The "Luchs" is one of the
few vehicles Germany fielded during WW2 that has been neglected by
the major manufacturers. As far as I know, it has not been done in
injection plastic in our scale.
For those that are unfamiliar with
this vehicle: a little bit of history. 100 were produced by MAN from
September 1942 to January 1944. It carried an MG and a 20mm rapid
fire cannon. A planned production variant with a 50mm gun never materialized.
While a number of small variations appeared on this vehicle during
the production run, the most noticeable one (and a feature that was
not changed during retrofitting) is the size of the rear turret hatch.
This one is the small hatch version representative of the very early
vehicles as seen in the museum specimen at Saumur. Note that the very
first deliveries of the Luchs were to 9.Pz.Div.
Modell Trans gives us crisp resin parts in a
plastic blister for their first production run. Newer kits are packaged
in sturdy cardboard boxes. A four view drawing is provided, but nothing
in the way of a construction assembly or paint schemes. Decals are
The tracks and rear road wheels are
a single piece. The way these are to be mounted to the hull will provide
for a very sturdy arrangement, even though little detail is present
to represent the suspension arms. A large resin carrot is to be found
on the bottom run. While it will require some work to remove, it is
the best place to put it to avoid damaging detail. Some flash is present
on the tracks, some minor casting deficiencies were found and a slight
warping observed. Nothing average modeling skills can't remedy.
The hull shows no warping and is very nicely
done, with sharp mesh detail on the engine air intakes. In these intakes
lies a mistake that will be very difficult to correct. On the real
thing the left intake was smaller than the right one. The kit has
them both the same size.
The turret is very nicely done and will fit
on a small locating peg on the top of the hull. The commander's hatch
is open, and a void is provided to mount a "half figure"
in the turret. The inside of the hatch shows details of the periscope
and the model looks correct for the early production Luchs. One might
want to add hinge details to the hatch, though.
S-shape tow shackles (on the left rear fender) and rear convoy (Notek) light are missing, as are the longer curved frontal sections for the fenders. The latter were not always fitted though.
Some tools are separate, while others are molded on the fenders. You also get an extinguisher, which is not shown on the provided drawing. If you want to to add it, it should go above the wooden block on the right rear mudflap. Note that this extinguisher is not shown in  and not seen in some pictures.
No antenna rods are given and the pole mount on the left side of the turret seen on many vehicles is missing too. The latter is easily represented by some sprue.
About the historical accuracy:
1. The large rear hatch was standardized in December 1942. At the same time the commander's hatch was redesigned.
2. You get two Bosch headlights. The right one was deleted in August 1943.
3. No Nebelkerzen smoke dischargers are provided for the turret. These were fitted between September 1942 and February 1943, except for the very first vehicles in September 1942.
4. The Orterkompas mounting appeared in July 1943 . One is cast on the turret of the kit.
Based on this data, I would opt for
the following time-setting: a vehicle produced in September-November
1942 depicted in the spring of 1943, after the disappearance of the
Nebelkerzen and before the removal of the second Bosch headlight.
Removing the small Orterkompas mounting will then be necessary. Optionally,
one could opt for adding home-made Nebelkerzen.
Note that many Luchses were rebuilt, additional stowage (like boxes and jerrycans) added and additional armor fitted. (If you ever wonder what the strange curved "bits" above the driver's & radio's visor are on 4.Pz.Div. Luchses, well, they appear to be sections of idler wheel (which came in six sections).)
Note that a construction review can be found here.
 Achtung Panzer No7, Pz.Kpfw.I /
Pz.Kpfw.II series and variants, M. Bitoh, Dai Nippon Kaiga, 2002
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|Article Last Updated: 17 April 2010|