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Academy 1/35 scale Polish Land Forces K2GF plastic model kit review

A straightforward build for fans of modern armor
Kit:13560 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$49
Academy (Sample courtesy of Model Rectifier)
Minimal cleanup; good fit and engineering
The instructions provide some options without explaining their differences
Injection-molded plastic (tan); 305 parts (2 photo-etched metal parts; 18 poly caps; string); pre-cut lens stickers; decals
Poland has recently started taking on the South Korea-manufactured K2 Black Panther tank as part of its tank force modernization process. One of the world’s most modern and expensive tanks, Poland plans on buying and building 1,000 units to replace its legacy T-72s and aging Leopard 2 fleet.

Academy released its original 1/35 scale Polish Land Forces K2GF in 2017. I have that kit, and when comparing it to this kit, there are two key differences: First, the original 2017 kit had individual track links that required patience and focus to build. This new kit has rubber band tracks. Second, this kit has decals for the Polish forces. Otherwise, the kits are identical.

Assembly starts with the turret, which is a little unusual. In my experience, armor kits usually start with the lower chassis and running gear. Assembly moved quickly with hardly any cleanup for mold lines and ejector-pin marks. The instructions have you add stickers to the periscopes at this time to simulate anti-laser, prismatic coating. However, I waited until I finished painting and weathering the kit before adding these to avoid masking.

The sides of the turret basket are a little tricky to match up and keep square, and I resorted to using superglue and accelerator to ensure the connections stayed in place. The floor of the turret basket is made from two photo-etched metal screens.

Academy is notorious for providing string for tow cables, but the string the company uses actually works well for this application and, when painted, is difficult to distinguish from metal cable. There are options called out for the sensors on the turret, but no explanation for their differences. I went with the first suggestion.

For the lower chassis and running gear, Academy came up with a smart way to connect the rubber-band tracks without employing hot screwdrivers, superglue, or clamps. Academy provides polystyrene links that sandwich the two ends together, allowing you to use your preferred cement. It works really well, and the tracks fit nicely over the roadwheels and drive sprocket. The rest of the lower hull goes together without issue, although I left the skirts off to simplify painting.

The kit’s markings are primarily small warning notices. The only distinctive options are a generic Polish flag for the front of the vehicle shown when it arrived from South Korea and a choice of five vehicle plates after they were assigned to their units. These decals are all applied to smooth, flat surfaces, but some are very small and could be a challenge if you’re new to the hobby. They went down well over Tamiya Gloss Clear.

I carefully added silver as a base coat for the periscopes, and after drying, I applied the lens stickers to them. A couple didn’t want to stick, but a small amount of white glue over the silver base coat fixed that.

The Academy 1/35 scale 1/35 scale Polish Land Forces K2GF plastic model kit was a fun, straightforward kit to build. The fits were good, and there was very little cleanup required. I only spent about 15 hours building it and another 10 hours on painting and weathering. I think it would be a good kit for a beginner with a few kits under their belt.
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