My name is Gert D’Hollander and I am an all-round hobbyist from Belgium. I’m going to try and write an interesting set of tutorials/build report of how I go about building these kits and try telling a story with it by setting it up in a mini diorama.
For this series, I’ll be using Tamiya’s 1/48 Pz Kpfw 38(t) E/F.
First, a short introduction to why I like this scale. As my fields of interest in kit building range from ships to wargaming armies and almost everything in between, the compactness of this scale makes me happy. Additionally, it is a scale where you can make crossovers between aircraft-related kits & vehicles. And there are some (not enough) figure kits available in order to use them to tell the story.
So why this kit? It’s small and a nice, fresh topic in comparison to the multitude of big cats (Tiger, Panther, King tiger…) that are all over the place. I also wanted to play around with the early panzer grey and ways to make this look interesting.
Lets take a quick look at the content of the kit.
Make no mistake. This kit is tiny so all pictures are pretty zoomed in. We have 1 sprue doubled up for the tracks, wheels, etc. There are some poly caps, the main hull parts and turret, and details sprue. The surface details & typical bolts look amazing. Another sterling job by Tamiya.
So let’s get started.
As the hull consists of multiple parts versus the bathtub style, we need to make sure that the fit is good. This to prevent fitting mishaps when mounting the upper hull. So I take care to clean all parts. I cut the parts from the sprue, a safe distance away from the part to prevent damage. I then try to cut with a scalpel, as close to the part as I can. This reduces the amount of plastic that I scrape away with the scalpel. To really clean up the surfaces, I follow up with a pass with some files & sandpaper.
After preparing all the lower hull parts, I also prepare the upper hull part. I won’t glue this to the lower hull, but will dry-fit it to make sure that the shape of the lower hull is correct.
As some final steps for this first article, I will start with preparing the wheels & tracks. I would like to paint the tank without wheels or tracks, so I need to step away from the assembly manual. I will start with cutting out/cleaning and building all wheels.
Next time we will dry fit all wheels and assemble the tracks in sub assemblies.
I hope you like this step-by-step. It won’t be the only way to do this, but I want to take you through my way of doing things. I want to provide insights into why and how I tackle certain challenges as they happen along the way.