by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has sent me a copy of their German Rocket Launcher with 28cm WK SPR & 32cm WK Flamm for review, I must say that I had no idea this existed. The weapon is an artillery carriage with a big portion of the artillery gun in place and a frame attached to this for the mounting and firing of the crate encased rockets. I can see how this approach would make the transporting of the weapons system an easier and quicker prospect, but I also feel it would be a waste of the artillery gun. I have found myself wondering if this was a field alteration on a spiked gun, but I can see how this could easily be added to a field gun while retaining the weapons primary purpose; the barrel for this gun is included with the parts and so could be added if wished by the modeller. Anyway letís take a look at this offering from MiniArt.
The model is packed inside a cardboard tray with a separate card lid on which the artwork is printed; I do like models that come with trays as it makes keeping parts and the model during its progress easier. Inside there is a single plastic bag containing the sprues along with a card sleeve that contains and protects the photo etched elements of the model and a decal sheet with the stencil details for the rockets in the kit.
An examination of the sprues and parts in this offering leaves me a happy modeller for a number of reasons. The parts are cleanly moulded with no obvious problems that will need addressing beyond the standard procedures followed by the modeller such as clean-up of the parts. The sprue gates are small and this makes the removal of parts easier due to the small size and reduces the risk of damage to the model parts when cutting tightly too parts.
The artillery gun is the Russian F-22USV anti-tank gun of which the Germans captured large quantities during the invasion of Russia. These guns were put into service against their former users as they were a more effective anti-tank gun than those in use by German forces at that stage of the war. The parts are included to build the 7.62-cm FK 39(r) German Field Gun; this is an aspect I have considered with the rocket launcher modifications fitted.
The gun carriage has been well tackled by MiniArt who have made good use of slide moulding to add some nice details. Assembly of the gun carriage legs allows the modeller to finish the build in a firing or towing configuration. I found the bolt and rivet detail particularly pleasing due to the effect that can be achieved when painting the finished model. There are some very small details included that add a great deal of finesse and draw the eye, but these same small details do make the model harder to complete as intended by MiniArt.
The mounting plate for the rocket boxes/launchers to attach too is secured onto the recoil guide of the actual gun and I do not know what the recoil distance of this gun was and so cannot say if it would be possible to fire rounds from it as well. This is a fairly simplistic bolted platform which MiniArt has done a good job of detailing.
The transport and firing boxes are an aspect of this model that MiniArt has done an exceptional job of. These crates had to securely transport and protect the rockets and also support the rocket while it was fired. These are the most detailed boxes I can recall seeing having all of the elements present in the real item. One thing that has not been covered is the position of parts (LB6 & 7), the position indicated in the instructions is the locked position for transport. It is my understanding that these four parts should be angled when the rockets are placed in a firing position as this removes the tension on the rockets for firing.
The rockets themselves all appear to be correctly shaped with my only complaint being that they are moulded in two halves resulting in joint seams that will need attention without damaging the raised detail provided; this will be quite a difficult prospect as the raised detail is quite finely replicated. MiniArt has provided four of each of the two rockets in the set and also provided the correct number of transport/firing cradles for them, the cradles will take a little effort to assemble well and I feel this will be worth the effort. The decals for the rockets show that MiniArt has done a lot of work in replicating the stencil detail to a high standard.
Despite being a model of something I have never heard of let alone seen I am rather pleased with the efforts MiniArt has taken with this offering. The high level of detail provided for the rockets and the transport crates is especially good and should meet the expectations of even the most discerning modeller. The gun is an older offering from MiniArt, but this is still well made model that is up to current standards.