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Revell 1/720 Luftschiff LZ-129 Hindenburg Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Revell
Subject Luftschiff LZ-129 Hindenburg Scale 1/720
Kit Number 4802 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat subject Cons Fictional mooring tower
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


LZ 129 Hindenburg was a German zeppelin. Along with its sister-ship LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II, it was the largest aircraft ever built. During its second year of service, it went up in flames and was destroyed while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, U.S.A., on May 6, 1937. Thirty-six people died in the accident, which was widely reported by film, photographic, and radio media.

The Hindenburg was named after Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), the President of Germany (1925–1934).

The kit comes in a long tray and lid type box. The box art shows the Hindenburg flying along under some rather stormy looking clouds with 3 biplanes on pontoons flying in the background. The red and white tail insignia is minus the swastika, as this is not allowed to be displayed anywhere in Germany, even on model kit boxes. A side panel shows 4 photographs of various sections of the model made up. A one paragraph history of the Hindenburg appears on another side panel in 4 languages, including English.

The kit is rated as a 3. This means that it is a more demanding kit with up to 100 parts.

Inside the box is a large sealed cello bag that holds a tree of silver gray parts, the two halves of the hydrogen bag and a clear parts tree of windows for the control cabin and passenger compartments..

Although 1/720th sounds like a small fraction, the kit has a length of just over 13”. So, a decent size when done.

The tree of parts holds: parts for a rudimentary mooring mast, the control cabin, engine cowlings and their supports, the rudder parts, propellers, nose and tail cones and a cradle piece to set the air bag on etc. (36 parts)

There is pamphlet from the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany enclosed. However, it is all in German and me don’t read…sigh. There is sheet of red paper that has corrections to a mistake on the instructions. It says that you should be sure to drill a couple holes in the hydrogen bag lower piece, so that you can mount it on the cradle type display base piece. There is another sheet of SECURITY TEXT with cautions and warnings about safety while making the kit, in multiple languages – including English.

The instructions consist of a single sheet, folded in the center to create 4 pages.

Page one begins with a one paragraph general instructions in 7 languages – including English. This is followed by international assembly symbol explanations. Decal instructions and a listing of colors suggested to finish the model.

Page 2 begins with parts trees illustrations. This is followed by the first two assembly steps.

Page 3 and 4 give a balance of 10 assembly steps. The painting and marking profile drawing is numbered as step 11. It calls out the body of the Hindenburg as overall aluminum, the 4-bladed propellers as rust, a wheel under the control cabin as anthracite and the mooring tower as dust gray.

The mooring tower is very basic and nothing like the elaborate tower seen used for zeppelins in old newsreels. Kind of hokey.

The decal sheet has the Hindenburg name, in stylized lettering, the Olympic rings insignia, the serial no. D LZ129, and the red and white “band aid” flags for the rudders. You will have to come up with your own swastikas, to put into the center white circle of these – as they are void on the decal sheet. This goes back to the ban on this insignia in Germany since the war.

This is a nice model of a historic aircraft. Purists may want to scratchbuild a better mooring tower for it and suspend it higher off the ground than the kit allows – with its mounting cradle.

Highly recommended.