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T-34/85 Kit

Academy 1/35 Pz.Bef.Wg.35(t) Command Tank Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2015 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Pz.Bef.Wg.35(t) Command Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 13313 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, easy build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $39.00

First Look

T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit

When Germany moved into Czechoslovakia in 1939, it seized its military assets as well as their production facilities including Skoda. One of the tanks in production at that time was the Model 35 light tank which was adopted by the Wehrmacht as the Panzer 35(t) - the t was the abbreviation for the foreign material source - tschechisch (Czech). Like many other combat vehicles in use by the Wehrmacht, some Panzer 35(t)s were modified to serve as command tanks which allowed for command and control of the Blitz on the battlefield. Tank-to-tank communications were accomplished by a common radio set in each Panzer 35(t), but to reach higher level command elements, a second radio set (HF) was installed in the command tanks in place of some ammo storage. These HF radio sets allowed for non-line-of-sight communications and they usually used a towel-rack antenna (sometimes referred to as a 'clothes line'). On the Panzer 35(t), this antenna was mounted to the rear deck and limited turret traverse.

Two years ago, Academy released their Panzer 35(t) kit (look here) and it was nicely done. In this release, the kit now has the additional parts to render the command tank version including that distinctive rear deck antenna. Molded in Panzer Gray styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees plus two trees in dark rust-colored styrene. The images make the plastic look lighter-colored than reality.

Among the features and options:

  • Detailed spring suspension
  • Link and length track for ease of assembly/painting
  • Nice rivet detail captured on the exterior surfaces
  • Nice towel rack antenna
  • Positionable crew hatches

This kit is an easy built and while the overall panzer gray camouflage might seem boring, this would be an excellent project to try out one of the many painting and weathering sets on the market that modulate the otherwise monochrome color plus add weathering and wear to the exterior surfaces to make those details stand out.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!