Saturday, August 28, 2010

The coolest tanks come in small packages!

Reconnaissance played an important part in German battlefield successes. In the earlier phases of the war, wheeled vehicles were deployed for that purpose. From these early experiments important lessons were learned. One of them was, that wheeled vehicles, while fast, were extremely prone to bog down in the muddy roads on the eastern front. A fully tracked reccon vehicle seemed the best solution and one of the first reccon tanks to be developped was the Panzer II ausf L "Luchs" (Lynx).

It was a very successful design but difficult and expensive to produce and saw action in limited numbers.
A more versatile solution was pressed into action much later in the closing stages of the war: The Aufklärungspanzer 38 (t). It was a very obvious thing to do: A new, bolted superstructure was mated to the obsolete Czech built 38 type tank, which was available in large numbers and extensively used for different  conversions and derivative vehicles allready. An open top turret with a 20mm caliber machine cannon was added to this and voilà: You have a very small, agile and maneuverable reccon tank.

  But history tells its tale and only a handfull of these were actually built, as the German Waffenamt had allready decided to put a new generation of 8-wheeled reccon vehicles into production instead.
Since it's an exotic subject, I never imagined that a kit in plastic of this rare tank would ever emerge, let alone in such a great quality! Images speak a 1000 words, so let's make it short. The model is from Dragon and  two or three things were corrected, but otherwise the kit is "shake it and bake it". I'm also adding some WIP shots of the painting  and weathering phases, for the first time! May I have an "Amen" !?

fully painted and weathered interior. Unfortunately none of it is actually visble...
3 tone camo is added
first weathering on the exterior
The final result in all its (smallsized) glory

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