Hobby Boss Skoda PA-2 ‘Turtle’

Officially known as the ‘Obrneny Automobil Model 1923 aka OA vz.23’ this unique looking vehicle was more commonly referred to as the PA-2 ‘Zelva’ (‘Turtle’) because of its wonderful curving lines. Initially designed for the Czech Army an order was placed for just twelve vehicles in 1923 to be delivered in late 1924 to mid-1925. However, after testing, the PA-2 was found to be a little too cumbersome for field work and the interior, designed for five crewmen was far too cramped and as such the curvy armoured cars were rejected. Skoda managed to sell three of the PA-2s to the Vienna Police Force while the remaining nine, which continued to make public appearances, were not sold until ten years later to the Czech Police. The Austrian machines saw brief action during a Nazi coup in 1934 and two of them went on to serve with the Austrian-Croatian border force. The Czech vehicles were seized by the Germans in 1939 and several of them continued to serve until 1945.

  This 2016 new release by Hobby Boss will make a good comparison kit to the Takom release in the same scale back in 2015. Before you take that road though, don’t forget that the Hobby Boss rendition is almost half the price of the Takom kit but I would be surprised if it is half the quality. On opening the box you can quickly tell that this will be a reasonably uncomplicated build in part to the fact that the lovely curving main upper hull is provided in a single piece. The kit only has 140 parts, the bulk of them carried on three main sprues, plus the main hull, a single piece ‘floor pan’ (which has a useful forward arrow on it), two sets of tyres with different tread patterns and walls, a nice PE sheet and a comprehensive decal sheet.

  The build makes a more unusual start with the fitment of the Turtles four 7.92mm Schwarzlose machine guns in the turret. This makes common sense as you will have no chance once the one-piece hull is attached to the floor to get your fingers inside, even with the size of this machine. With regard to that point, the PA-2 is a large vehicle which was nearly 20ft long in full scale. By step five of the build the Turtle will be already be sealed to its floor pan and sitting on its wheels. Personally I would have liked to have seen the positioning of the engine and driver controls but that would be in the territory of a much more expensive kit and even with single crew entry door open, very little would be seen of the interior. By step 6 this hulking great armoured car is completed, making it a very quick and straightforward build indeed. Good artwork on the box and nice A4 colour sheet will help no end with a potentially challenging camouflage scheme while the likes of me would paint the less challenging overall German grey.                 

  I’m a little biased as I love armoured cars and this is a perfect example which is not to challenging from a build point of view and will certainly not break the bank. Thanks very much to Creative Models for our sample which is available from www.creativemodels.co.uk


Product: Construction kit

Ref: 83888

Scale: 1/35

Parts: 104+ PE Sheet

Price: £16.09 (Creative Models)

Manufacturer: Hobby Boss

Website: www.hobbyboss.com