by: Hilbert Zuijdendorp [ ]
This type of tank, the German Neubaufahrzeug, is the first attempt of the Germans to create a heavy tank for the well-known Wehrmacht. This multi-turreted, but very slow and heavy tank has only seen some action in Norway. Only five were made and two of them were used for propaganda purposes and the other three in the Norway campaign.
Between 1920s and 1930s some countries were experimenting with extremely large and heavy tanks. For example, the Russian T-35 and the British Vickers A1E1.
The development of the Neubaufahrzeug (German for "new construction vehicle") started in 1933. The codename of this project was Groίtraktor (heavy tractor) because Germany was still forbidden to produce tanks under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The tanks were finished in 1935 and 1936.
Weight: 23.41 tonnes
Length: 6.6 metres
Width: 2.19 metres
Height: 2.98 metres
Main armament: 75 mm KwK L/24
Secondary armament: 37 mm KwK L/45, 2x 7.92 mm MG 13/34
Engine: 290 hp BMW Va or 300 hp Maybach HL 108 TR
Operational range road: 120 km
Road speed: 25 km/h
The box is a made of sturdy cardboard, which is strong enough to protect the kit parts. The painting on the front side of the box is made by Vincent Wai. Inside the box youll find the kit parts in plastic bags. The lower and upper hull are separated by a cardboard divider for extra protection. There youll find the aluminum barrels and the Photo Etch frets too. The box is approximately 41 cm in length, 26 cm wide and 6 cm deep.
The box contains 13 large sprues:
4x sprue A in light grey containing the springs and wheels
2x sprue B contains the sprockets and idler wheels
2x sprue C is for the small turrets
2x sprue H is for the small turrets too
1x sprue E contains the side panels and the turret hatches
1x sprue Q are accessories for the main turret
1x sprue G are the fenders
1x spue M are parts for the fenders
28x TR track pins
1x board (for making the tracks)
1x lower hull
1x upper hull
2x aluminum barrel
2x photo etch frets
1x painting & marking guide
When you open the box all the kit parts are separated in plastic bags. The most delicate parts are protected by a piece of foam. The parts are nicely molded although there are some push out marks. These can be easily removed or filled with putty. Most of the time this wont be visible because it will be hidden due other parts. Overall, there is no flash visible but on some small parts there will be a molding seem. This can be removed with a sharp knife or some sandpaper. The large parts are completely free of molding seems or flash.
The details on the model could be better. For example, the larger bolts are crispy, but the smaller ones are not that crisp as it should be. They are little rounded and this will be noticeable when the model is going to be weathered.
There are some mistakes that Trumpeter has made. Not all the bolts are placed correctly. Although there isnt much reference on the internet, the kit is quite detailed and most of the details are correct. The bolts that are missing is not difficult to make.
The chassis is made from not to many parts. Because of the nicely molded parts this steps (steps 1 4) will take an evening to build. These steps are not that difficult and everyone with a pot of glue can do this.
The wheels assembly
The wheels assembly contains much more parts than the chassis, but much of it will be seen through the tracks. The springs are consisting of two separate parts. This will be a challenge to fit them without any seams. Scratch-building these would be better, but you can hide the springs with some mud too.
The small turrets
The small turrets are almost the same as on a panzer 1. People who built this vehicle probably know that the turret does not contain much and large parts. For this model each turret is made of 13 parts. The details are crisp but some sanding is needed on the outer side of the turret. A seam line is visible there and should not be there.
The large turret
The large turret consists of multi part assemblies. There is nothing special about it except care is needed while handling the turret ring. This fragile part is very flimsy and could break without proper care. With some scratch-building experience this part can be made stronger by using some copper wire.
Eventually the model will be 195.21 mm in length and 82.87 mm in wide when completed. You will handled about 1120 parts in the meantime. This looks like a lot, but the tracks and track pins are included in this number. Most parts will be used to assemble the tracks. Therefore, the actual model is built in no time and compared to other models the number of kit part that are used is not as big.
The manual is printed as the standard Trumpeter manuals. In this booklet are 17 steps in exploded view to complete the model. In the kit there is a painting & marking guide as well.
The kit will not be too difficult to build, although the result will be nice and crisp. Some bolts are not placed where it should be, or there are missing some bolts or there are too many. This can be done by adding or removing bolts yourself. It is definitely an original model. The tracks may be hated or loved by modelers. But for the ones that hate tracks like these, Friulmodel has released an aftermarket set. For the ones that dont want to spend a lot of money for aftermarket tracks, they can use the jig Trumpeter provided with the kit. The manual is clear and easy to understand.
Overall it will be a nice kit to build and it is an original subject.