First to Fight Polish TKS Tankette Build in 1/72 Scale

This is kit number PL1939-001 from Polish manufacturer First to Fight. It was initially released in 2013, and re-released in 2019 with a turned metal gun barrel. It is an interesting design, and quite small. It carried a crew of two and makes me wonder just where is the line for being too small to be considered a tank. The main gun is a 20mm cannon, there was another version which carried a machine gun instead, which First to Fight also kits.
There is only a single sprue which contains twelve parts, plus a turned brass barrel which is a very nice touch. The suspension is mercifully molded as a single piece for each side and is very well detailed. For many subjects this approach is adequate for 1/72 scale, and much easier to build (and align!) than a pile of tweezer-bait. Instructions and a painting guide are printed on the back of the box.
The hull is split into top and bottom pieces. There is a gap under the mudguards, which is not obvious on the finished model from normal viewing angles but only takes a couple of minutes to fill with plastic card.
Assembly complete. The brass barrel is a nice touch as the molded barrel would be difficult to clean up and keep straight. I cut off the handles on the front plates and replaced them with wire stock, a simple improvement which enhances the looks of the model.
The model was primed with Mr. Surfacer to check for flaws, and then with black Alclad primer.
I followed the illustration on the box art for the camouflage scheme. It is interesting that the colors are so similar to those adopted by the Wehrmacht in 1943.
Here is the finished model after a panel wash and a light coat of dust. This kit goes together well and its simplicity and low parts count makes it a perfect choice for a quick build.

17 thoughts on “First to Fight Polish TKS Tankette Build in 1/72 Scale

  1. Agree that 1/72 vehicle hulls and frames are better rendered as single, unitary parts rather than as ‘tweezer bait’. Happily, seems we are seeing more of that lately. Insightful review.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I would like to see more molding of big truck frames and similar (thinking of ModelCollect and Zvezda) as single components to not only simplify construction but also better assure squareness. The scale or near scale cross sections are fine but underappreciated on most builds where the underside of the model is not the viewing focus. Apparently Dragon’s new eight-wheel releases have simplified and square construction, unlike how Revell has done similar vehicles with lots of fiddly little drive and suspension components.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree, Steve. The most common error in vehicle builds is getting the suspension aligned properly and have all 6 (8, 12) wheels touching the ground. To sacrifice alignment for invisible detail is a poor trade-off. The super-detailed engines, complete with PE, which are then placed under a hood which is too thick to open up properly is another example.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The FTF kit is a great little model. The only issue I had with it is that I had to fashion an exhaust pipe for it. Not sure why they didn’t include it on the exhaust muffler.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think in modern hindsight a “tankette” is considered a separate thing from a tank! Do you know how it was classified when purchased? Tankette? Light Tank? Main Battle Tank??? (yes, I know the Poles had some real tanks, I’ve played Panzer General…) Obviously of limited utility. Sort of a tank puppy.
    But great build! It would be fun to see with a Panzer III, just to compare the competition. Or maybe with one of the little airborne tanks?
    I’m amazed it was ever kitted in any scale.

    Liked by 1 person

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