Model: Pz Kpfw II Ausf C Publisher: Halinski (Kartonowy Arsenal) 2-3/98 Scale: 1:25 Format: Hardcopy B4 (13 7/8"" by 9 7/8"" for the non-metric) Designer: Marian Sobel The Panzer II was designed in the 1930s and survived into WW2 as a reconnaisance tank even after it was unable to survive against opposing tanks. It was lightly armoured with only a 20mm cannon as the main gun. To some extent the Panzer II was the equivalent of the Russian light tanks like the T-60. It was an integral element of the Wehrmacht blitzkreig in the 1939-40 campaigns in Europe and was important on the Eastern front in a reconnaisance role. Halinski has a deserved reputation for producing kits which are both accurate and well engineered. Although the Panzer II kit is (I think) Halinski's earliest and simplest AFV kit the Halinski philosophy is clearly evident. Four pages of B4 cardstock, 2 pages of frames and other parts on 80gsm, 1 page of vehicle history and instructions(in Polish) and 2 pages of construction diagrams. The instruction diagrams are very good and show the assembly sequence for difficult assemblies as well as the usual cross sections and plan views. The model has no interior except for the turret guns and uses the traditional Polish 1mm card box as the frame. The model has a number of nice details like opening hatches complete with well engineered hinges. As usual in models of this vintage there are no centre marks on cricular parts - fortunately there are less then half the roadwheels in this model compared to the Maly Cromwell. Print quality is excellent and the art work is simply superb the model has both weathering and a representation of mud plastering the suspension and lower hull parts. The print is based on a drawing rather than the recent computer assisted drawings so the lines are somewhat wider than we've seen in later models. The model represents (if I read the Polish text correctly) Gen. Erwin Rommel's Panzer II ( 7th Panzer Division France 1940). The Panzer grey colour might arguably be little light but overall the appearance looks pretty convincing. The Panzer II used a fairly simple suspnsion with swing arms and leaf springs - these are modelled down to the level of individual spring leaves. The track is built up from individual links - there is no simpler option. Each link - there are 216 of these - is modelled from a single part which is folded to form the link. This might be challenging for the impatient but looks as if it would give a superior appearance compared to simpler designs. The hull top has the usual attached tools all of which are modelled well - the fanatical may wish to scratch build some items like shovels to get a better 3D effect. The turret has both the 20mm and MG42 modelled - the elevation mechanism seems to be both effective and accurate. The Panzer II had a gun mantlet internal to the turret front which places a considerable constraint on the design. The Panzer II model might be challenging for beginners not because of the complexity of the model design but mostly due to the number of parts to cut out and assemble. It should not be overlooked by experienced builders since there is enough detail to capture the attention of most builders. How far this model can be taken was documented on the Polish equivalent of Cardmodels where a build based on on this model took out a major cardmodelling prize in Poland (If someone knows the URL of this build please post it.) Instructions: B (good construction diagrams) Paper quality: A (seems like better quality paper compared to Maly Modelarz and Modelik) Level of detail: A Printing quality: B (the lines are a little wide compared to recent kits) Artwork: A (weathering and mud) Value for money: A (typical retail is $US7-50) Skill level: Any one who likes a challenge but doesn't want a life style change that the Halinski Panther requires.