German 3.7cm Pak 35/35 auf Pz.Kpfw 35R (f)
I was not very familiar with this particular vehicle before receiving this kit for review, so a bit of research on its origins was necessary. While I did learn quite a bit in a short amount of time, I could not find how many of these conversions the Germans made, but that shouldn't take away from an otherwise great looking kit, at least during this First Look review.
This particular vehicle was a mix of using the French Renault R35 and mounting a German 3.7cm anti-tank gun. Development of the Renault R35 started circa 1932-33 with production starting around 1936 with close to 1500 total completed, and was originally intended to be used in a light infantry tank role providing support for ground troops. The Char Ieger Modele 1935 R or R35 was envisioned to be used to assist individual infantry divisions when engaged primarily in an offensive capacity, however the original 37mm main gun wouldn't fare well against opposing armor. While the upper and lower hull were considered to be well-armored, the main gun (37mm gun) didn't contain a strong punch for an anti-tank role and was slow due to the uparmored design. Many R35s fell into German hands during the fall of France at the outbreak of the war, and were pressed into a variety of roles such as security detail, tank training with some being converted to ammo carriers and artillery movers, this model being one of those conversions.
Typical line drawing instructions. Instructions depict several sub-assemblies, but they are not confusing and directions for parts location is clearly illustrated. This particular kit contains over 400 parts including one photo-etch fret to add additional detail to the engine and bogie units.
Engine block, engine parts, interior seats, floor board, idler mounts, track covers
There are plenty of parts used to complete the engine and drive train. Actually, the engine is almost a kit by itself.
Drive sprocket mounts, hatches, engine parts, onboard tools, road wheel mounts
Engine parts, visor cover, handles, towing hook mounts
There are plenty of small, fragile parts that will require careful removal and extra care during cleanup.
Sprue D (2x)
Drive sprockets, idler wheels, road wheels, bogie mounts, return rollers
Shield, Pak 35/36 parts, gun cradle
Hobby Boss captures some very nice, fine surface detail. Above picture shows the outside of the Pak shield. Inner details of the shield are equally as good, though there is a slight knockout mark toward the center of the shield which can be easily sanded. If sanding doesn't completely remove the knockout mark, the main gun should cover that area up on completion.
Lower, hull sides, hull bottom
Each lower hull side has a lip designed to accommodate either side of the hull bottom sides for a square, even fit all around.
One piece upper hull. Very nice surface detail and all (slide) molded on details are sharp.
Sprue T (2x)
The tracks are free from any knockout marks and the detail is very good. Due to the small size of this vehicle, there's reduced frustration from getting the link and length tracks to set correctly.
For such a small kit, Hobby Boss provides plenty of photo-etched parts. The fret included is sturdy enough to work with (i.e., anneal, bend, shape), but not so thick you need the 3rd Army to bend parts.
Decals appear to be on the thin side, so hopefully they will go down great during application.
This is a real nice kit of an early war German conversion using a Renault 35 mounting a Pak 35/36 gun and would look great on a shelf alongside other early war builds. After a review of the kit parts and instructions, it's clear that most of the the really nice detail will be covered up once the upper hull is attached since a large part of this build is the engine, drive train and crew interior. However, the Pak has some really good detail as well, so all is not lost. The modeler may want to consider not attaching the upper hull and designing a creative way to show off all the interior detail this kit has to offer. As I mentioned before in this review, a word of caution, there are plenty of small and fragile parts in this kit, so 'patience' is the recognition word of the day here. While this is a nice kit of a vehicle not seen often in plastic, because of the number of fragile parts, I hesitate recommending this to beginners or those just now returning to the hobby after a long hiatus until they are confident their modeling mojo is back.
A full build review will be forthcoming.
Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to MRC for this review kit.
Reviewed by Chuck Willis
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS