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Tamiya 1/35 scale Nashorn

Kit:35335 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$87
Sharp molding, good fit overall
Numerous ejector-pin marks inside hull plates
Injection-molded, 376 parts, (1 cast metal, 28 vinyl), string, copper wire, decals

Originating as the Hornisse (Hornet), the Nashorn (Rhinoceros) was an expedient means of deploying the most potent version of the famous “88,” the PaK 43 antitank gun. The gun’s devastating punch was somewhat offset by the Nashorn’s vulnerability, due to its light armor and open-top fighting compartment. 

The newly tooled kit is up to Tamiya’s usual high standards for quality and features. The parts are beautifully molded in dark yellow plastic. Kit options include four crew figures, detailed ammo lockers, and separate doors and hatches.

I started construction with the wheels and suspension. These assembled quickly with no problems. I like Tamiya’s use of vinyl keepers within the bogie wheels; these make for a positive attachment to the suspension arms with the bonus of moving wheels.

After adding the wheels, drive sprockets, and idlers, I worked on building the upper hull. With open-top armor models, prepainting the interior parts is a must.

I found the inner surfaces of the upper hull plates have numerous ejector-pin marks. The rear wall (Part B9) has no fewer than 12 of them! Most of the side-wall pin marks are covered by the ammo lockers, but you may want to eliminate those which remain visible.

The PaK 43 is a kit by itself. It’s well done, but complicated. The gun has a working elevation mechanism. Make sure the main mounts are aligned; this will affect the attachment of the gun shield. Take care when adding the supports for the gun-shield sides (parts D54/55). They are fragile and difficult to install; I broke them in my attempt. If I had it to do over, I would deviate from the instruction sequence. 

The ammo lockers are a good representation of the internal storage. The front doors can be cut open to display 88mm rounds.

The tracks are provided as one-piece vinyl lengths and have excellent detail. They can be glued with regular styrene cement. 

I painted the kit with a combination of Tamiya spray and acrylic paint. Also, I used Mig and AK Interactive washes and filters to weather the model.

Decals are given for three colorful vehicles. I had no problems applying them with the help of some decal solution.

My primary reference was Nuts & Bolts Vol. 14: “Nashorn” 8.8cm PaK 43/1 (L/71) Auf Fgst PzKpfw III/IV (Sf) (SdKfz 164 ), by Tony Greenland and Detlev Telisten (Nuts & Bolts, no ISBN). Comparing the finished model to photos and drawings, Tamiya has done a good job of capturing the look of this vehicle.

I usually find Tamiya armor kits enjoyable to build, and this one was no exception; I completed mine in 26 hours. While a bit complex for beginners, the build can be managed easily enough by continuing modelers. Fans of Tamiya kits and German armor will definitely want this new Nashorn.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2014 FineScale Modeler.


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