1:72 1939 7TP light tank review

First To Fight PL1939-026

Another simple kit dedicated to wargaming from First to Fight manufacturer. To simplified for modelling purposed or not? Let's check it out.

The Tank

7TP was a Polish light tank, produced from 1935 to the beginning of the World War II. Developed from English 6 ton Vickers Mark E, was a significant improvement over its ancestor. During the Invasion of Poland in 1939, it was a standard tank of the Polish Army, fighting the Germans alongside the TKS and TK-3 tankettes.

In 1:72

Just recently Polish manufacturer First to Fight, known from “September 1939” model series, released a 1:72 7TP kit. It's not the first injection-moulded miniature of this particular vehicle in “gentleman's scale”. About 2002, Mirage Hobby (also from Poland) released a series of kits covering the basic types of 7TP and Vickers E light tanks. Due to heavy unification of moulds, the miniatures were divided into plenty of separate parts, which didn't appeal to everyone. First To Fight product is clearly an opposite of that. Which is quite expected, taking into account fact, that this series of simple models is marketed mostly to wargamers.

First to Fight Kit

The model in question, catalogue number PL1939-026, represents the single turret 7TP version with early hull. It comes in standard for this series, rather nice looking box. Of course traditionally we also get a few pages long, A4 size brochure with some historical notes (in Polish!), but really- who cares? OK, let's be fair- there are also a colour drawings of 7TP camouflage with references to Vallejo paints given (repeated in smaller size at the back of the kit box) so you may care a little.

Inside the cardboard package there are two small sprues from green plastic, clearly moulded without any immediately visible faults. Well, to be perfectly accurate- we get three sprues, but two of them are linked together.

First sprue- “B”, contains basic elements of the hull and couple of details. “E” is a home of turret elements and “F” contains suspension parts cast as a single piece module per side, with tracks.

In details

So far so good. Lets look closer on some parts and complain a bit. Upper hull- lack of details (rivets, panel lines) on vertical plates. Slanting sides of engine compartment has some details, but slightly stretched. Purist may want to replace them.

Back characteristic to early single turret vehicles (with lower mounted exhaust) and twin turret ones. Lower hull with some rivets only on front and back. Bottom without any detail (OK, let it be), sides also (not so OK, but understandable because of moulding technology). So presence of rivets and panel lines on sides in the hands of modeller.

Suspension. As in the other tanks from this series- moulded in one piece module per side. Certainly the weakest point of the kit, which may discourage some modellers. But it's a cheap war-gaming kit, so what would you expect? Tracks are pretty OK, with single row of guide horns. This time the wheels are the worse piece- pairs are merged together into thick blocks of plastic.

Turret parts and the top hull plate. Nice, nothing to complain about, move along...

...and that's all. There is no decal sheet in the box, which is quite understandable due to “September '39” theme. Tactical markings on Polish military vehicles were painted over just before WWII broke out.

There is also no instruction of assembly added. Well, it sort of is- on the back of the box. Some may say that the drawings are to small. Granted. Others may wonder, why the FtF even bother with numbering the parts on the sprues, when they don't use that in the instruction drawings? But hey, this is a really simple kit, and matching that few parts isn't really a challenge. FtF also shared on its Facebook profile a high-resolution file with assembly drawings, which I guess may not be so easy to find really soon, so I've attached it to this article. Here you have it.

Conclusion

I think the photos speaks for themselves. Nicely moulded, simple kit with some drawbacks. If you can accept suspension elements moulded with tracks, and are ready to add some rivets- that may be a kit for you. Or if you just want a really simple, fast build and don't even bother with mentioned aspects. Otherwise- think twice.

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