35(t) Skoda Light Tank model
Kits used :
by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski
Edited by Rob Haelterman
The light tank commonly known as the Pz 35(t) was developed by the Skoda Company for the Czech Army and was equivalent to other light tanks of the period such as the Polish 7TP, Soviet T-26, Italian M13/40, and US M3 Stuart. The Czech designation is the Skoda Lt.vz.35. At the time that the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia and absorbed many of the Pz 35(t) into the German army this tank was in the process of being replaced by the Czech Pz 38(t). The letter designation (t) in 35(t) stands for tschechisch, the German word for Czech. I understand that the Pz 35(t) was designed as a 3-person tank though the Germans squeezed in a loader as a 4th crew member and increasing the crew efficiency.
Be very careful to assemble the 5-part lower hull to minimize gaps and the need for filler putty. The hull assembly is similar to the newer 1/72 Attack Models Pz 35(t) kit.
DYMOK72 Company offers a turned metal replacement gun barrel for the 1/72 Pz 35(t) models (available here).
kit instructions are the typical exploded-view type with a parts tree
diagram, several historical photos of the Pz 35 in action and a 4-view
drawing noting markings and painting. Study the assembly of the suspension
bogies well: “dry fit twice and glue once” as they say,
or something like that. At lower left are the water-slide decals released
by ESCI for a German Pz 35(t) which includes several flags for draping
on the engine deck for air identification.
At the bottom is the stiff polyethylene plastic band track that came with the ESCI kit. I do not believe that this ESCI kit was ever released with hard styrene link & length track. This ESCI kit track is inaccurately detailed, too stiff to naturally wrap around the tank suspension, and resists most glues to affix the track down to the wheels. If you choose to use the ESCI band track I recommend it be warmed in hot water and bent into shape around the idler and sprocket wheels before it cools and holds its new shape. Some super glue comes with a special priming solvent which will help the cyanoacrylate glue affix the track to the plastic wheels.
At top is the Part Company 1/72-scale etched brass track set P72-107 for the T-26, Vickers 6t, and 7TP tanks though I believe this track is suitable for the 1/72 Pz 35(t) model and the track looks more accurate and in-scale than the ESCI kit track.
company offers aftermarket, replacement cast resin Pz.35(t) tracks
(set S72286). My experience is that OKB makes excellent aftermarket
tank tracks in 1/72. Pictured below is the darker gray OKB track alongside
the crude ESCI kit track and the light gray styrene plastic track
from an Attack Models Pz 35(t) kit. Attack Models also released a
replacement track in cast resin which is also an improvement over
the ESCI track but no longer available at this time in 2020-2021.
My opinion is that this is a great smallscale model kit that I am pleased is back on the market. The Attack Models 1/72-scale Pz 35(t) kits are similar in design to this ESCI kit but with parts not as well injection molded as this old ESCI model. With the OKB track set S72286, both the ESCI and Attack smallscale models can build into fine display models.
Panzer 35(t) and 38(t) And Their Variants 1920-1945, Walter J Spielberger, Schiffer Military History (2008).
On the hull we have the starboard-side driver’s visor partly open and the driver’s hatch on the hull roof (no hatch for the radio operator). On the port side we have the radio operator’s hull machine gun mount (missing the machine gun) and the radio antenna mount. We can make out the 25-mm thickness of the front armor plate riveted together. On the port side of the superstructure are brackets for pioneer tools.
The photo below shows the leaf spring suspension bogie, the rear drive sprocket and several return rollers. On the sprocket wheel is a large rim and the sprockets have a mud scraper.
Down on the nose are tow hooks. Here we also have a view of what the kit track is supposed to look like. At far left of the photo, the muffler is visible above the starboard-side fender.
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Article Last Updated: 03 April 2021
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