Alan 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.D Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||March 2008||Manufacturer||Alan|
|Kit Number||009||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Neat German subject with early war markings||Cons||No interior details, figures, or clear parts provided|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$16.95|
In the pre-war years, the backbone of the German armored forces was the Panzerkampfwagen II light tank. It was a good tank for the time, with sufficient speed and armor of a 2cm main gun, which was a relatively potent cannon. The tank was introduced into service in 1935, and production continued into 1941.
The Panzer II Ausfurung D superstructure and turret resemble other modifications, but the suspension was completely different. That was the first German tank equipped with torsion-bar suspension. Although it did not bring any radical improvements in performance, about 250 vehicles were built in 1938, entering service in German armored units. Being quite successful in the initial stage of WWII, the Pz.Kpfw. II became obviously obsolete after the French campaign and especially during the invasion of Russia. It lacked firepower. Its 2cm cannon could not effectively compete with enemy tank guns. Moreover, its armor was too thin to withstand the fire of rapidly developing enemy anti-tank weapons. Nevertheless, being gradually substituted on the front-line by modern tanks, Panzer IIs continued service up to the end of the war.
Alan is a model company based in St. Petersburg, Russia
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The boxart shows a Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.D on a grassy plain with a couple Pz.Kpfw. IVs in the background. It is in overall panzer gray with a white turret number 523 and an early white German cross on the turret that has been overpainted with yellow. This is obviously showing the Polish campaign, when the cross was going through transitions at that time. A side panels shows the full-color illustrations of boxarts for 3 other AFV kits that Alan markets: a Soviet ZIS-5 truck (kit no. 003), a Sd.Kfz. 122 (kit no. 010) and a Marder II D (kit no. 011). The other side panels have a color illustration of the boxart vehicle in profile. Next to this is one paragraph histories of the vehicle in 5 languages, including English. These are marked with illustrations of the flags of the countries these languages are spoken in.
Inside the box is a large sealed cello bag that holds two large and two medium sized battleship gray trees of parts. A smaller sealed cello holds 4 identical small trees of more battleship gray parts.
A small zip locked cello bag holds the decal sheet and a small piece of brass screen.
The instructions complete the kit’s contents. The instructions consist of a single sheet that is folded in the center into 4 pages of 8” x 11 ¾” format.
Page 1 begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, showing just the Pz.Kpfw. II. This is followed by the history of the vehicle in 4 languages: Russian, German, English and Japanese.
Pages 2 and 3 give a total of 6 assembly steps.
Page 4 is the painting and decaling instructions in 3 of the languages mentioned above (Japanese being missing). The bottom of the page has international assembly symbol explanations and Alan’s address in St. Petersburg, Russia.
There are 3 painting and marking schemes shown, all as 2-views:
- A Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. D with the 4th Panzer Division, Poland 1939. It is in overall panzer-gray with a yellow German cross on the sides of the turret in front of the turret number 314 in white letters. The 314 appears, again, on a rhombic shaped plate in small white letters that is attached to a storage box on the fender. The yellow divisional sign for the 4th appears on the back of the turret
- A Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. D with the 5th Panzer Division, Poland 1939. This one is also overall panzer-gray with an all white German cross on the sides of the turret in front of the turret number 12, also in white. It has the yellow division sign for the 5th on top of a vision port located at the front of the side panel. There is a rhombic shaped insignia that is divided into horizontal stripes of yellow –black-yellow below the number 12 on the turret. The division sign appears again on the back of the turret
- A Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.D with the 10th Panzer Division, France 1940. It is also in overall panzer-gray with a very narrow black German cross outlined in white on the forward part of the turret with the turret no. II 02 in white outlines only behind the cross. This turret number appears again, in smaller white letters on a black rhombic shape on the side of a storage box on the fender. Like the previous scheme, this one too has the yellow divisional sign for the 10th painted on top of a vision slit panel at the front of the sides. The division marking is on the back of the turret on this one too
Below the above illustrations it says: “Prior to Feb. 1943, all German military vehicles were factory painted panzer gray. After Feb. 1943, this color was changed to dark yellow. Vehicles were camouflaged according to the theatre they served in. In winter period, vehicles were overpainted with white wash.”
There are no parts tree illustrations in the instructions.
Large battleship gray letter A parts tree holds: the hull bottom tub, the tank roof, hatch doors, rear hull plate, driver’s vision plate, wood jacking block, jack, a machine gun, turret base plate, engine crank, fender ends, notek lamp (that has a nasty sink on top), exhaust etc. (26 parts) Two parts had broken off this tree due to friction with the other 3 trees in the cello with it.
Large battleship gray letter B tree holds: the turret top and bottom and split hatch doors, the 20mm cannon, the gun mantle, the antenna storage box, vision port armored flaps, tow hoods etc. (40 parts)
There are 2 identical medium sized battleship gray letter C parts trees. They hold: the road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels grab handles, tools, more armored vision port flaps, suspension arms, road wheel small hub nuts, final transfer covers etc. (52 parts per tree). This tree is common to this kit and Alan's kit of the flame-thrower version of the Panzer II. So, the flame nozzles are molded on these trees, that are excess and not needed for this version. There may be other parts that become excess too.
There are 4 identical medium sized battleship gray letter D parts trees. These hold the individual track links. (56 links per tree)
The decal sheet (markings already described above) and the small piece of brass screen, to use for the engine air intake, complete the kit’s contents. I apologize for the image of the decal sheet. I can never seem to get white print on a white decal sheet to show up, no matter what I do to my scanner. However, believe me...the white markings I described above are on it.
Engine access doors and the doors over the driver and gunner’s positions are separate and could be posed open or shut. However, there are no interior parts to see. The split hatch doors on top of the turret can also be posed open, but…again…there is nothing to see in there either. No crew figures are provided. Nor are there clear lenses to go in the headlights.
This is a neat early war German tank. It should find its way into a lot of collections of German AFVs.