Polish armored vehicles 1939 IBG/Mirage/RPM

I have developed an interest in this subject. I already have a Spójnia 7TP and a Mirage TKS 20mm. I am waiting on the IBG 7TP Limited Edition, the Mirage Poland 1939 diorama with the 7TP and the IBG TKS with Hotchkiss MG. I am guessing that the IBG are the best as they are the most recent. How do the Mirage, RPM, and Spójnia compare? Looking at Scalemates these 3 companies seem to have used the same molds, though the Spójnia 7TP has all hatches closed and the Mirage one appears to have an open turret hatch. Any point in looking for the RPM ones, or more of the Mirage ones of either vehicle?

Any thoughts on any of these kits? Any “essential” aftermarket bits? I already have a metal barrel for the Spójnia 7TP and the IBG 7TP LE has a metal barrel and the IBG 7TP and TKS both have PE in the kit. How are the Quicktracks tracks? Or the RPM or TOM tracks?

FYI, only interested in the single turret 7TP and only in Polish service for both.

Thanks,
Frank

4 Likes

RPM seems to have their own mold vs. Mirage Hobbies, although they are very similar in some areas. Both aren’t any good as far as I care. I have gotten the picture that Mirage used to be Spojnia. IBG models are far superior in detail, although I do think they are pretty difficult to build still, and there are some quality problems like sink marks in some parts. Their TKS tracks are also a nightmare to be build (for me personally at least), being very tiny and the sprue connection points deforming the invidual links.

I’ve bought a few boxes of RPM invidual tracks, but they’re awful. Very poor detail and not very fun to assemble.

1 Like

Hello!
I’m from Poland and I thought maybe I’ll help you…
Spójnia was a state owned company in a socialist Poland. Around 1987 they issued a model of the 7TP tank (single turret) that was a big sales hit then - but honestly people were in a mindset that they would buy anything that hit the shops, because the shops back then were generally empty (that might be hard to imagine for you!). Then the wall went down, the political system changed and Spójnia was deactivated. Everything they owned was offered for sale, including numerous injection molds, and among these were the 7TP molds. Everybody was starting a company back then, and there was also a new private company who bought the 7TP molds cheaply, then probably sold them and in the end they woud up as Mirage, although I suspect that in te course of the last 35 years they were also issued by other companies. Some of these companies also tried to make new parts and issue vehicles like the C4P tractor and two-turret variant of the 7TP (which stands for 7 Ton Polish by the way)
So recently the IBG company decided to make a completely new kit of the 7TP. They hired the Chinese to do some work on it in order to keep the price reasonable. Regrettably there some major dimensional problems when it comes to the chassis/suspension/fenders of that kit, the Chinese made that error with one ot their Vickers designs and carried it over to the 7TP kit. My friend tried to correct some of the problems and I was helping and so I developed this kit which might help you if you wanted to try a correction:

Other than that I would be glad to help you with translations from Polish, should you need any.

Good luck with your Polish builds and have a nice day

Paweł

4 Likes

Hello Frank and welcome to Armorama! My wife is Polish, so I became an avid Polish WWII armor fan long ago. I have a decent collection and have built a number of them. The Spojnia and Mirage molds are the same and very old and very bad, I suggest you leave those alone and not waste your money and time on aftermarket for them (and Aber makes huge PE sets to correct both).
The RPM TK tankette series, 5 of them, are not for beginners but can be built into beautiful little models with some work. These are RPM’s own molds and are quite detailed for their age. There are PE and track sets for these TK models. I can recommend these kits but as I said, not for beginners.
The IBG kits are all new molds and light years ahead of all the others. They offer two TK kits and the 7TP. All have interiors. All have excellent fit and are great builds. Highly recommended. On the 7TP you can use the metal barrel you have for the IBG kit, it comes with PE, and the Quicktracks are outstanding, I have the set. The TK’s are just fine OOB.
Also, CAM (Combat Arms Models) makes a Vickers 6 Ton Polish Version that you’ll want to pick up. It’s a wonderful kit and the fit and finish is unbelievably good. An excellent build requiring no aftermarket though you can get PE, barrel and tracks for it if you’re so inclined.
Good luck with your Polish armor kits and enjoy your builds! Make sure to post your progress here on Armorama, and if you get stuck or have any questions, just post them here!

