by: Jim Starkweather [ ]
The following is a brief overview and photos of Tasca's new 1/24 scale Panzer II Ausf. F. This new kit will be released in December of 2009. The scale is the obvious talking point for many modelers right now. Certainly there have been kits like this in the past. Tamiya's 1/25 scale tanks and figures released in the 1970's were the obvious comparison. So why this scale? I am guessing it's because the Panzer II is very small in 1/35 and by moving it to 1/24 scale Tasca feels they can now offer details that were lacking in a smaller scale. Of course many would probably argue that 1/16 would be the next logical scale being that many kits have recently been released in that size, but cost might be the reason for keeping the scale somewhere in between. After all we all know how pricey some of those 1/16 scale kits can get.
In the Box
First off the box is not huge. It's what you might expect of a 1/35 scale kit. Inside there are eight sprues in light beige plastic and one turret with a connecting sprue for the front mantle. The kit doesn't specify how many parts are in the box, but I would say that it's likely a lot more than in a similar detailed 1/35 scale Panzer II. The track links are nifty little black plastic pieces on sort of ladder-like sprues. They are interlinked via metal pins which would seem to really accurately simulate there original design. There are two clear plastic sprues with cupola glass and headlight lens. There were two in this kit which seems to provide an extra (unless this inclusion was in error). There are also some soft urethane-looking rings which I assume are for the running gear. There is a small photoetch set included as well as decals of course.
Well first off I am in no way an expert on this tank (or any really). I am just good at observations, so let me share some of mine with you. When first looking at the kit parts I didn't immediately see anything special about it. It wasn't until I was looking at the various parts through my macro lens that I was able to see how amazing the detail level actually was. I will let the photos speak for themselves in this regard but I think for fans of this genre of tank, they will definitely be seeing things that in 1/35 scale were simply too small to notice.
It's probably too early to see what impact this release will have on the 1/24 scale for military models, but I think if this kit sells well we could see more offerings of vehicles that might be considered difficult to model in 1/35 scale. The Willys Jeep comes to mind for example, but there are many more to choose from as well. Tasca has made another amazing kit. Now it's up to modelers to decide whether it's one they will want to add to their build lists or collections. For hard-core fans of the Panzer II though this would seem to be a no-brainer.