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Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Kit

Unimodel 1/72 Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Unimodel
Subject Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Scale 1/72
Kit Number 0351 Primary Media Styrene & Photo-Etch
Pros Nice detailing Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.98

First Look

Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Kit
Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Kit
Pz.Bef.38(t) Command Tank Kit

When Germany occupied Czechoslovakia, one of the first items on the Wehrmacht's shopping list was control of the Czech armor factories that were turning out tanks with superior firepower then their Panzer I and Panzer II main tanks. These tanks would continue to be manufactured and were designated as PzKpfw 38(t).

The Command Tank version was designated Pz.Bef.38(t) and it featured a dummy turret while housing a second radio and operator. This version is recognizable by the towelrack-type antenna mounted to the rear of the dummy turret and engine deck.

The PzKpfw 38(t) was used extensively by the Wehrmacht in the Polish, French and Balkans campaigns. After these tanks were considered obsolete, their chassis were later used as the basis of a number of combat and support vehicles including the Hetzer.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five small trees of parts, plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. The first tree contains the majority of the hull components, the second tree contains the turret and turret ring, the third tree has the towelrack antenna and support structure, while the last two trees contain the suspension, wheels and track sections. The small photo-etch fret contains a stowage box and several brackets.

Assembly of the kit appears to be straightforward with the hull leading off the process. What is interesting is that there is a bulkhead installed between the crew and engine compartments which provides additional strength to the assembly and shows off some minimal detail molded into the crew compartment floor. While no interior is provided in the kit, you can fabricate one should you care to go that next step. Unfortunately, all of the hatches are molded closed so you'll only see the interior with the turret removed.

This is a nice looking model that will look great parked next to your Panzers. You can get this kit from your favorite hobby retailer or directly from Squadron Mail Order.

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