24 December 2013

Polish 1:72 scale TKS tankette with 20mm gun review

Just as I was in the middle of moving to my new apartment I received a package from Poland with two 1:72 scale models from the new "First to fight" range. The models, a PzI ausf A and a TKS tankette with a 20mm gun both came with a thin magazine (in Polish) detailing the historical background of the vehicle design and the combat during the September campaign.

The whole thing seems to me supported by the Polish military museum, which is super cool and each issue of the magazine comes with a model kit - the whole setup reminds me of when I was a kid and collected dinosaur magazines where you got parts of a T-rex skeleton - in that you get both historical information and a model.

As far as I have read the range is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the September campaign and the plan is to release a multitude of models to cover the combat vehicles that took part in the campaign. As such the first two issues include the TKS tankette with 20mm gun and the PzI, while the third issue comes with the Polish C2P light artillery tractor, and issue 4 comes with a Befehlspanzer I.

The scale is 20mm/1:72 and the models themselves are multi part kits cast in a good quality plastic. The tankette only comes with the 20mm AT gun option, I think it would have been nice to offer the MG option as well since the MG version far outnumbered the rare (around 24) tankettes with 20mm guns. There is still room for such a release, perhaps with the release of the older tankette version (TK-3).

You have to be VERY careful when cutting the tiny parts free from the frame, especially the gun barrel itself. This being a plastic model you will also need some plastic glue. This had me worried for a few seconds as it has been over a decade since I used plastic glue with old Airfix models but fortunately each box comes with a vial of plastic glue! I used a needle, dipping it in the vial and applying it to the model, as I was assembling it. I had forgotten that plastic glue makes your head spin if you get too close, but somehow I managed to assemble the miniature without any accidents (or passing out).

The plastic casting is very good, as there is pretty much no mouldlines to speak of, you mainly have to trim the locations where the pieces are held to the frame of the sprue. The look and proportions are also very accurate and while I was a bit worried before the model got painted as the detail is a lot less pronounced than on 15mm scale metal/resin versions my impression is that the vehicle does look pretty crisp. Now as I don't play with 20mm scale miniatures I didn't add any weight to the model, but I would recommend adding some scrap metal or some coins to give the models some weight if intended for wargaming.

You can see the fully assembled and painted up model in the pictures below, pretty happy with the result (and the first miniature I painted in my new apartment). The lightning in the new apartment on the other hand is abysmal and I will have to do something about it - the pictures were barely salvageable even with some tweaking in my regular editing software of choice ACDsee ...

If you are interested in the models from "First to fight" my advice is to check out their site and drop them a line or two - as I can't seem to find any information about retailers.

You can find their site HERE


  1. The TKS will be released again with the MG - some people actually got their 20mm versions with an additional sprue with the MG.
    IMO the 20mm version was released first precisely because there were so few of them. The first issue was much cheaper than the remaining ones (at least here in Poland), so they chose to release an iconic, yet not too popular vehicle.

    As for retailers, Plastic Soldier Company has the First to Fight minis.

    After the Befehlspanzer I, the 5th issue will contain the TK-3 tankette, then we'll probably get the Panzer I B.
    It is said that at some point the series will also include Soviet forces.

  2. There will be also series of infantry models and wargaming rules as well.


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