Italeri has released a brand new mold kit for “Italian Tanks” that can be used for wargaming or as a nice break from more complex builds.
In the cover of the box you have both a medium tank and a self-propelled artillery. Be aware that the parts in the kit only allows you to build one. Or if you are a bit creative, to have an interchangeable top and being able to display it as one or the other.
Being a brand new mold, the surface finish is excellent and there is no flash anywhere. Being oriented towards wargaming, some of the details might be simplified (like the whole running gear is a single piece) but that adds to the straight and easy assembly component of this kit.
Construction starts with the interior, which is actually pretty well detailed for the scale and the intended use (wargaming). There are some injector pins in the interior floor and sides, but all they get covered with other parts (good engineering there). Careful painting and a wash will pay off providing you with a nice detailed interior which is visible in the self-propelled artillery vehicle option of this boxing. There are a few molding sinks in the thickest parts of the seats. I didn’t feel the need to fill them, but it would be easy to do so.
I assembled all the interior, front, engine compartment, running gear, and tracks with the intention of keeping the top unglued -and interchangeable-, as these two AFV shared all those components in the chassis.
The tracks are of the track-and-link type and includes a nice sag on the top of the running gear. I did have a tiny bit of an issue aligning them, but the problem area nicely covered by the sponsons, so you cannot tell there is a small gap on the tracks.
Building the self-propelled casemate and the medium tank turret is straightforward. Clean up the parts, follow the instructions and you will have no problems or surprises. Check often for alignment of the parts and make sure everything is square and true and you will not need any filler.
I decided to drill the ends of the light cannon and machine guns for the medium tank for a better look. The self-propelled artillery piece cannon is hollow at the business end of the barrel. Also, the artillery piece features some breach detail that looks nice when peeking into the interior of the fighting compartment.
All painting was accomplished with TruColor paints, which sprayed beautifully and provides a smooth surface which is ready to receive the decals. The paints were provided for a previous review (published elsewhere in this website) and utilized in this review as well.
Regarding markings, you have 4 camouflage options and probably every single Italian division and battalion marking is provided in the sheet. If you choose to do the north Africa finish, you can interchange the tops. The chassis vehicle registration will be correct for only one of the vehicles, but who can tell?
Weathering was applied as a filter using the Tamiya Panel Line Accent color brown and lightly blended with mineral spirits and a flat brush.
The kit also provides one full figure, meant to be used with the self-propelled artillery piece, and a bust, meant to be used with the medium tanks. I assembled the full figure, as shown in the pictures.
In summary, this kit is a very relaxing build, with some fun options as having the top interchangeable, with excellent fit all around, and reasonable surface detail.
Highly recommended as a break from more complex kits or as a starter kit.
I would like to thank Italeri, MRC and IPMS/USA for the review sample.