tanks were developed, it nonetheless went on to play an important role in the early years of World War II, during the Polish and French campaigns. By the end of 1942 it had been largely removed from front line service, and production of the tank itself ceased by 1943. Its chassis remained in use as the basis of several other armored vehicles.
With a completely new Christie suspension with four road wheels, the Ausf. D was developed as a cavalry tank for use in the pursuit and reconnaissance roles. Only the turret was the same as the Ausf. C model, with a new hull and superstructure design and the use of a Maybach HL62TRM engine driving a seven-gear transmission (plus reverse). The design was shorter (4.65 m) but wider (2.3 m) and taller (2.06 m) than the Ausf. C. Speed was increased to 55 km/h. A total of 143 Ausf. D and Ausf. E tanks were built from May 1938 through August 1939 by MAN, and they served in Poland. They were withdrawn in March 1940 for conversion to other types after proving to have poor offroad performance.
Bronco's kit is a real jewel. Though it is strictly a curbside, the kit provides all the opening hatches so that if one wishes, an engine and interior can be added. The inside of the turret is quite detailed so peering into it will show something other than blank walls. The kit's suspension is also quite detailed and fits onto a four piece hull assembly.
Those who are not fond of road wheels will appreciate the Christy suspension where they are large and easy to paint. Speaking of which, Bronco has provided colors for many of the parts that are attached to the kit if they are not the same as the outer shade (which is Panzer Grey, of course). While some are not enamored with separate track links, this kit provides them. Really, little looks as good as separate links and fortunately, those on the Panzer II are not complex at all.
There is the usual mass of tools and equipment to attach to the outer hull and both the20mm cannon and the machine gun for the turret are well done. A small etched sheet is provided to give details that are too fine for injected plastic.
The kit itself is superbly molded with packaging such that few sprues are banging into each other in the bags. The plastic track links should be relatively simple to assemble. You are offered four grey markings options. Three of them are from unknown units during the Poland Campaign of 1939 while one is a pre-war tank. The decal sheet is well done and should provide no problems.
Overall this looks like a superb representation of one of Germany's early war light tanks. It has all the detail you'd wish and won't take up a lot of shelf space.
August 2011 Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit.
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