Let me start with a quite recent release - a 1/72 scale model of the Polish TKS tankette armed with a 20mm cannon (or, as it was called in the 1930s, "heaviest machine gun"). This is the first set out of a series called "Wrzesień 1939" (September 1939) which, as the name suggests, centres on the German invasion of Poland (the later Soviet invasion is to be covered later) and consists of both vehicles and soldiers. In addition to the minis, a ruleset is to be released, though I don't know if it will be available in English or any other language other than Polish.
The box comes with the first issue of a magazine which contains a description and history of the tankette, a short introduction to the series, and a brief, day-by-day synopsis of the invasion. As far as I know, the magazine too is available only in Polish. Annoyingly, the box is glued to the front cover and it's quite tricky to separate.
Apart from the sprue, inside you'll find a plastic "test-tube" with glue and... a toothpick. The glue stinks like hell, but glues all right, though not as good as plastic cements.
The vehicle is made of 12 parts: lower hull, upper hull, left tracks, right tracks, cannon barrel, 2-part gun mantlet, spare wheel,exhaust pipe, support for an AA MG, shovel, crowbar (that's what the manufacturer calls the big metal rod).
Apart from the issues mentioned above, preparing all the parts is quite easy, as the plastic is hard, yet cutting or filing it is not a problem. There are some mould lines, but they're easy to remove. Building the tankette is quite simple (after all it's a wargaming model), although you need to be delicate when gluing the tools in place. The only problem is with the MG support - the instructions do not clearly show where to glue it (somewhere on the right side, but where exactly?). However, it turns out that this part is unnecessary (see below).
The finished model is really nice. The quality of the casting is great, the details sharp. The model lacks rivets on the side armour (again, limitations of the mould), but they're not hard to make on one's own. From a wargamer's point of view, the only issue is the flimsy barrel, which might not endure frequent use.
a Polish invention, later used by all major WW2 participants, by the way) should be positioned closer to the centre of the vehicle.. This again is a feature that differs the cannon-armed TKS from the MG-armed version, and the error might be explained by the fact that the manufacturer plans to use the same parts for the MG-armed model, which is to be released later.
Speaking of the TKS with an MG, some of the boxes included an additional sprue with the MG barrel and mantlet, allowing the buyers to make both versions. I wasn't so lucky.
Review in Polish can be found here. / Recenzję po polsku można przeczytać pod tym adresem.
If you want to know more about the September 1939 series, visit their site or their Facebook profile.
For more photos of the sprue, visit War in Miniature.