The Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) was a Czech design used by the German Army during their early campaigns of World War 2. The design was a better overall tank than the Panzer I and II which made up most of the German Army panzer forces in the beginning of the war. "Panzer Tracts 18: Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)" was created by Thomas Jentz with Scale Plans by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2007 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9771643-6-5). The book has 76 8.5"x11" pages. All scale drawings are 1/35 scale. Most are 4 view (left, front, back, and top) with 66 black and white photos.
The book consists of the usual section breakdown format with the "General Description", "Chassis", "Fighting Compartment", "Turret", "Armor Protection", and "3.7cm Ammunition" chapters describing various features of the tank. The "Production" and "Modifications during Production Run" chapters cover who produced how many tanks when and the various modifications made at different times.
The next several chapters cover the various production versions (Ausf.A,B,C,D,E,F,S,G, and command). "Backfitted Modifications" describes modifications that were fitted to earlier versions. "1939 Campaign in Poland", "1940 Campaign in the West", "1941 Campaign in the East", and "Campaign in the East 1942/43" cover how the tanks were used and the units that used them.
In addition, there are photos and diagrams from the maintenance and operating manuals showing good things like the hull and turret interiors and there are cross sections of the gun mounts and periscope provided. There are 1/35 6 view (top, left, right, front, rear, and bottom) scale drawings of the Ausf A and G as well as 4 view (front, back, left, top) scale drawings of the Ausf B, C, D, E, F, and S. There are 3 view (front, rear, left) drawings of the different turrets, front views to compare the differences in hull fronts, and 3 side views to show variations in the hull side. There are great photos covering things like the higher position of exhausts for armored smoke grenade dispensers and the armored caps for the idler tension adjusters and engine starting crank opening.
This is a great up-to-date resource for modeling the various versions of the Panzer 38T tank. Rivet counters will LOVE this because, well, they counted the rivets.
Highs: Great research on version differences with nice scale drawings. Good coverage of the fighting compartment.Lows: Coverage of the transmission and engine would have been nice. As always with this series, there are times when the use of the actual German terms could have been reduced.Verdict: A very good reference to have for those who want to model an accurate Panzer 38T.