Bronco 1/35 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 ausf sWS
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Great Wall Hobby molding|
The Schwere Wehrmachtschlepper (Heavy Military Tractor), or sWS for short, was a GermanWorld War II half-track flat-bed cargo vehicle used in various roles between 1943 and 1945. The unarmored models were used as supply vehicles and as tractors to haul things. The semi-armored version could mount a medium anti-aircraft gun while the fully armored model carried a 10 barrel rocket launcher (Nebelwerfer). Less than a thousand were built before the end of the war, but production continued after the war of an improved model in the Tatra plant in Czechoslovakia.
This kit is the Nebelwerfer version. Just how many of these were actually built as such is unknown but totals were probably in the hundreds.
As mentioned in the note, this is basically a Great Wall Hobby kit, but since GWH and Bronco are 'cousins', then it is understandable why this reboxing is being done. Well, it isn't a total rebox as you'll see. The kit has excellent molding and is packaged with like sprues in their own polybag to prevent damage during shipment. The tan plastic is devoid of any molding glitches I could see. The kit is quite light on photo-etch, which will please those that don't like working with it. What pieces are included are limited to some detail bits and pieces that would be too fine in plastic.
It has a nicely formed one-piece hull into which the suspension tubes are inserted. The main tires are made up of several layers of tread that are glued together to provide realistic tread depth and basically eliminates the mold seam on the front tires/wheels. Of course, it also makes each one of these a small nine piece model in its own right. As it is an open vehicle, the interior is complete and nicely done. Everything you'd see by standing outside is included and there are a lot of parts. The instructions show that the engine covers can be displayed open, and unlike the GWH offering, this one comes with a full engine
The Nebelwerfer and mount take up a considerable number of parts. The mount is superbly detailed and is placed on a plate that sits atop the cargo compartment of the half-track. There are also a goodly number of rounds included to fit inside racks on the interior of the vehicle. The links for the track are separate and it seems they simply snap together, but I'll bet they need to be glued to stay that way.
Instructions are very well done with 23 very well illustrated construction steps. Color information is provided during the construction process. While there are really only decals for one vehicle, you can paint yours either overall panzer yellow or with large swatches of green and/or brown as shown on the box art. A full color painting guide is in the booklet with a goodly selection of paint references, something I always like to see.
As with some other recent Dragonmodelsusa kits, this one includes an older Concord book as a bonus. A nice way to provide added value to the purchaser and a good way to help reduce old stock.
Apparently this version was the one most used for the sWS chassis and it is great to see it in kit form. I believe that this variant has been kitted before (Italeri?), but this one is the best by far. Thanks to the in-depth detail, it will be a bit of a lengthy project, but one that is well worth the effort and will produce a superlative model.
http://en.wikipedia.org April 2011
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailerIf you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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