The kit consists of 105 parts in light beige plastic with the now normal cast metal lower hull tub, a few poly caps and decal and instruction sheets.
The cast metal tub again has quite basic details for the suspension and rear idler mountings but most of the tub is hidden after assembly as there is separate front and rear hull plastic panels with good details and the large wheels and side skirts hide most of the tub sides so the metal tub is of little consequence.
The front hull panel has the two upper welded joins from the upper hull as well as side fillets with the towing shackle and inside final drive bolted section. The final drive housings attach to the side hull with cyanoacrylate but you need to make sure these line up centrally with the cast axle stub as there is a bit of movement when locating the drives. The suspension bogies fit easily in place and the wheels and rear idler wheels simple attach to their respective axles without problems.
The details on the road and idler wheels and drive sprockets is well done
with crisp details but watch the drive sprockets at the sprue gates attach
on a drive tooth so make sure you don’t cut the teeth off when removing
the sprockets form the sprue.
The drive sprockets are the type without lightening holes in the outer rim and the idler wheels have the twelve lightening holes around the rim as usually seen on mid production Hetzers. There is a small locating pin on the back of the drive sprocket that fits into a hole in the final drive to ensure the teeth are at the right position when attaching the track which is a nice touch and will save potential problems here.
The track again is in link and length moulded plastic with nice crisp details on both sides of the track with a full run for the lower section, a short run for the upper track and two link sections for around the drive sprocket and idler wheels, these two track sections have a slight bend between the two links for the curvature around the wheels. There are also additional sections with the mounting brackets included for the spare track carried on the upper engine deck and rear plate. A small jig is included on the sprue frame to aid in the assembly of the track but be sure you don't glue the track to the jig during the process.
The large upper hull is in one piece with separate engine deck, hatches, gun mount cut-out and front hull vision port as well as a cut-out for the sighting periscope with the detail on the hull again very well done with crisp details such as bolt heads, weld seams and other raised details. The upper engine deck is also well detailed with engrave panel lines and open grills on the rear intake while the rear hull panel has equally well done details with crisp raised details and there is a separate three part exhaust pipe.
The rear fender sections have good surface and when attached have the characteristic gap between the hull and fender along with separate rear fender supports.
The fit of the engine deck and hatches to the hull is superb without any gaps or trimming needed with the fit to the rear plate being equally as good as is the fit of the front and rear plastic parts to the metal hull tub and you can put away the filler for all these major parts.
The upper hull is held to the lower hull at the front by a large pin with poly caps fitted into the base receptor while at the back the rear panel is glued to the lower tub and the upper hull glued to the rear plate so I’m not sure why the poly cap arrangement at the front as you won’t be removing the hull after attaching to the rear plate.
Also included on the inside of the lower hull tub are two round collars of the type seen on other Tamiya hulls when using screws to attach upper hull parts which may indicate there will be other version on the 38(t) chassis to come?
The front gun mounting and mantlet are well shaped and feature subtle cast surface texture with a two piece gun that only needs the minor moulding seam removed so you will end up with a perfectly round barrel with a separate muzzle section, this end section unfortunately is slightly wider than the barrel and if fact should be slightly narrower.
The inner gun mounting is a nifty little ball assembly that will allow the gun to elevate and traverse when attached to the hull but this is held in place by the mantlet when attaching the inner gun part but this was a little loose and dropped out of the mounting holes slightly and so I added two small sections of card strip on the bottom of the inner mounting to securely hold the parts together which took all of a few seconds to deal with.
The large cast gun mounting again fitted perfectly to the hull cut-out and its design allows it to be mounted at any time from the outside.
Other details added to the hull include a nice little NOTEK light on the front fender, a three piece jack and crow bar with moulded on clips for the rear right fender and a delicate remote controlled MG34 with two part shield for the hull top as well as the coiled tow cable on the rear plate and of course the side skirts which have bevelled edges on the inside to give a good impression of thin plates.
The sheet is typical Tamiya with well printed items and thickish carrier film and has markings for three Hetzers.
This is an superb little kit with nice crisp details and the usual excellent Tamiya fit of parts that will build into a pretty little model as it comes and is sure to please fans of this scale.
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Page created 4 March 2005