Tuesday, March 24

Takom awakens with FOUR new releases in two scales in April / May 2020

Takoms FOUR releases are making up we assume for the lack of activity from the recent closure of business over there of recent. Today we have the box-arts of the new kits coming in April and May. We give you what we know about them and a little of each of their histories in our preview...

Preview: A big new Porsche and two small scale Chieftains from Takom.

Chieftain MK.11 & FV432 Mk.2/1 
"1+1" kit
1/72nd scale
2 kits in the one boxing 
This is another "Two in one" boxing in 1/2nd scale from Takom showing just how well their designs can be downscaled. The kit contains one single previously released Chieftain plus one copy of the other British vehicle the FV432.
The FV432 entered service in 1963, and over 3000 vehicles were produced between that time and 1971. The 432 was designed to be adaptable and to carry out multiple roles without major modification. Whilst its’ key role was that of a ‘battle taxi’, it could be quickly turned into an Ambulance, a command post or a motar carrier. The 432 platform was also used as other specialist vehicles such as the ABBOTT 105mm Self Propelled Gun, the FV434 Fitters vehicle, and the FV438 Swingfire. Weighing 15 tonnes, and powered by a Rolls Royce B60 multi-fuel engine, the FV432 could reach speeds of 53 Km/h with a range of 580kms. The vehicle had a driver and a commander but had the ability to carry an infantry of 10 men to battle.
The FV432 was armed only with a single 7.62mm GPMG and two sets of smoke discharges. It was protected by a layer of armour only 12.3mm thick. Space was always an issue for the fully equipped infantry the FV housed, so upgrades in the 1990s’ would see additional stowage bins fitted to the sides as well as the addition of the open mesh basket in the top of the vehicle.
Chieftain Mk.11
(1988-1990) were Mk.8s fitted with IFCS, Stillbrew, No 11 NBC system, and TOGS. The TOGS (Thermal Observation and Gunnery System) was manufactured by Barr and Stroud and was completed by the addition of a laser range-finder.

Merkava 2D Israel Defence Forces Main Battle Tank
1/35th scale
Kit No #2132
The Mark II was first introduced into general service in April 1983. While fundamentally the same as the Merkava Mark I, it incorporated numerous small adjustments as a result of the previous year's incursion into Lebanon. The new tank was optimized for urban warfare and low-intensity conflicts, with a weight and engine no greater than the Mark I. The Mark IID version came with modular composite armour on the chassis and turret, allowing rapid replacement of damaged armour.

M60A1 Patton Main Battle Tank
1/35th scale
 The M60 was America’s primary tank through the last decades of the Cold War.  Created as an improved version of the M48 Patton, the M60 was equipped with a bigger gun and updated engine.  Over 15,000 examples were built by Chrysler and the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant from 1961 to 1987. Though too late to serve in Vietnam, Israeli versions of the M60 fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War.  
M60A1 tanks fought in U.S. Marine units in Grenada and Beirut in 1983, and Iranian forces used M60s in the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988. During Desert Storm, U.S. Marine M60s fought against Soviet-built Iraqi tanks, destroying over 100 with the loss of only one M60. The M60 was retired by U.S. military forces by the mid-1990s.  Foreign armies continue to use the tanks in frontline service.

StuG III Ausf.G (Early)
1/35th scale
The StuG III Ausf.G
Sturmgeschütz (or StuG) meaning "assault gun" was a simple derivative of the Panzer III signed for infantry support, but it ended as one of the most important German vehicles of WWII. With its low-profile and low-cost, it was the real warhorse of the Wehrmacht, shifting from a close support vehicle to a tank-hunter, soldiering without interruption anywhere from North Africa to Europe and Russia. The crews loved it because of its low profile and good armour, and the infantry it was supporting was grateful for its firepower and availability.
 Ausführung G model stood apart from the other production versions. It was, in essence, the main production run for the entire StuG series, with more than 8400 rolling of the line from December 1942 to April 1945, equivalent to the total production of all Panzer IV types combined. 

Simplification and standardization helped to further reduce costs and delays. The main superstructure was simplified. The side sloped armoured boxes were eliminated, and the casemate sides were extended half-through the mudguard width. This extra storage allowed to store even more rounds. The engine/fighting compartment rear wall was strengthened, the ventilation fan relocated further back and appliqué armour was standardized. Furthermore, the upper MG 34 was factory-fitted, protected by a guard for the operator's protection.

A Finnish StuG III Ausf. G (June 1944)
By March 1943, simplification pushed to drop the driver’s periscope. Metal return rollers were also required due to the lack of rubber. The main gun was unchanged, and in June 1944, it received a coaxial MG 34. Another big change was the adoption of a rotating cupola with periscopes, later replaced by a fixed, welded one, because of the sudden shortage of ball bearings. These had shot deflectors generalized by February 1944. Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating was factory applied for just a year, from September 1943 to September 1944.

All of these kits will be available in April & May from Takom's Suppliers Worldwide...