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Academy 1/35th scale Pz. Kpfw. 35 (t)

When Academy announced this kit, it came as a surprise to me especially after learning of a future Bronco release.  After being pleasantly surprised with their King Tiger kit, I could not wait to get my hands on this model. 

Sprue A and the upper hull.  The sprue does show evidence of slide molds for the glacis plate.  The upper hull is made with a multi-part mold with detail on all sides except interior.  Below, we see the reverse side.  No provisions were made for an interior.

Below we see two images of Sprue B.  This covers the turret and figures.  Slide molding is used on the sprue again, this time for the armament and the front of the turret ring.

Sprue C is for the the fuel can rack and I will be replacing the barely identifiable butterfly nuts on parts 1 and 5 with those from ModelKasten.  Also note the decal sheet.  This decal sheet is printed in Korea and doesn't have anything for the figures.  I guess I was spoiled by the previous kits which were printed by Cartograf and had camouflage and details for the figures.

Sprue E has slide molding on three of the four edges.  These are to detail the side mud guards, hollow the exhaust, pad locks on the stowage boxes, and more.

The suspension and machine guns can be found on both sprues marked F.  The weapon's bore is hollow thanks to a sliding pin.

Sprue G covers the link and length tracks with the upper run having a nicely rendered sag.  Sprue H has the six fuel cans.

A closer look at the decals.  They cover two tanks and are, to be honest, boring.  I have a set from bison to replace them. 

The turret, up close...

As can be seen, the round head rivets are nicely rendered on all sides.

The lower edges on the sides have correctly engraved the slotted screws.  Look closely at the slightly overlapping top edge.  My only issue has to do with all the slotted screws being aligned identically.  I will cover them with photo-etched replacements set at random angles.

Nicely engraved fuel cans are legible and correctly marked for prewar so it fits the dates of the marking schemes provided.

A close up of the front of the tracks.  Note that the pin on the left side is slightly thicker than the one on the right.

The reverse does show the pin mark on every third link.  It is easily filled if one has access to a punch and die set.

The well rendered sprocket wheels have some pips to be removed (seen directly under the top bolt). 

The road wheels have nice details and do not need replacing with the Passion Models set.

While the spring details, by themselves, are good, they are strangely mounted on a board.  This sis something I must modify to better resemble the real tank.

While the bore has been opened with a sliding pin, there is flash to remove.  Fortunately for me, I still have a set from LionMarc Model Designs to replace them with much better detailed items.

Here we see how the inner sides of the mud guards have rivet details thanks to sliding molds.  However, the opposite sides of these parts are void of details and can be seen behind the wheels.

More slide molding and flash.  The flash is not hard to remove and (thankfully) the mold halves are aligned making the removal of seams easier.  The pin marks do mar the parts.

The pad locks.  Although nice to see them, they do not seem like a separate item and will be replaced with left over items from a Panzer IV details set (padlocks for the turret bin).

Very nicely done side mud guards have a sheet metal look to them thanks to the tiny rivets, soft bends, and nicely embossed details.

A closer view at part five and the Mickey Mouse ears (vertically on the left edge) purporting to be butterfly nuts.  This complete assembly will be replaced using ModelKasten butterfly nuts and brass strips from left over PE frets.

Looking closely, one can make out the screws on the lower edge.

The muzzle and recuperator.  I need to replace the gun barrel but will see which of the two I have (Schatton Modellbau or LionMarc Model Designs) will be easier to adapt to this kit.

The nose on the left face is missing the tip of his nose, could it be frostbite?

The one on the left here is even worse!

The driver's body is quite stiff looking,

The commander's torso shows much better animation but the belt looks strange.

These figures are reminiscent of Tamiya's earliest efforts.   I will not be using them.

The instructions  are easy to follow and uncluttered.  I am sure this kit will be far simpler than the future release by Bronco.  However, accuracy is good and the price wasn't too bad.  The instructions do mention cooperation with a Czech Museum so this explains the nicely rendered details.

I did compare the kit to a CMK offering, not for scale accuracy, but to see if any detail sets (like an interior) would fit this kit.  The turret heights are significanly different with the Academy kit being notably shorter.

I do recommend this kit unless one wants the challenge of more parts.

 

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