- Manufacturer: Panda
- Scale: 1:16
- Vehicle: Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf.E/F Light Tank
- Markings: 7th Panzer Division, 25th Panzer Regiment | Russia | 1941-1942
- Aftermarket: None
- Paints: Lifecolor (Panzer Gray), Tamiya (Whitewash base), Vallejo (tracks, wheels, details), True-Earth (whitewash, burnt metal effects)
I tend to view 1/35 scale armor as roughly equivalent with 1/48 scale aircraft. But aircraft, for years now, have been expanding into 1/32 scale, where the builds have more presence on the shelf and the detailing possibilities grow exponentially.
Sadly, armor hasn’t done anything similar. There is no standard larger scale. You have the occasional 1/24 kit, or 1/16 kit, or even 1/6 kit, but chances are, they’re generally not very good or very accurate. Which is a damn shame.
Thus, when I received Panda’s Pz.38(t) to review for Scale Plastic & Rail, I knew I had to build it. Ultimately, I’d say it falls short of the best stuff coming out of Dragon, Tasca and the others in 1/35 scale. BUT it’s got size on its side, and despite lacking some of the finesse of the competition, that alone turns it into a very striking kit indeed.
Detail – 4
If this had been a Tiger or a Sherman, I would have rated it lower. But the Pz.38 is a really simple, straightforward tank, so it’s not exactly bristling with detail and texture. Considering the nature of the 38(t), I think Panda did a commendable job.
Engineering – 4
Panda waffles here between decent and brilliant. Some of the engineering seems questionable, as though the kit was not designed by anyone who has ever built a model. But other parts are inspired, the kind of stuff I’d like to see incorporated across the board.
Fit – 4.5
Overall I had no problems with fit.
Instructions – 1
Awful. The worst part of the kit, hand’s down. Incorrect parts, poor representations of the parts that are there, and lots of “glue this to this” without showing a view that actually shows how the parts need to fit together.
Markings – 3
Decals were on the thick side.
Panda is to be commended for bringing forth a solid effort in 1/16 scale, though some aftermarket support in the form of stowage and markings would be appreciated.
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