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German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)

Hobby Boss 1/35 German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01) Kit First Look

By Dave Manter

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer Hobby Boss
Subject German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01) Scale 1/35
Kit Number 83803 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Great subject, wonderful details Cons Side hatches are molded closed
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $46.99

First Look

German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)
German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)
German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)
German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)
German Pzkpfw II Ausf J (VK16.01)

Continued development of the reconnaissance tank concept led to the much up-armored Ausf J, which used the same concept as the Pzkpfw IF of the same period, under the experimental designation VK 1601. Heavier armor was added, bringing protection up to 80mm on the front and 50mm to the sides and rear, with 25mm roof and floor plates, increasing total weight to 18 tons. Equipped with the same Maybach HL45P as the Pzkpfw IF, top speed was reduced to 31 km/h. Primary armament was the 2 cm KwK38 L/55 gun. 22 were produced by MAN between April and December 1942.

The HobbyBoss kit consists of over 310 styrene parts and 50 photo etch detail parts. Markings for two vehicles are included. All of the parts are very well molded and the fit of the main components is near perfect.

Construction begins with the running gear and is very straight forward. Fit here is great. The highly detailed track is supplied as link and length. Construction then continues with the upper hull. Fit between the upper and lower hulls is the best that I have seen. Next up is the assembly of the fenders and all of their detail parts. The fender braces are supplied as photo etch. The final step is the construction of the turret. A full breach is supplied for the main gun.

Overall, this will make a very nice addition to your collection. If you like early war German stuff or if you are building reconnaissance vehicles, this one is a must have!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!