Trumpeter 1/35 German Neubaufahrzeug Nr.3-5
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
ermany’s first attempt at creating a heavy tank was the Neubau-Fahrzeug (literally, “New Construction Vehicle”), although the design was in fact too ponderous for the blitzkrieg tactics that were being developed. Nevertheless, a total of five vehicles were made, and three of them saw combat in Norway in 1940. The multi-turreted Neubau-Fahrzeug was conceived in 1933, with the main armaments being a 7.5cm KwK L/24 gun and coaxial 3.7cm KwK L/45 gun. There were two other turrets fitted front and rear with machine guns. While the Neubau-Fahrzeug offered good propaganda value, the vehicle operated by a six-man crew wasn’t truly effective in combat. Three tanks fought in a specially created Panzerabteilung in Norway, although one was demolished after getting stuck in a swamp. By 1942, all these heavy tanks had been scrapped.
This new Trumpeter kit is very nicely molded in their standard grey plastic. The hull, upper deck and brass barrels are segregated in the box behind a cardboard dam to help keep them safe. Yep, you read that right. The two main gun barrels are in brass, though you have the option for plastic if you wish.
The kit does not have an interior, though I originally thought it might when I spotted no fewer than 28 identical sprues with what I thought were shells. Well, it turns out that this is not the case. This kit has individual track links and those shells are simply the attachment pins for each link. Though the instructions are rather vague on these, apparently one installs the pin with the large plastic 'handle' attached, then cuts off the handle, leaving the small pin. A rather handy way of doing things. There are the proper right and left pins as one side has a smooth surface and the other has a nut and thread representation. Trumpeter also includes a guide that holds about a dozen links to make assembly easier for you. While individual links are time consuming (there are 129 links per side), they do look so much better. As one is not supposed to glue the idler, sprocket, return or road wheels, one can only assume these tracks are supposed to be motive.
One also gets a pair of photo etch frets. These are for engine intake screens, suspension coil attachment supports, fender sections and a few other small bits. All three of the turrets are well done with the smaller Panzer I turrets having machine guns while the larger main turret has the 37 and 75mm guns. Hatches could be posed open, but with nothing inside, most will glue them shut.
Markings are provided for four tanks. All are a base of Panzer Grey. Two have large white tactical numbers on the turret, while one has several lines of printing. The fourth option is in the pre-war colors with a dark brown camouflage over the base Panzer Grey scheme. The decal sheet is well printed as are the instructions. A full color painting guide for all four options is included and provides multiple color references, with Gunze being the main one.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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