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In-Box Review
Italian Tank Locomotive
Italian Tank
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Eighth of Rosebud Kitmaster's 1959 releases was their Italian Tank, engineered to the United Kingdom’s standard OO (4 mm, or 1/76) scale. This model of the Italian State Railways Class 835 0-6-0T tank locomotive was quite an attention grabber, the first of Kitmaster’s initial Continental engines. Short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless model railroaders. The Kitmaster Italian Tank locomotive was, in its day, an outstanding model, as were all the Kitmasters.

Italian State Railways Class 835 "Caffettiera"

Italy’s State Railway, Ferrovie dello stato (abbreviated FS), built over 300 of these diminutive switching (shunting) engines between 1906 and 1915. These ubiquitous excellent locomotives were nicknamed “Caffettiera” (Coffee Pot) because the prominent domes and piping resembled a common coffee maker. Originally designed for traction service, similar to street cars, these tiny engines were used for all roles, even local passenger service, and served into the 1980's!

A Caffettiera’s statistics:

Power: 370 hp at 18.6 mph
Maximum speed 34 mph
Weight (working) 45 tons
Boiler pressure 170 psi
Drivers 51"
Tractive Effort 16,050 (approx.)
Fuel 1 ton coal, 1,100 gallons water

the kit

Kitmaster engineered the Italian Tank with 66 heavy black plastic parts. The molding is mainly sharp, but ejection and mold marks abound. I see no flash.

The model is built to roll. In fact, an after-market motorizing kit was created for it.

With generous cab openings, the vacuous cab begs for more interior detail than the backhead offers. The cab handholds are molded on. No clear parts are provided for the windows (if there were any) nor the headlamps.

Fit is commendable.

The decals consist of the engine numbers, and only a single paint scheme is provided.


The assembled model is only some 4 inches long. This makes an impressive static model. Unfortunately, this is one of Kitmaster’s lost kits. They can be found if one looks hard enough, but be prepared to pay. This model would make a great centerpiece in a WW1 or WW2 diorama.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Unique European prototype. Good fit and working running gear.
Lows: Molding and ejection marks, lack of interior detail, single livery choice. Uncommon scale for most railroad modelers outside of England.
Verdict: For a model four decades old, this kit holds up well. The hand railings will take minor effort to remove if you choose to. Many mold marks will need to be removed or filled. Still, this kit can build into a good-looking model with great display potential.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:76
  Mfg. ID: No.8
  Suggested Retail: varies
  Related Link: Kitmaster Model Trains
  PUBLISHED: Nov 05, 2008

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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    Kitmaster glue capsule
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