Panzer 38(t) Full Interior Set

Tristar 1:35 Scale Kit No. 35032
Review by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
Tristar have released three separate kits of the Panzer Kpfw.38(t), Ausf.B (kit #35026), Ausf.E/F (kit #35020) and Ausf.G (kit #35022) and as these came with the locating lugs on the floor plate but no actual interior parts this new set offering the full interior allowing you to add this to your model if you wish.

The set includes the fighting compartment interior parts (sprue H) from the recent Marder III H (kit #35030) plus additional sprues I and J with the engine parts as well as a revised etched fret for the finer details.

This gives a total of 134 parts in light beige plastic and 80 etched parts plus the small instruction sheet and of course you need one of the above 38(t) kits to add the interior too with the kit floor plate already having the locating holes for the new interior parts.


Fighting Compartment:

This is extremely detailed with many small plastic and etched parts that will require a bit of extra work for some of the more intricate assemblies and some experience working with etched parts in particular would come in handy.

The gearbox is nicely moulded with well defined cooling ribs and this is attached to the forward differentials that are made of five main plastic parts and numerous etched parts for a detailed assembly. Added to this is the steering arm and linkages that is made up of 6 plastic and 18 very small etched parts resulting in a steering arm assembly that is superbly detailed but obviously requires care during assembly.

The two crew seats again have multiple plastic and etched parts with the seat itself having the perforated seat pan and separate cushion with nice texture included as well as the backrests that include the fine ratchets for raising and lowering the backrest with the seat mountings from plastic and etched parts for the most detailed seats you are likely to find in a standard kit.

The Driver’s foot pedals are also provided along with the instruments as mentioned earlier while the central radio rack is made from thin etched frames and separate radio boxes as well a the central drive shaft with finely etched cover.

At the back is the engine bulkhead that has etched grills and louvers which can be positioned in the open or closed position.

Additional parts are provided for the compartment side walls and turret interior with storage and most notably the ammo racks which are in plastic with additional perforated etched covering to give good definition to the racks and there is a large etched floor section. This floor section is actually wood on the real 38(t) and the etched part is quite thin and provides a simulation of this only which would have been better in plastic for a more realistic appearance.

Engine Compartment:

The engine block is in two halves with separate top rocker cover and lower sump pan as well as having a separate front bell housing cover and nicely detail fly wheel inside which is completely hidden after assembly but shows the attention to detail in the engine parts. This does allow you to build a diorama with the engine undergoing maintenance if you want to use the engine outside of the compartment.

Added to the engine are numerous accessories such as the alternator, carburettor and exhaust manifolds with about the only thing needed to finish off is adding the wring and plumbing from fine wire or sprue.

At the back is the large radiator with four parts, two for the radiator itself giving you nice mesh detail on both sides of the radiator, the large fan coaming and a nicely moulded fan with fine rib detail on the inside and outside of the moulding. The only issue here is there is a moulding seam line around the middle of the outside rib detail that will be a bit of a challenge to remove but this is not easily seen after the fan is fitted inside the coaming so may not be such an issue.

There is a separate exhaust pipe that goes to join to the external exhaust pipe as well as the side mounted fuel tanks and battery which again can have the fuel lines and wiring added to finish off.


This is an extremely detailed and nicely moulded update set for the 38(t) interior with the many small etched parts on the differentials and steering arm requiring a bit of care during assembly to fully take advantage of what is provided.

Detail on the Praga engine is very well done for plastic parts and rivals some resin sets I have seen and provides all the essential components with just the wiring and plumbing needed to really finish off the assembly.

Being a separate set gives you the choice of adding the full interior or not as the majority of models are built as external models only as not everyone want’s to add the interior even when provided in the standard kit.

It would not be too much trouble to fit this interior set to other 38(t) models available if you wanted to dress them up a little.

Highly recommended if you want an interior for your 38(t) 8/10


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See the 38(t) Subject Page for additional reviews of 38(t) related kits and accessories.

For another opionion on this set, see the review by Paul Owen on Track Link.

LT vz.38 P zKpfw 38(t)

MBI Publishing
ISBN: 80-86524-01-9

PzKpfw 38(t)
Tank Power Vol.XXI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.241
ISBN: 83-7219-241-3

PANZER 38(t)

Ian Allen Publishing
ISBN: 071103091X

Pz.Kpfw 38(t)Ausf.A-D
in detail

Special Museum Line No.38
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-58-5

PzKpfw 38(t) in action
Squadron/Signal books #2019
Charles K. Kliment and Hilary L. Doyle.
ISBN 0-89747-089-3

Ground Power Magazine
#064 - 9/1999

Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan
German Light Tank 38(t)

Thanks to Tristar Shop, my credit card and the excellent service fromRainbow Tenfor the review kits.

Page created August 10, 2007