Although renowned for its iconic aviation scale models, in 2019 Airfix is due to release a new range of WWII tank kits. Collectors and modellers will now be able to re-create some of the most prolific machines of the war, including the Tiger I, Panther and T-34. These beautifully detailed 1:35 kits are currently available for pre-order, due to be released in May, 2019. For more information and the full range of Airfix’s latest model releases, please visit: www.airfix.com
This issue, History of War readers have the exclusive chance to win a fantastic bundle of three 1:35 scale tank kits: an M3 Stuart “Honey”, Tiger I (Early version) and a Pz.Kpfw.35(t). This bundle is worth a total value of £81.97. For your chance to win, simply answer the simple question below!
M3 Stuart Honey (British version)
The British named the M3 “General Stuart” upon receipt of the tank under the Lend-Lease program in June 1941. The tank’s ability to “shoot and scoot” as well as keep the crew safe from small fire arms fire, earned it the affectionate nickname “Honey”. The M3 could travel 10-20mph faster than many contemporary vehicles, and was relatively easy to maintain.
The M3 was equipped with two 30-cal Browning machine-guns and a 37mm M6 gun. Though this was adequate early in the war, by 1942 German counterparts far surpassed the M6’s effective range, but the narrow width of the Honey could not accommodate a larger gun.
German light tank (Pz.Kpfw.35t)
The Panzerkampfwagen 35(t), commonly shortened to Panzer 35(t) or abbreviated as Pz.Kpfw. 35(t), was a Czech designed light tank used mainly by Nazi Germany during World War II. The letter (t) stood for tschechisch (German: “Czech”). In Czechoslovakian service it had the formal designation Lehký tank vzor 35 (Light Tank Model 35).
In German service, the tank saw combat early during WWII, notably the invasion of Poland, the Battle of France and the invasion of the Soviet Union before, being retired or sold off in 1942; the fighting in Russia having exposed the vehicle’s unsuitability for cold weather operations and general unreliability.
Tiger I (early version)
Production of the Tiger I began in August 1942 at the factory of Henschel und Sohn in Kassel, initially at a rate of 25 per month and peaking in April 1944 at 104 per month. By August 1944, when production ceased, 1,355 Tigers had been built. On 23 September 1942, a platoon of four Tigers went into action near Leningrad.
Deploying in swampy, forested terrain, their movement was largely confined to roads and tracks, making defence against them far easier. During this engagement one Tiger became stuck in swampy ground and had to be abandoned. Captured intact, it enabled the Soviets to study the design and prepare countermeasures.