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When the Soviets first began to deploy tanks, they were forced to operate in
some very cold climates such as the Karelian Isthmus in winter. Tanks were very
cold, but the good news for the poor commanders and drivers who had to stick
their heads out is that those tanks didn't go very fast so frostbite and
windburn were not a major problem.
But with the advent of the 3rd generation of Soviet tanks – the T-64 and later –
this now became a problem. Having ridden in open vehicles in weather below 35
degrees Fahrenheit I can personally attest to the value a windshield gives one
in blocking the wind and keeping warm. So the Soviets began to provide a
driver-mechanic's windshield for the poor driver to use in administrative moves.
Later they began to provide a windshield with a snap-on canvas skirt for the
commander to use in administrative moves. (Admin moves are when the tank is not
likely to come under hostile fire, and thus the crew does not have to worry
about combat so use of devices which may interfere is not a problem.)
Panzershop is a new company to me and is from the Czech Republic. With this
little kit they have provided a neat method to equip a T-72 or other related
tank with a pair of windshields, and the windshields themselves are slickly
done. Each one consists of three main parts – a front and rear section and a
midbody. The result means that the windshields can be assembled and trap the
acetate window panels neatly in between them which presents a complete and
finished result. Since the winshield is then about 0.015" thick or about 1/2" in
scale, they don't look bad; the commander's windshield also has an angled frame
around the outside which hides its thickness. The last part included is the
wiper blade for the driver's windshield.
The driver's windshield is not a problem to mount on a model as it goes right in
front of the open driver-mechanic's hatch; it has folding braces on the side to
keep it upright. (Note that to install this you will either have to wait until
after your model is finished or trim the "ears" off the turret, because you
can't swivel the turret once it is installed.)
The commander's windshield alas is not so simple. It requires a mount to be made
for it, and the directions simply provide a photo and say "use 0.8mm wire"
(about 0.030"). The skirt comes attached and flat as a board, which considering
it is made out of rubberized canvas or plastic means it is somewhat unrealistic;
however, it will be difficult to "ripple" it due to the fact it is fixed to the
front part of the windshield. It can be cut off and used as a pattern for a
lead, paper or plastic one, however.
Overall the set is a superb rendering of these frequently seen pieces of kit
that make the model.
Panzershop products are being offered by Chesapeake Model Designs, PO Box 393,
Monkton, MD 21111. Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2002 by Cookie
Page Created 29 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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