by: Nathan Ashton [ ]
I build the reasonably recent Tamiya Wespe kit OOTB. My first impression was: Where the hell are all the parts, and I began to feel annoyed. But when I started building it, I realized that Tamiya has included and impressive 105mm canon and superbly detailed chassis.
What's in the box?
Most of the model has quite good surface detail, but Iíll get to that later. The rubber tracks are reasonable, but where I live their is no hobby store, only a toy store, (sob sob) so I can't get metal tracks or PE or any aftermarket kits. Anyway, Tamiya have included 2 works-of-art crew members in winter dress, one in an overcoat, the other looking quite cold.The waterslide decals are pretty good, and you get enough for 2 tanks : one in Russia, and one in Normandy.
Well, what can I say? The all fit very well together, although, having said that, I am having trouble placing the side and back armor plates in place before gluing. Another thing about the side amour plates - the handles going around the sides are blobs of plastic, absent of all detail. This was quite disappointing. For anyone with a hobby shop in their immediate vicinity, PE may very well be the solution. Also - there are some inconvenient injector pin marks on the inside face of the armor plates, but they don't take long to fill.The interior/ gun deck is very basic, but I'm not obsessed with accuracy, so it's good enough for me. The re-worked chassis is definitely an improvement on their Pz.II chassis (35009), which I built last year. Their are lots of rivets and the teeth on the drive sprocket are looking very nice indeed.The starting crank, storage boxes, fenders and hull details are all good. You also get spare road wheels, spare tracks, and various other bits and pieces, which can prove to be useful for the diorama builder.However, the definitive sub-assembly must be the 105 howitzer. right back to the early days, Tamiya have produced high-quality artillery. The 105 is no exception. Moveable in every conceivable way, with a delightful level of detail, it is, along with the crew, the highlight of the kit.
Sd.Kfz is short for special vehicle, and this Wespe is very special indeed. Although some of the details are a little soft, it is a good kit, although a little pricey.Thatís about all I have to say.
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Copyright ©2020 text by Nathan Ashton [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.
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