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Altaya Collections

"Os Mais Extraordinários Carros de Combate"

"The Most Extraordinary Battle Tanks" WW2 Collection

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Special Item #1 - Sd.Kfz.9 Famo 

(Limited edition item only available to subscribers)

Paint Job: Instandsetzungskompanie, SS-Pz-Regt. 2, 2.SS-Pz-Gren-Div., Kursk, July 1943

Positive Aspects: A "soft-skin"; it's at 1:72 (Nuts & Bolts 12); some nice rendered detail on some parts of the model, like the driving station; represents an early towing model.

Negative Aspects: Limited edition item - I would like to have some more of them; Metal body and some parts of the running gear; the front wheels were set too wide on the suspension (could be corrected but is annoying); Rubber tires on frontal wheels; heavy sink marks inside the cab and body; some detail is simplistic and toyish.

Rating: 7 in 10 (it's a soft-skin...)

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Special Item #2 - Sd.Ah.106 

(Limited edition item only available to subscribers)

Paint Job: Instandsetzungskompanie, SS-Pz-Regt. 2, 2.SS-Pz-Gren-Div., Kursk, July 1943

Positive Aspects: Together with the Sd.Kfz.9 it's composes an unique item; it's more or less at 1:72 (Geof Lacey Plan G48) with only a problem in terms of high - model too lower (perhaps depicting an overloaded trailer); some nice rendered detail on some parts of the model.

Negative Aspects: Limited edition item; majority made of metal, with only a few parts made of plastic and rubber; no provision was made to articulate the trailer model; Rubber tires on frontal wheels; some detail is very soft.

Rating: 9 in 10 (an unique item, so a must have...)

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1 - Pz.KpfW. VI Ausf. B 
Paint Job: s.SS-Pz-Abt 501, December 1944, Bulge model - Uscha. Otto Blase mount (AGTE, 1995: 365)

Positive Aspects: It's a German "big cat"; After checking their dimensions and detail, it's at 1:72.

Negative Aspects: With so many good "ready made" Tiger II, this isn't really necessary; the turret is in metal; the running gear is somehow cut short, missing at least the outer road wheels; some problems in assemblage with parts badly aligned, like the junction between the gun barrel and their external mantlet (toftblend); too soft vinyl tracks.

Rating: 3 in 10

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3 - T-34/76 M42 
Paint Job: 130th Tank Brig., 21st Arm. Corps, in the southwest of USSR, 1942.

Positive Aspects: It's an T-34, of the late 1941-early 1942 Zavod Nr. 112 production, so lot of uses on the table top; is a little over 1:72, mostly due to the running gear [Hubert Chance scale drawings in MiniTracks # 3].

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal, making any work on the hull very difficult; early (1940/41, not the all steel ones) road wheels; z ekranami on the front hull, limiting is use to the Leningrad sector, as this feature is almost absent on others areas (so the paint job and the model represented didn't match); Barrel not stepped and too thick (almost like an 85mm barrel); very soft detail and an towing cable already moulded; too soft vinyl tracks; some gaps in the model joints, specially on the gun mantlet

Rating: 5 in 10 (a missed opportunity)

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4 - M4A3 Sherman (105 mm) Howitzer 
Paint Job: US 756th Tank Battalion, France, February 1945.

Positive Aspects: It's a Sherman...(isn't that enough?); reasonable well made and detailed model; while not exactly at 1:72 scale, is very near, with the same general dimensions as as ESCI M4A3 and ExtraTech M4A3; represents a late production vehicle with upswept bogies and solid road wheels; turret very similar in dimensions as the one from ESCI/Italeri and as such compatible with them (so imagine all those possible conversions...).

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; very soft detail on the rear upper hull, with engine grills hardly visible; M2HB MG is a joke; some gaps on the model joints, like for example the gun barrel and turret; the rear exhausts were assembled upside down.

Rating: 7 in 10 (I will give it more if a 76mm version...)

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5 - Pz.KpfW. V Ausf. A 
Paint Job: 1.SS-Pz-Div. «LSSAH», Normandy, June 1944 (SS-Haupstu. Gruhle mount).

Positive Aspects: Exactly at 1:72 scale; Zimmerit [M.A.N. pattern] on the turret; nice camo scheme, even if a little naïve.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; some gaps on the model joints; hull mounting for MG too simple ; no Zimmerit on the hull; markings are too limited in time and Operational Theatre; Chassis too simple and rubber band as track didn't help.

