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Tasca 1/24 scale PzKpfw II Ausf F

Ausf F was the last major production variant of the Panzer II. More than 500 were built in 1941 and 1942 as reconnaissance tanks.

Kit:No. 24-001 // Scale:1/24 // Price:$79.95
Tasca, from Pacific Coast Models, 707-538-4850
Grand scale; individual-link tracks; good detail
No interior parts; multipanel construction for hull; soft detail on the machine-gun barrel
Injection-molded, 979 parts (18 photoetched, 72 vinyl, 245 metal pins), decals
Tasca surprised everyone by announcing a new kit of the Panzer II in the unusual (for armor models) scale of 1/24. While there have been a few military kits in this scale, they are rare.

The kit is molded in tan plastic. I was surprised to discover that interior parts are not provided, not even breeches for the guns. The kit does feature individual plastic track links assembled with metal pins; don’t let the parts count scare you, more than half of the parts are for the tracks. A small photoetched-metal sheet includes the muffler screen, toolbox latches, and some of the tool brackets. Clear parts are provided for the periscopes and the headlights. The instruction booklet has very clear diagrams with helpful text and additional drawings to clarify parts placements. A separate painting and markings guide covers two Eastern Front vehicles, one in Panzer gray, the other in Panzer yellow and olive green. A small, well-printed decal sheet is provided for both vehicles.

Assembly starts with the lower hull, which is made from several flat plates; take care in assembly, as errors here will affect fit later on. It doesn’t hurt to have some of the upper hull parts available to make sure everything is aligned before the glue sets. Take care in assembling the suspension arms, too. There are four different ones, and it is easy to get them mixed up. If you want a tow cable for the front deck, you’ll have to make one yourself; the kit only provides the end moldings.

The upper hull is another multipiece assembly. All hatches can be posed open or closed and feature interior details – but with nothing inside the hull, you might as well glue them shut. I left off the running gear and did not install the tools or other small assemblies until after painting and decaling.

The radio antenna is held in place with a vinyl keeper, allowing you to pose it up or down. Before installing the top hull parts, I painted the inside of the hull flat black so bare plastic could not be seen through the large rear grates.

The turret is easy to assemble and fits well. However, the molding of the turret’s machine-gun barrel is a little soft, surprising in this scale. I was also disappointed that none of the vision ports can be posed open.

I spent almost six hours assembling the tracks after first spraying them with a coat of NATO brown. Make sure that you make a right and left set of tracks (the only difference is which side the track-pin head is facing). You will also need to apply a dab of super glue to the head of each pin; otherwise they tend to fall out. I used 108 links on each side, as the instructions suggested. There are plenty of extra pins and track links provided.

I spent nearly 24 hours building my Panzer II, and the finished model matches exactly the dimensions in David Doyle’s Standard Catalog of German Military Vehicles (Krause). If you have assembled at least a few armor kits before, you should have no major problems with this one.

I really like the look of the finished kit, and the larger scale is perfect for these smaller tanks. While Tasca has already announced an Afrika Korps version of this kit, the success in this scale will depend on whether other companies jump on the bandwagon.
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