Tamiya’sÂ PanzerÂ II kitÂ wasÂ aÂ surprisinglyÂ funÂ kitÂ toÂ build.Â It’sÂ lowÂ costÂ andÂ easeÂ ofÂ buildingÂ makeÂ itÂ anÂ excellentÂ starterÂ kitÂ forÂ peopleÂ newÂ toÂ theÂ hobby.Â
This kit,comes with 5 sprues (if memory serves) in a desert tan color, very similar to the stock photos you’ll see from Tamiya. 4 sprues are for the tank itself, with one sprue containing the 5 figures you’ll receive in this kit. It will include 1 commander figure that you can position on the top hatch of the tank, and 4 infantrymen with weapons equipped. When fully completed it measures 130mm long, 65mm wide, and 60mm in height. It comes with one piece vinyl tracks, however they feel quite poor quality, which is one of my few gripes in this kit, which I’ll discuss later. The part fitment exceeded my expectations in that for the price of this kit, parts meshed very well with no gaps that I’ve noticed.
As for the building process, it was rather smooth and went together quite quickly. Starting with the lower hull, the suspension and axles are already molded into the hull, making the lower hull easy to put together. The only exception is the piece used to attach the drive sprocket. The idlers are one piece, however the drive sprocket and road wheels are 3 pieces, one of which is a little rubber cap that fits inside each one. The top hull is more detailed than I expected, with much of the detail already molded into it, with a few detail parts, such as the tools, spare road wheel, and lights, needing to be added separately. Lastly, the turret will need the gun mantlet, the 2cm main gun and the Coax MG, commander cupola, and a piece to determine whether or not you’d like to make your PZII the Ausf. F, or Ausf. G. My only gripe about this kit was the tracks. The tabs used to connect each end was very flimsy, and hard to connect so that you could heat and melt them together. I ended up melting about 1cm of one track off so I had to improvise and super glue them to the road wheels. Oops.
Painting was a bit of an experiment for me, seeing as this was the second time I’ve tried airbrushing, and the first time I’ve tried my hand at field applied camouflage. I went with a tan base coat composed of 4 different shades of tan or yellow, a forest green comprised of about 70% olive green and 30% NATO black, and Red Brown for the spots of brown, and all mixed with Tamiya branded acrylic thinner.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable kit, and quite inexpensive to boot. It took about 3 hours of build time plus another hour for paint. I highly recommend this kit to anyone looking to get into this hobby and is searching for a easy inexpensive way to get started.