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In-Box Review
135
Panzer II Ausf. J
German Pzkpfw. II Ausf. J (VK1601)
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by: Mark [ D111298PW ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. J was a continuation in the development of a reconnaissance tank for the Panzer Armies. It was based on the previous development of the Panzer I Ausf. F. Armor was increased all around bringing the total vehicle weight to 18t. The main armament was upgraded to a 2cm KwK 38 L/55 gun. The first experimental vehicle (VK16.01) was ready by March 1942. Between April and December 1942, MAN produced 22 Ausf. J’s. Seven vehicles were delivered to the 12th Panzer Army and used in the Battle of Kursk.

What’s in the Box

The kit from Hobby Boss, released in 2013, comes in their standard cardboard box. The box is sturdy and protects the contents well. The hull pieces are in a separated area from the sprues. Everything is individually bagged. There are 300 parts in this kit (I counted 320). What’s in the box?
8 part sprues molded in beige
2 track sprues molded in a brownish shade
Upper Hull molded in beige
Lower Hull slide molded in beige
1 PE Fret
1 Sheet of clear plastic for forward vision ports, pre-cut
1 Piece of string for the tow cables
1 Decal sheet
1 Instruction manual
1 Painting guide
1 Marketing brochure

Review

The quality of the styrene is very good. There is no flash on any of the parts. Any ejector pin marks are located such that they won’t be seen once built. Some builders may want to fill-in the marks on the underside of the fenders. However, once assembled, they should not be visible. All sprues say “VK16.01”, so none are reused from other Hobby Boss kits.

Sprue A – You receive two of these sprues. The sprue contains all the running gear and suspension for one side of the vehicle. The bolts molded in the drive sprockets, and other drive train parts, lack any definition.

Sprue B – You receive two of these sprues. The sprue contains the rear torsion bar suspension arms, hull tow hook, tow cable loops, and copula parts.

Sprue C – Contains the fenders, and parts for the rear of the hull.

Sprue D – Contains all the parts for the turret.

Sprue E – Contains tools and additional parts for the rear of the hull. Brackets are molded on the individual tools.

Sprue F – Contains more tools. Brackets are molded on the individual tools.

Sprue R – You receive two of these sprues. The sprue contains the parts to assemble the tracks. Each track is comprised of 17 pieces. It is a mix of individual and longer molded sections. I didn’t find any ejector marks on the track links. Clean-up will be limited to the sprue attachment points.

Hull – The lower hull is a slide molded one piece part. The upper hull is also a one piece molding.

PE Fret – Contains the fender mounting brackets, mesh grills, and other small details. No tool brackets are included.

Decals – You are only provided with one option. No vehicle numbers or unit designations are included. You will notice that the sheet says “1/72” scale. An obvious error.

Instructions – Standard Hobby Boss format, consisting of 8 pages. The manual breaks down the assembly into nine steps with a parts layout page, all done with B&W illustrations. However, most of the steps need to been broken out into individual steps. I would say there are, realistically, a minimum of 24 assembly steps. You do need to pay close attention as many steps are very busy and it is easy to miss something.

Painting Guide – Again, you are provided only one option. As the vehicle was produced in 1942, all of them would have left the MAN factory in the Panzer Gray paint scheme. The guide does not indicate that this is one of the seven issued to the 12th Panzer Army. I’m guessing it is either the experimental version (VK16.01) or one of the 15 that never saw action. The guide provides color call-outs for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. For AK Interactive paints, use AK704.

Add-ons
I was able to locate the following add-ons for those that wish to add that extra bit of realism to their kits. If you know of any other add-ons, add in the comment section below.
PE Sets:
Voyager Model – PE35592 Full PE set with metal gun barrel. (http://www.voyagermodel.com/productdetails.asp?itemid=PE35592)
Metal Barrels:
Aber – L-063 Tank MG34 MG barrels, set of 2 (http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,654.html)
Metal Tracks
Fruilmodel – ATL-64 PzKpfw. I Ausf. F Tracks. This set can be used with this kit. (http://www.friulmodel.hu/en/atl-64-pzkpfw-i-f-i71/)

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: It’s great to see the likes of Hobby Boss releasing a kit of a low volume production vehicle. Not a complicated kit for the beginner.
Lows: It would have been nice if decal options were provided for some of the seven vehicles that were issued to the 12th Panzer Army. No interior detail provided at all.
Verdict: For the one whom likes building rare, or unique, German WWII armor, this is a great kit to add to your collection.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 83803
  Suggested Retail: $35
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 29, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.79%

About Mark (d111298pw)
FROM: DELHI, INDIA / भारत

I'm from the US, but have lived most of my adult life around the world due to my work. I'm currently in India for the last 2 years. I started building models when I was 6. Took a 30 break as other priorities took hold (work,family, etc..). Got back into it a number of years back building F1 kits (...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mark [ D111298PW ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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