Kit : Tatra T-97
The Tatra T-97 is one of those cars from which you would think that they were never made. It has the front of a VW Beetle, the body of a CitroŽn DS and it ends with the crest of a dinosaur. Nevertheless, it did exist and it even was rather advanced for its time.
It is also one of those cars that were confiscated by the German troops during WWII and that were used extensively by them. The car was designed for use on ordinary roads and was very comfortable. It was loved by high ranked German officers but at times also responsible for a high dead toll amongst them because they couldnít keep control of the car at high speeds. The Obercommando even issued an order with restriction of use of that car by high ranking officers.
There is not much documentation available. I did find a rather good site on the Internet providing a few pictures of Tatra cars, even the dashboard, but that was all.
Attack Hobby is known now for a few years and they do release a series of vehicles that no other manufacturer has even dared to try. If you have some interest regarding German vehicles WWII, then you canít ignore this manufacturer.
The kit comes in an end opening box. The front cover shows an artwork of the model, the back provides the colour scheme for 2 vehicles.
There are 2 light grey sprues with all of the parts and a clear sprue providing the windows and headlight glass. One thing that jumps to the eye is the fact that the car body is cut in half which results in a very nasty seem right in the middle of the roof and smaller body parts on front and back of the car that are difficult to glue.
The kit provides two decal options: one for a camouflaged car in use with a Panzer division and one for a completely black car used by a German or Tjech police unit in Prague 1945. I chose the last one but it only beholds two licence plate decals.
First thing to do was to bring the two body halves together because I expected some trouble with these parts. You need to sand a lot if you want these parts to look good, on the inside and on the outside, but this only results in the fact that the smaller glued points of the body on front and rear keep on breaking. You also need to watch out not to damage the crest on top of the roof.
Next, I started constructing the interior. This consists of a floor plate, dashboard, steering wheel, front and back seat and a back plate. This back plate forms the separation between passenger room and engine compartment.
The panels on the inside of the doors had leather covering and they are replicated in the mold. I spray painted the interior matt black and painted those panels leather afterwards. The seats also got a leather cote followed by a Raw Umber wash.
The trunk cover was placed in position after the sanding of the roof was finished. Next came the separately provided headlights which I drilled out first in order to add a drop of silver and some Kristal Klear glazing. I spray painted the outside of the car with Revell gloss black paint but this gave no good result and it all ended up with starting all over again, inside and out. So, I decided to use a small spray can from Tamiya and I applied the paint in successive layers; not forgetting to spray the hood. The inside door panels were then painted again.
After this was dry, the windows had to be placed. The two windows on the side come as one piece but I needed to separate them in order to put them in place in a decent way. They were glued using Kristal Klear. The wheel disks received black, the tyres German Panzer Grey.
Bringing together the body and the interior resulted in some minor problems regarding the correct alignment of dashboard and rear panel. Adding the wheels also asked some pushing were after the hood was put in place after adding the two small windows.
The finishing touch consists in mounting the front and rear bumpers, two licence plates and the glass in the head lamps. I also added a window washer on the drivers side because, according to the pictures, only one was mounted.
My subject, the police car Prague 1945, only had the two licence plates that gave me no problems using Decal Cote 1 and 2.
Not an easy model regarding the construction of the body halves.
I would not advice it to an apprentice or novice but itís a rather exclusive model when finished.
Keep Ďm building.