This is the first Takom kit I have built, and I must say I was most impressed once I opened the box and got into the build.
In the box is:
- 8 sprues
- 1 hull
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 instruction booklet
The sprues are well molded with very crisp details on all the parts with no flash. The plastic itself seemed very soft. The sprue lay out is a dream and makes it extremely easy to find parts as needed.
Construction starts with the upper Hull. This is very easy to assemble with few or no issues at all. My only personal comment is the total lack of interior detail, which would have added a lot to the kit, and allowed for the various hatches and doors to be built open. The machine gun and cannon sub-assemblies are built next, and do have a few fit issues that needed filling. Once the gun sub-assemblies are installed, the upper hull is set aside for now.
On to the tank floor and suspension, at stage 11 in the instructions, I found my first major issue, and that is the bad fit of the front wheel into the structure. Be careful and take your time here. There are a lot of small parts that assemble to form the lower floor structure and you really have to be careful and pay attention to the instructions during these stages of the build. Lining up the track rollers (stage 20) during the assembly is very hard. Also the suspension build at stage 26 is very fiddly.
Once the floor and suspension is complete, it is mated to the upper hull, and this went together without a gap!
Now the big problem I had with this kit - the assembly of the tracks. After spending an hour trying to get the assembly order from reading the instructions, I had to give up due to frustration. So I searched the internet for help and found someone had put a few pictures that explained the order of assembly using pictures, and this made it a dream to put the tracks together. Once you know the correct procedure, the tracks are great to assemble and are very realistic.
The kit was a great, and a fun build, with the only drawback being the instructions for the track assembly. If Takom corrects the instructions, it will improve the joy of building this kit.
I am now going to buy a few more Takom kits for my stash.
Thanks go to Takom for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.