Well, this immediately changed with the release of the Blitzkrieg 1940 supplement for Chain of Command by TooFatLardies. It's not only crammed full to the brim with army lists for the six nations involved in Fall Gelb and Fall Rot along with rules amandments for even more period flavour, but also contains five new scenarios to give you even more Blitzkrieg for your bug. Well, you see... I'm quite impressed with that latest offering from the Lardies.
And, to get back to the primary reason for this post, so am I with this little cutie of a tank.
As with some of the other kits that are no product of the collaboration with Italeri, I'm quite sure it's an upscaled version of the 20mm version by Plastic Soldier Company with a few minor changes to make it work in 28mm. Nonetheless, or maybe just because of it, it's a brilliant piece of kit, that went together nicely. My only minor niggle would be the significant lack of bits and pieces for customization. This particular issue was adressed with some bits from the bits box(mostly Warlord Games and Tamiya), some Jerry cans taken from the German Stowage Kit by Rubicon Models, as well as some minor scratch building on my part.
The Panzer 38(t) - or ČKD-Praga TNH, respectively LT vz. 38 for Lehký tank vzor 38, Model 38 light tank as it was to be designated by the Czech army before annexation - was a mainstay of the German armoured divisions from the Invasion of Poland, over the Battle for France as well as Operation Barbarossa and beyond.
When Germany annexed Czechoslovakia in 1939 it also took over a highly capable armaments industry which was promptly integrated into the Reichs efforts to build up the necessary resources for the upcoming war. The Panzer 38(t) - (t) stands for Czech - as it was now designated was almost equal in performance to the then current versions of the German made Panzer III and IV's. It was well liked by its crews due to its mechanical reliability and ease of maintenance.
Originally it was designed with a one man turret but German engineers reduced the ammo load in order to squeeze in a loader to help the commander who also had to aim and fire the main gun. A few were also given to Germanys allies and fought on to the end of WW2. But with the increasing appearance of heavier Soviet tanks like the KV series and the famous T-34 the Panzer 38(t) was deemed obsolete as it could not fit a bigger main gun. Thus production finally ceased in June 1942 after more than 1400 were built.
The chassis of the Panzer 38(t) continued to be built for a number of other vehicles like the Marder III (Sd.Kfz. 138 & 139), the Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" and Flakpanzer 38(t). Several tanks even continued in service till well after the war. Its last recorded combat use saw the Panzer 38(t) as late as 1967 when the Syrians deployed it along with several other outdated German tanks during the six-day war against Israel.
To make a vehicle in Panzergrau look interesting on the table can be a daunting task. You get really tempted to either rush the job as "it'll look boring anyway" or to go overboard with weathering. In the end I think the Panzer came out quite nicely and I'm really looking forward to deploy it on the table.
|Panzer commander - magnetized so he can be taken out when tank destroyed|
|Miniatures and tank by me - terrain and basing by Pat|
Have a nice weekend and till next time!