2 Likes

Thanks all. Good information, thank you. I think I’m going to grab a few RPM TK versions. I bought an interior kit as it said “fits in Mirage TKS”, but the Mirage does not have open hatches. I picked up the TKD and I am going to buy the TK Super Set.

I also have picked up PZL 11, PZL 23, and PZL 37 1/48 and 1/72. Thinking about the 1/32 PZL 11.

I feel as if the Poles don’t get enough interest, but they were the first ones to fight the Nazis and had some remarkable successes. First German bomber shot down. And Orlik, banged out a Panzer IV with his 20mm. I’ve been collecting books like Panzer II vs 7TP and another on Polish armor and tactics.

Thanks!
Frank

3 Likes

Another question or two. I picked up the Mirage 37 mm Bofors antitank gun. Does anybody make a suitable crew for this? Or what would have towed this? I’m guessing the C7P would have been way too big. And the CP by RPM is fictitious. I haven’t found any clear answer in my searches.

Another one, does anyone make the wheeled ammo trailer that would have been towed being the TKD? I have the Mirage tracked trailer, but nothing indicates that would be correct.

Thanks
Frank

1 Like

The mirage 37mm bofors is pretty poor, and I’m very excited to see that Thunder Models is going to release a brand new one at some point. IBG has polish artillery crewmen, but I think you might have to buy one of their 75mm guns to get those figures.
I figure the 37mm bofors would have been mostly horse drawn, but I’m not an expert on this, or anything really.

1 Like

Once there was this kit:

The tractor here is identified as PZInż. 302, but I don’t believe it was built in large numbers… Polish army didn’t have that many trucks back then (Wehrmacht used a lot of horse drawn carts, too!).

By the way PZINż stands for Państwowe Zakłady Inżynieryjne (State owned Engineering Works) - an organization estabilished to build cars and trucks for civilian and military market. It has built many types of military trucks.

1 Like

Some 37mm Bofors were horse drawn, S-Model used to make the horse team pulling the gun (got one in my stash somewhere!). The 75mm Polish gun crew are not well posed to be operating the Bofors, I had thought of converting Tamiya’s PAK 35/36 crew.

1 Like

Some research shows the PZINz 302 was based on the Fiat 508. Italeri makes one. I wonder if I could convert it?

1 Like

I found an S-Model Polski Fiat with the gun. It’s not cheap. I can afford it. I hope it’s worth it.

I had already ordered the Italeri Fiat 508. Hopefully I will be able to use the S Model as a reference to convert the Italeri.

1 Like

I agree, and this is a rare opportunity to show my Mirage C7P (in Russian service at Kursk) just because it was a fun build, unusual, and to my eyes looks great although I’ve no idea how accurate it is. It seems to have been a general-purpose tractor so I don’t think it would look wrong towing a Bofors…

6 Likes

Great work on that Mirage kit! Well photographed too. C7P was primarily intended to tow heavy stuff like 220mm wz.32 Skoda mortars but were also used as recovery vehicles in light tank units and for general engineering tasks. I think that, operationally, the Bofors would have been towed by a lighter and more agile vehicle with a view to getting the gun into action quickly.

2 Likes

Outstanding C7P Tim! I totally agree, Polish armor and vehicles don’t get enough love or respect. It’s time for a mainstream manufacturer to give us modern, high tech kits of all the 1939 Polish vehicles and armaments.

3 Likes

Thanks Steve/Matt, agreed a lighter hauler would be most appropriate. I’d just like to see someone else build/show the C7P - and in proper context i.e. 1939 - if only because it looks so quirky/cool. I’d imagine it could be better detailed, I had so few refs back when I built mine (c.2004?) it was basically OOB with a couple of speculative accessories, and the most diminutive (Soviet infantry) crew figures available.

I found a couple more photos…

4 Likes

I have this kit (unbuilt!), I managed to get a detailed interior set for it and Polish crew figures. If I get around to building it, it will be towing a 7TP tank on a trailer.

2 Likes

Dang it. The business I bought the S-Model PZINz 302 said they had an issue with their inventory and suggested that it had been stolen. :unamused: He has already refunded me.

2 Likes

Stolen! That’s a bit of bad luck. Sorry for that.

1 Like