by: HG Barnes [ ]
The TK (also known as the TK-3) tankette was a Polish design produced from 1931 based on the chassis of the British Carden Loyd tankette, with an improved hull and more powerful engine, and armour up to 8 mm (0.31 in) thick (10 mm or 0.39 in on the TKS). In 1939, up-arming of the tankettes with Nkm wz.38 FK 20 mm (0.79 in) machine guns began, but only 24 of these were completed before the outbreak of World War II.
575 TK/TKS tankettes formed the bulk of the Polish armoured forces before the outbreak of war. They suffered heavy losses during the invasion of Poland, often being the only armoured fighting vehicles available. Their small size suited them for reconnaissance and infantry support, but with their light armament of a single machine gun they stood no chance in combat against German tanks, except against the Panzer I. ~Wikipedia~
Excellent box art welcome you to a very cool and not often seen subject from a period prior and during WWII. IBG MODELS have put together a great Multi Media package which shouts to be put in a diorama that include figures and the option to pose them in combat outside the vehicle. Iíve built several IBG MODELS kits and overall they make a very good product with great fit, very nice in scale plastic, Photo-etched parts (where needed) and some of the best instructions youíll find.
In the Box
Fifteen plastic sprues and 3 photo-etched frets make up the parts counts. A full interior can be built and the access hatches can be posed open if you want to show the interior off. The upper hull is very thin making it look to scale and the exterior detail is terrific. Youíll be impressed by the accuracy IBG MODELS have reproduced by simply going to the Polish Army Museumís website.
A very nice rough texture covers the areas where it should be and well thought out connection points attach the parts. There are some stress marks where the moulds were released, yet while they show on the bare parts it wonít cause any issues. There is some flash in spots but nothing serious. Rivet and exterior details are great, but the interior and engine detail are a little soft; with some additional wiring and hoses though the inside will really come to life. The only short coming of the kit is the figures which I consider passable and cannot be placed logically inside since they were crafted to be in machine gun firing and loading poses. Tracks are link and length and after some test fitting will go together fine, so long as you follow the instructions and make your gaps identical with the assembled links and the individual ones.
The PE is very thin and enough of it to make the difference youíll want to bring the Tankietka to life. The decals IBG MODELS have included are very basic yet will add another level of depth should you wish to add them.
As mentioned, these are a joy to follow! The large and bold CAD drawings are very easy to follow and thumbs up to IBG MODELS for including a picture of what the finished sub-assemblies should look like. Twenty eight steps get you to the completed model and bring you to the painting instructions for the figures. A colour call-out is at the back and suggested paint manufacturers include; Vallejo, HATAKA, LIFE COLOR, Mr. Hobby and AK Interactive.
There are many reasons to buy this kit, something different being one of them. You get super detail even with the low parts count and if the rest of the kit fits as well as the parts Iíve test fitted then it should be an enjoyable build. Definitely a cool diorama focal point.