Rating: 4 in 10 (another missed opportunity)

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7 - Sd.Kfz.234/2 
Paint Job: 11.SS-Fw-Pz-Gren-Div «Nordland», Narva, Estonia, May 1944 (Wrongly known as «Puma», the unit attribution is wrong as this unit never manage to get any Sd.234/2, as per JENTZ, Museum Ordnance Special Nº 24)

Positive Aspects: The very first "Armoured Car" on the series; some nice rendered detail on some parts of the model; Uniformly it looks like an Sd.Kfz.234; Decals easily removable.

Negative Aspects: Slightly over 1/72 scale (some 2mm longer in the hull, judging from Hubert CHANCE plans in Minitracks nº1);  Metal upper hull; Simplified detail on the wheels hubs; Rubber tires with simplified detail; Problems with the alignment of wheels on some models; single baffle muzzle brake - it should have two baffles; Rear spare wheel too far way from hull; Mantlet [Toftblend] too large - It seems to be rendered after Roden's one.

Rating: 6 in 10 (It's an Armoured Car...and most of the problems could be easily corrected or disguised)

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9 - Panzerjäger Jagdpanther 
Paint Job: s.Panzerjaeger-Abt 559, Luxembourg, December 1944 (unit attached to Pz-Lehr-Div)

Positive Aspects: This represents an Ausf.G2 as produced by M.I.A.G. around November 1944, with the Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf.G rear deck; It's exactly at 1/72 scale (Hubert Chance, Minitracks #7); The "Ambush" camouflage work is well done; As no numbers were applied, this is a general use vehicle.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Simplified detail all over the vehicle; Too soft rubber tracks with simplified detail; The barrel is slight under scale in diameter; moulded superior part of Scheutzen, which seems to be cut in half; Rear exhausts very badly rendered.

Rating: 5 in 10 (German stuff seems to be the worst part on this collection)

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10 - IS-2m 
Paint Job: 104 Arm. Regt, 7 Guards Tank Brigade, Berlin, May 1945.

Positive Aspects: Depicts a typical IS-2 M44 production, so prepare those 1945 scenarios; is at 1:72 [Hubert Chance scale drawings in Batailles & Blindés # 9]; some good detail, on the turret and hull.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; simplified road wheels; Soft vinyl tracks; some noticeable gaps in the model joints; Sink holes in some plastic parts; Rear turret MG mount to big.

Rating: 7 in 10 (for the first time a good soviet subject)

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11 - M26 Pershing 
Paint Job: US 33rd Arm. Regt, 3rd Arm. Div, Elsdorf, Germany, February 1945 (should I say the T26E3 named Fireball, KO in Elsdorf ridge...).

Positive Aspects: It's a T26E3/M26...(isn't that everything?); reasonable well made and detailed model; while the hull isn't exactly at 1:72 scale, the turret is, and is very well rendered [plans from Hubert Chance in Steel Masters #34]; While in vinyl the tracks represent the correct pattern - if simplified.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal, with moulded solid side skirts; The rear upper hull engine grills are well rendered, but with a very soft detail; M2HB MG is a joke; some gaps on the model joints; The hull is slight over 1/72 scale, due to oversize road wheels, making the hull 2mm longer and 1mm wider, but the height is correct; The turret detail is good, but the loader hatch is slight (0,5mm) to the rear; Black soft vinyl tracks (perhaps from Airfix inspiration...).

Rating: 7 in 10 (while not perfect a very serious contender)

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12 - Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf. E Tiger 
Paint Job: 4./SS-Pz-Regt. 3, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Div. «Totenkopf», Kharkov, April 1943

Positive Aspects: None

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Simplified detail all over the vehicle; Soft rubber tracks; Overall the model is not at scale, with the turret too short, the barrel some 7mm shorter, the hull while at scale on the width plane, is some 5mm longer, due to their longer running gear, and the tracks are also too wide, as they almost didn't fit the vehicle width; The paint scheme is toyish, to say the least.

Rating: 2 in 10 (Stay way from it)

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15 - Cruiser Mk.VIA "Crusader II"
Paint Job: 1st Armoured Div., Tripoli, December 1942

Positive Aspects: An Allied AFV, and even better an early UK one; It's at 1:72 scale exactly (Hubert Chance plans in Steel Masters #38); Some nice detail on the wheels and hull; While naive the paint job is good.

Negative Aspects: Upper metal hull; soft tracks, that seems to be a little shorter for 1:72; Gun Barrel looks like a 3", making this a Crusader II CS (?!).

