When the German army withdrew the Panzer 35(t) from service in April 1942 about twenty-five Pz.35(t)s were converted by removing the turret and covering the opening with a canvas tilt. They were fitted out as heavy tractors for artillery pieces.
What's in the box
In the box you get nine grey-coloured sprues with no flash, a PE set, twenty brown-coloured sprues for the track (ten for each side), separate front and rear upper hull, and a decal sheet. The kit also provides you with the option of fitting the full canvas tilt or fitting the tubular frame with or without rolled canvas. Since this is at least the third 35(t) outing from Bronco, it re-uses most of the same sprues as the gun tank
reviewed earlier. Most notable are the turret-related parts that are of course not used here.
Starting with the interior you get a detailed driver’s compartment and mid-section interior with bulkhead, but no engine. (As I was building this with full tilt canvas fitted I did not fit most of these parts, and instead put them in the spares box.) The fit of the hull sides to the base is easy as there are small locating lugs on each side - no filler was required as these fitted perfectly.
The running gear consists of 31 plastic parts, 3 PE parts, and 24 bolt heads cut from the sprue runner to make up one set of bogeys - as there are four of these it does seem a bit intimidating at first but once you have assembled the first one you realise that although the parts are small they are well cast, that gluing them together is fairly easy, and if you are careful you can get a fully articulated running gear. The drive wheels also can be assembled so that they rotate. The instructions say the tracks do not need gluing but I run some glue around the tracks after assembly.
The upper hull assembly starts with the fenders - these fit without any problems. The rear hull top covers the engine compartment and the hatches can be assembled either open or closed. I would recommend that if you fit the rear hatch in the closed position tape it in position before gluing as there is no lip around the opening. The front hull has the open turret ring and also a driver’s hatch which can be left open. The hull front vision port can be made workable with all pieces a good fit.
The external jerrycan rack is a photo-etch that is fairly easy to either glue of solder together. The only problem I have with the kit is that the tools required photo-etch brackets. It is a pity that Bronco don't do what Dragon do and supply the kit with the option of using either moulded-on plastic tool brackets on the tools or photo-etch brackets and plain tools. I will be looking through my spares box for suitable replacements.
The colour guide is panzer grey on the Russian front, 1942. There are three options, differing only in subtle ways (adding/removing balkankreuse, and a diamond in either white or yellow), but there are no vehicle ID numbers or anything else distinct. The three option illustrations also show the variations of “full tilt”, “partial tilt”, and “frame only”.
Overall this is a nice kit of a rare vehicle, although at first the number of small parts noticed on first inspection might put you off, but the moulding of the parts makes construction fairly simple.