Trumpeter 1/72 Swedish STRV-103C S-Tank Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2005||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Swedish STRV-103C S-Tank||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7220||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$12.95|
When Sweden began updating its Army in the 1950s, development began on a new series of tanks that was based on operational experience and lessons from WW2. Development was delayed while the government opted to buy Centurions from the UK, but interest soon built for a new tank.
The engineers realized that the higher profile the tank, the easier to detect and counter. The easiest solution was to eliminate the turret. Since any armored combat would be defensive for Swedish forces, a 'Sturmgeschutz' type of armored anti-tank weapon was in order. Head-on, this new design featured steeply angled hull plating which would make any head-on engagement nearly impossible to knock out this S-Tank, and its state of the art (then) 105mm main gun could knock out anything on the battlefield (at that time).
The STRV-103C was a little more than half the weight of today's M1A1 Abrams and stood only 2.14 meters high. The tank had a crew of three and the gun was loaded automatically. The S-Tank defended Sweden into the mid-1990s, when they were retired and replaced with Leopard II tanks.
Trumpeter has scaled down their 1/35 STRV-103C tank to 1/72 and it is still a nice looking kit! Molded in medium green styrene, the kit is comprised of 152 parts on five trees, plus the upper and lower hull and a set of black rubber tracks.
Assembly of this kit starts with the lower hull which will provide some nice insight into the simplicity of the design and how this tank was able to remain in service for around 40 years.
One complete model in itself is the commander's cupola. It is equipped with a remotely operated machine gun, smoke grenade launchers, periscopes and a main sight. An array of periscopes and sight also go around the gunners hatch. The remainder of the upper hull is also well-detailed with storage boxes, pioneering tools, lights and light shields, and other details.
Markings are included for one example in Swedish Army markings (naturally).
This downscaled kit looks nice and should be an easy build for a 1/72 modeler that would like an unusual profile sitting on the firing line.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!