Rating: 5 in 10 (Overall a nice model, depicting an useful vehicle)

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16 - Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf. G 
Paint Job: 21.SS-Pz-Div., Sidi Rezegh, Libya, November 1941

Positive Aspects: In reality it represents a später (late) version of the Ausf. G, with zusatzpanzer (up armoured) more typical of a Ausf.H. It also presents a Trop version more common on the North Africa than Eastern Front (but not impossible); Overall is a reasonable well made and detailed model; Scale wise is exactly at 1:72 scale; The level of detail is acceptable or even good (better than the old ESCI model).

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Very soft rubber tracks, spoiling the overall appearance; Upper hull radiators badly positioned; Simplified rear hull smoke dischargers.

Rating: 6 in 10 (a nice little model very useful for wargamers)

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18 - Somua S-35
Paint Job: 18ème Regiment de Dragons, 1re DLM, Saint Ouen, France, May 1940.

Positive Aspects: It's an French theme, and that should be enought; ; is a little over 1:72, with around 2mm wider, but the length and height is correct [Hubert Chance scale drawings in Trackstory #1]; The paint job is nice, even if the thinner line between the green and brown didn't conform with any real factory paint scheme; while with soft vinyl tracks, the pattern is correct one.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; most of the detail on the hull and turret is to soft, making it almost non existent; The angles on the turret are wrong, making it a little weird.

Rating: 6 in 10 (a nice model that could be better...)

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20 - M21 Half-Track 
Paint Job: 193rd Tank Battalion, 10th Army, Western Germany, March 1945.

Positive Aspects: It's at 1:72 scale (using Hubert Chance scale plans in Steel Master #27); overall a very reasonable detail, making it a very convincing model.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal, making some of the detail to soft for some opinions; while reasonably well done, they goofed the track assembly, swapping the idler and the sprocket wheel, and that isn't easy to correct, involving some "chirurgic work"; The Tracks and the Front wheels are also rubber or soft vinyl.

Rating: 5 in 10 (I only give this high appreciation because it's an Half-Track...)

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23 - Sd.Kfz.7/2 
Paint Job: PanzerKorps «Grossdeutschland», Eastern Front, November 1944

Positive Aspects: Representing the post-1943 "gepanzer" version, and as such a very good choice; Scale is at 1:72 scale; The level of detail is acceptable; Armoured cab made of PVC, and as such could be improved; with some care gun could be swapped for a 2cm Flakvierling 38, to represent a 7/1.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Very soft rubber tracks and road wheels; front suspension unit absent and the front wheels roll "like a toy", spoiling the overall appearance; Gun made of "soft PVA" and slight over scale.

Rating: 6 in 10 (only the fact of being a "soft-skin" could convince me to give such high rating)

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25 - Cromwell Mk. IV 
Paint Job: 11th Armoured Div., Normandy, France, June 1944

Positive Aspects: A very honest representation of this AFV; Scale is at 1:72 scale and is very compatible - not to say equal - with the Revell's offering; The level of detail is acceptable.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Soft rubber tracks; Detail a little soft in certain areas.

Rating: 8 in 10 (I really like this little critter...)

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27 - Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. G 
Paint Job: 20.Pz-Div., Kursk, Ukraine, July 1943

Positive Aspects: This model is somehow an hybrid, with main characteristics of a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. G später (late) with zusatzpanzer (up armoured) but with the later sprocket wheels typical of an Ausf. H and with an Ausf. J small muzzle brake  (very weird); Overall is a reasonable model; Scale wise is exactly at 1:72 scale; The level of detail is acceptable even if a oversimplification is present in a couple of spots - Schurzen supports, side air intacts.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Soft rubber tracks; Rear side hull radiators not represented; overall the model suffers from simplification in detail.

Rating: 5 in 10 (only because it's an useful model for wargamers...)

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31 - KV-1E 
Paint Job: 109th Tank Brig., Briansk, USSR, 1941.

Positive Aspects: It's an KV-1 1940/1941 production, with the F-32 gun, upgrade with appliqué armour (ekranami), and as such a very useful model for those 1941 tabletop battles; is a little over 1:72, at par with the PST kit.

Negative Aspects: The usual, such as upper hull in metal; the road wheels are a little over scale; very simplified detail (but that could be hidden with some extra stowage); soft vinyl tracks; some gaps in the model joints, specially on the gun mantlet; paint job too light green (just asking for some washes and dry brushing).

Rating: 8 in 10 (a good model)

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35 - StuG.III Ausf. G 
Paint Job: Fsch-Pz-Div. «Hermann Göring», Anzio, Italy, May 1944

Positive Aspects: Representing a early-middle production StuG.III Ausf. G, as produced around April-June 1943; Scale wise is exactly at 1:72 scale, and as such highly compatible with Revell's offering (Panzer Tracts n.8); The level of detail is acceptable even if some simplification is, as usual present.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Soft rubber tracks; Lack of rivets on frontal drivers plate and block mantlet; Commander's cupola also lacks its distinctive rail.

