by: Vitor Costa [ ]
The L3/35 was a lightly armoured two-man vehicle typically armed with twin 8 mm machine guns, though variants were developed with other armament.
The vehicle's commander/gunner sat on the left and the driver sat on the right. Other than the number and type of machine guns, the differences between the L3/35 and the L3/33 were few. Both featured riveted and welded construction.
For many years I have heard opinions on Bronco kits, I have never built any or ever owned one, so I was a little bit curious about this offering from Bronco Models. To be honest I was not very excited about the vehicle itself as I didn't have any interest in these tiny Italians vehicles, so looking at the box art I was not expecting anything ďspecialĒ. Fortunately on the box side there are two profile drawings and then my interest for this kit suddenly changed. Donít judge a book by its cover, they sayÖ and in this situation that is the case.
This is a huge box for such a small kit, I thought and I was right, there is enough space to put at least two of these kits inside, but despite being such a small kit I was surprised and impressed with the number of parts that I found inside of this box.
5 plastic sprues
1 clear sprue
1 P.E. fret with 6 parts
Decals for two variants
The kit is composed of 6 sprues, one being the clear parts, and we only find the two front lights on there. These two parts are really well represented and we can easily see the lens effects of the lights. This sprue is inside of a plastic bag as are the 4 bagged except for the ones for the suspension that are identical and so are bagged together.
Here we find the tracks (sprue A), these must be the smallest tracks I have seen till now. These tracks are link and length with individual links for the curved areas. There are no marks what so ever, so there is no need to fill those annoying ejector pins marks that can be found in some kits. These parts have good detail, but they could be better, the guide horns are a little to thick, looking at these parts I think it would be easy to improve their appearance.
On this sprues only a couple of the parts show mould seams, but they are going to be hidden and are also going to be easy to remove the lines so will not be noted once in place. That is the only ďflawĒ I could see, all of the other parts have a very good level of detail, and there isnít any flash or ejection pin marks visible. The details however could be sharper in some cases. You will find a reasonable number of tiny parts that are going to need some attention to be removed from the sprues, in some cases if too much glue is applied on the build process these parts are going to be ruined as they will likely melt.
The next sprue to be observed was sprue B, here we find mostly the parts to be used on the hull and nearly half of it is not to be used on this version. On this sprue the level of detail looks better, sharper and crisp details can be found on all of the parts; however some parts show some flash that is really thin, it can be easily removed with a finger nail, or even better with a sand paper. There are plenty of ejection pins, but these are all in places that canít be seeing once in place. There are some holes and fitting locations for what may be a version with an interior.
The E sprue provides the parts for the upper hull. The level of details is the same as that found on the B sprue. Looking to the biggest part we easily note the lack of rivets making this the welded version, since all of the reference pictures I found on the internet show lots of rivets in this area. Once more half of the parts on this sprue will be not used on this version. A really nice touch is the fact that some parts are thinner than others, this will make a huge difference if we desire to display the hatches/doors open, this can be seen on the fenders, where the plastic is really thin, it will look good and it will be easy to bend it if we want to represent some damaged areas. Some tiny parts are present here too. No ejection pins will be seen once in place.
The last sprue is the F. Here we will find some doors and more of those really small parts. The gun barrel is well represented from plastic.
There is a fret of photo etched parts with no more than 6 parts in total. The decals look good, unfortunately two of the 4 flags donít have the 3 different colours aligned, a small cut with a hobby knife will solve the problem.
The instruction booklet is printed in full colours with 12 pages. It will be easy to follow, many sub-assemblies are composed of no more than 2 parts, so there is no complex building stages at all. Only four views on the paint instructions
This kit will certainly benefit with the addition of an interior, itís a small kit, there will not much to do, but it will make all the difference since there are many doors that can be left open, all the doors have nice details on the interior and donít need any filler or work to be shown. Iím sure there will be lots of extra parts to make it look even better, the gun barrel and the tracks are some that I can easily remember, but the aftermarket makers will find much more.
Iím looking forward to building this kit, from ugly to beautiful in 20 minutes.
It looks like the Formula 1 of the WWII Italian tanks!