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Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf.S mit Fuel Drum Trailer

DML 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf.S mit Fuel Drum Trailer - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf.S mit Fuel Drum Trailer - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6435 Primary Media 704 parts (405 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” links, 138 etched brass, 9 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted steel wire, 1 length of black string)
Pros Modifications added to replicate the Ausf. S model; fuel trailer a nice touch; fairly complete interior provided to include engine Cons Fenders still the original design with “straight” profile; fighting and control compartment interiors will be very hard to see
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

Sweden contracted with Praga for 90 TNHPS tanks as well as a production license to build the machine in Sweden. But the Germans took over the tanks and used them instead, dubbing them the Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. S (for Sweden). Closer to the Ausf. A/B/C than the E/F in production for Germany at the time, it was little different externally than the later machines. But in order to cover the expanse of western Russia, many of the tanks towed a 200 liter fuel drum during the early days of the campaign into the USSR.

DML has combined their E/F/G kits with some new bits and the fuel trailer from the Tauchpanzer IV kit to create a replica of the early Russian campaign tanks.

The kit provides the correct drive wheels with the excellent suspension as well as different springs for the bogie assemblies. Assembly follows earlier kitS and is pretty straightforward. However, the back plate (part B40) remains a single piece without a removable access hatch so the access cover cannot be shown open or removed as in performing maintenance on the engine. Only one set of engine access hatches is now provided for the engine deck.

DML was “dinged” on earlier kits for the fenders. I personally think the tanks were built with straight fenders but once in service, whether it is crew use or track slap or something else, the front of the fenders from the center of the vehicle onward appear to take on a slight bend upward from the rear section. DML claims that the fenders now look the part but for the life of me I can’t see it.

Tracks are still “Magic Track” links, which are identical so do not have to be “handed” as with other kits. But they are tiny and tedious to assemble – perhaps DML will eventually offer DS tracks for these kits as well.

The interior is pretty much complete as near as can be seen, but the warning needs to be given that due to the small hatches (commander’s and radio operator’s) it will be very difficult to see the details even with an “IPMS Death Ray” (penlight). As noted the engine compartment is much more accessible as the hatches may be opened up on the deck cover. As this kit has fewer options DML’s directions are not as problematic with this kit as in past versions.

The details are very nicely done and should be given foreground attention. Both of the machine guns have belts of ammo provided for them and are better done than the ones in the Tristar kit, albeit neither kit seems to have the angled handles seen on preserved guns.

Technical assistance is credited to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

The kit offers four different finishing options backed up with a set of Cartograf decals. The options are: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1942 (grey, yellow 9); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (grey, white crosses only); 7th Panzer Division, Russia 1941 (grey, white 535); and Unidentified Unit, Bohemia 1945 (sand with green and brown dots, black crosses).

Overall this is a nicely done kit but I am sure that once more there will be carping once more over the fenders.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 70 Pzkw. 38(t) wheels and suspension
  • B 70 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G fenders and hull components
  • B 2 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. E engine access covers
  • C 44 Tauchpanzer IV - fuel trailer, fuel drum, seals and fittings
  • C 34 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G Turret and Turret Race
  • D 58 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G interior and transmission components
  • E 1 Pzkw. 38(t) Hull
  • F 8 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G Turret Cupola and Interior
  • F 19x2 Pzkw. 38(t) Turret Ammo Racks and Interior
  • G 3 Replacement fuel trailer parts
  • J 9 clear styrene vision blocks
  • K 18 Pzkw. 38(t) OVM
  • N 5 cleaning rods and accessories
  • P 17 Engine and accessories
  • R 5 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. S - upper glacis, details
  • T 4 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. E/F muffler and turret front
  • U 1 Twisted steel wire
  • Y 1 Black string
  • Y 216 “Magic Track” links
  • MA 106 etched brass
  • MB 32 etched brass - fuel trailer
  • RB 10 German Generic - radio sets
  • RD 18 German Generic - radio racks and receivers