Rating: 7 in 10 (A very useful generalist model for wargamers...)

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39 - Infantry Tank Mk.IV, Churchill Mk. VII 
Paint Job: 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Normandy, France, July 1944

Positive Aspects: A very fair representation of a "heavy 75mm" Churchill; In terms of scale is around 1:72 scale (Bellona Vehicle Prints Series 26) with the turret exactly at scale, but the hull is 1mm width, and -1mm in terms of height, but even so very compatible with the Italeri's offering; The level of detail is soft but acceptable.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Very soft rubber tracks; The 75mm gun's muzzle brake a little small; Besa MG guns look too "funny" to my liking; very soft detail in certain areas.

Rating: 7 in 10 (A fair representation...)

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40 - Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär Sd.Kfz.166
Paint Job: Stu-Pz-Abt.216, Anzio/Nettuno, Italy, January 1944

Positive Aspects: Representing a middle production Stupa (November 43-April 44); While not exactly at 1:72 scale, is very close; The level of detail is acceptable, and that's all.

Negative Aspects: Metal upper hull; Soft rubber tracks; driving sprocket with detail in reverse (they swap low relief for high relief); Other detail goofed up like upside down track hangar and so on.

Rating: 5 in 10 (interesting and that's all)

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41 - SU-85 
Paint Job: 13th Polish Art. Brig., Berlin, Germany, May 1945.

Positive Aspects: It replicates well the sleek lines of this tank destroyer, of the 1943 production; when compared with chassis and overall dimensions of the FoV (a little higher than Altaya's) and Dragon's [1943 production] offerings (well know for being a little on the wide side) it's very compatible.

Negative Aspects: The usual, such as upper hull in metal; ; over simplified detail on the superstructure; soft vinyl tracks with lousy detail; some gaps in the model joints.

Rating: 6 in 10 (a reasonable model)

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42 - LVT(A)1 «Alligator» 
Paint Job: US 708th Tank Battalion, Saipan, June 1944.

Positive Aspects: It represents an early production LVT(A)1 without the hull MG; reasonable well made and proportional correct model; It's exactly at 1:72 scale (Squadron/Signal Amtracks plans); a very useful model for all the PTO modellers and wargamers.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; very soft detail, MG tub positions moulded blank; gun shields too thick; some gaps on the model joints; odd shape turret, even if looked at scale.

Rating: 7 in 10 (because is a most useful model...)

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44 - M13/40
Paint Job: Divisione Corazzata Littorio, Alamein, July 1942.

Positive Aspects: While presented as a M13/40, the model (like ESCI/Italeri one) is in reality a M13/41, with the upgrade 145 hp engine - replacing the transversal M13/40 engine radiator grills, with longitudinal. While most M13/41 were used in Tunisia 1943, exists some possibility of a small batch being used by Italian units in 1942, on the Libyan/Egyptian desert; using the available data (Bellona Series 36 & Squadron/Signal Italian Medium Tanks in action) it seems to be exactly at 1:72 scale.

Negative Aspects: Upper hull in metal; very soft detail, specially on the rear and front hull, twin MGs grossly made; noticeable gaps on the model joints.

Rating: 7 in 10 (a most useful model...)

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46 - M3 Grant Mk.I
Paint Job: 8th Army, Tactical HQ, Tripoli, January 1942

Positive Aspects: For a start the chassis are correctly depicted, exactly at 1:72 scale (Squadron/Signal plans); the level of detail is acceptable and the paint job is reasonable.

Negative Aspects: Upper metal hull; very soft tracks which didn't fit the sprocket wheels; very oversize turret, spoiling the overall appearance of the model.

Rating: 4 in 10 (a model with good aspects, but spoiled by the tracks and turret)

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47 - Matilda Mk.II
Paint Job: 7th RTR, Bardia, Lybia, January 1941

Positive Aspects: The model is almost at 1:72 scale (Bellona MVP #3 plans) with perhaps a 0,5mm over in width and 0,75mm over in length; the level of detail is very acceptable.

Negative Aspects: Upper metal hull; very soft tracks which didn't fit the sprocket wheels, and which seems a little on the short size, in terms of width; the glacis/drivers plate slope seems to be missing, or at least, isn't correctly depicted; Weird Caunter Scheme paint job...

Rating: 7 in 10 (a model not without faults, but I really like the little critter)

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Last Update: 20/June/2007  

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