by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ ]
The Kfz. 100 Büssing NAG 4500 A was produced for the German armed forces from 1942 to the end of the war. Over 13.800 vehicles were produced, and they were converted into different versions. One of these versions was fitted with a turntable crane, the Bilstein Drehkran, which had a maximum lifting capacity of 3 Ton. These vehicles were used in field repair units, where they were used for lifting engines, gun barrels and also for towing assignments.
In the Box
The kit comes in a standard AFV Club size box, with a very nice box art. Unfortunately my poor old eyes can’t make out the name of the artist, sorry. The box is filled with crisply molded dark yellow styrene, but it doesn’t reveal how many parts there are in the kit. The kit content is as follows:
15 sprues of dark yellow styrene
1 sprue of clear styrene
1 fret of PE
1 small bag with 4 tiny pieces of metal rod
1 length of nylon string
1 decal sheet
1 instruction booklet in black and white building instructions and a color picture on the front and three colored painting and marking guides.
1 colored poster with the same picture of the vehicle as is on the box art.
As in so many other truck kits, the instructions starts out with the assembly of the chassis. This is a very straight forward and basic build. AFV Club included a couple of extra nice details, such as some great looking wiring on the fuel tank and the name “Büssing NAG 6 ZYL. Diesel” molded into the front fender. This is an excellent feature. The front wheel fenders are thinly molded to create the right scale size look, and some PE mesh screen has been provided for the radiator, all adding to the realism of the build.
The front differential is a bit complex and some very small PE parts are to be used, which may course some foul language in the process. Unfortunately the front wheels can only be build straight, which means, that some fiddly work is needed, if you want the front wheels to be in a turned position.
AFV Club has provided rubber tires, and they are excellently molded with lots of detail. The only thing the builder should be aware of is that this rubber will break apart if you use enamels or other oil products when painted. I’ve already ordered some AM resin wheels, because I don’t want my build to be ruined after some time.
The engine and transmission is very basic, but they make a very sound base for further detailing, if the hood is build open.
The driver’s cabin comes in several pieces, so please do take care to get them aligned proper and straight when gluing them. A strange thing is the absence of decals for the instruments in the dashboard. AFV Club has provided so many nice decals for the crane, but none for the dashboard.
Behind the driver’s cabin, a rather large wooden tool box is located, which has some great wooden grain details both on the inside and the outside. The only bad thing is some nasty punch marks on the inside, but if built closed, this is not an issue. If built open, these marks can probably be hidden by some tools and stuff. All in all a very nice sub assembly by itself. The load bed is a rather intricate assembly, with a lot of parts, but everything turns in to a great looking element of the build, featuring lots of different tools, Jerry cans, a jack and so on.
The Bilstein crane is a kit within the kit. It’s has an adjustable jig boom and the gears and wire systems inside the main structure is very complex. This really needs awareness from the builder during the construction. AFV Club has provided lots of different labels to go on this piece, and such details will certainly add to the realism of the build. When it comes to fixing the wiring on the crane, I’ll suggest you do this after you have painted it, because the wires will most likely be in your way, when painting and weathering.
Under the cargo bed are located four support “legs”, which can be built as folded down when the crane is in use, or folded up into the cargo bed support beams, when in transport. These supports are excellently detailed. The sides of the large wooden tool box behind the driver’s cabin can also be built open or closed, and due to the rather large side hatches, these are also equipped with support legs. These hatches can be used as work tables when opened.
The final assembly is the fitting of the crane. If careful with the gluing, the crane can be made turn able, which is a nice feature.
Painting and marking
AFV Club provides three different vehicles to choose from. These are as follows:
StuG Abt. 209, Eastern Front, 1942/43 painted in overall German grey.
Panzer grenadier Division “Gross Deutschland”, Eastern Front, autumn 1943 painted in overall German grey.
1st Company, SPzAbt. 501, Tunisia, Winter 1942/43 painted in dark yellow with dark green patches.
AFV Club has produced a very well detailed model of the Büssing NAG 4500 A-1 with Bilstein 3t Drehkran. The kit features lots of well-engineered and crisp details, and all the various options make this an excellent build. A few places AFV Club should have been better is the rubber tires, which has an issue to anything else than water based paint products, and that there is not included decals for the dashboard instruments. All in all this is a great kit, and I can highly recommend this for all, who likes trucks, whether these be allied or axis vehicles. Well done AFV Club.