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Saturday, 5 November 2011

15mm Zvezda Panzer II

On my weekly pilgrimage to the Hereford Model Centre I picked up the new Zvezda Panzer II model for their Art of tactics game. I thought this would complement my early war, grey painted Panzer IIIs & IVs and Sdkfz251.
I love the fact that these are being stocked by your high street model shops and you can just go and buy one at will. At the usual £2.75 it wasn't going to break the bank and would keep me amused for a few evenings.
A quick glance at the rear box art dispelled that myth as it appeared there were only five parts!
Opening up revealed a neatly moulded sprue in grey flexible polystyrene, an exploded diagram and the usual Art of Tactics data card.
Close examination of the sprue confirmed there really are only five parts (if you ignore the flag for the board game). All cleanly moulded, flash free. The plastic as well as being flexible, is quite shiny. This I guess is partly due to release agent. I'd certainly recommend washing the sprue in water + washing up liquid to get rid of this before you start to assemble.
The five parts clip from the mould easily enough with side cutters, but as with the previous kits I've reviewed, they do not file or sand very well. You're better off trying to clean the parts up with a very sharp knife.
First job is to fit top and bottom hull parts together. They're designed to snap together and would quite easily, however, I opted to apply a drop or two of ordinary polystyrene cement to make the bond permanent. You can see from the picture above that the complex mould lines are not only neat and a good fit, but ensure you cannot assemble them back to front!
Next glue on the track units, which as you can see from the location holes/pins shown on the hull side photo, cannot be put on the wrong way. The turret is simply a tight push fit....beware of breaking the lovely little guns! And that's it!!
There really isn't anything else to do.
As this was the only German vehicle on my bench at the time, I brush painted it Vallejo Dark Grey. When dry I painted over Vallejo Sepia wash.
Once this was dry, I gave the model a heavy dry brush with Dark Grey + a little white. Then finally I highlighted it with light grey. The exhaust was painted brick red with Vallejo Smoke Glaze over the top. The tools were picked out in light grey and brown to suit, and the MG painted black. The decals came from my trusty Dragon 1/144 stash - if you make a few of those little twin kits they produce, you'll end up with enough German markings to last you a lifetime!
Finally mounted on a Warbases mdf base with Vallejo Pumice for texture and some static grass. The model is protected from handling by a coat of GW Purity Seal followed by Army Painter Matt Anti-Shine Varnish. Job done! My photo above makes the hull appear too tall, though this isn't the case in the flesh - it's an optical illusion caused by a wide angle lens.
  • Good value
  • Simplicity itself to assemble
  • Neat accurate little model.
Con's (maybe?)
  • No turret hatch to put a commander figure?
  • Type of plastic used.
  • No decals?
I'm struggling really to find any. It's a cracking little kit and thoroughly recommended. Now on to the Gaz truck.......

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