Trumpeter 1/35 German Panzerjägerwagen Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2007||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||0368||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Another installment in WWII railroad equipment||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$49.95|
During World War Two, the only way for German forces to push into the Soviet Union was cross-country, but the only way to move the massive amount of fuel, ammo, food, and other supplies from Germany to these forces was via rail. The roads were marginal on the best of day and awful during bad weather. If the distance that trucks traveled between supply depots and the troops could be kept as short as possible, then German forces could remain combat effective. Captured rail lines were pressed into service to make this happen.
On the other side of the battle, Soviet commanders knew that interdicting these vulnerable supply lines could buy them time and slow down the German advances. Assaults on these lines came in a variety of fashions, but it didn't take the German planners long to realize that these trains needed a better way to defend themselves. Enter the Panzerjägerwagens.
These unique railcars came in a variety of designs based partly on what was available at the time to arm these trains. Tank turrets from obsolete tanks were one obvious source and these rail cars were designed to operate in this unique environment.
When Trumpeter released the BR.52 locomotive in 1/35 scale, this was a great day indeed for many modelers. While CMK had also released several variants of the BR.52 in 1/35 as well, these were a little pricy for the average modeler. These BR.52s did provide some welcome options to DML's initial foray into the 1/35 railroad world with their initial combat cars and cargo cars.
Well Trumpeter is back with the first of several Panzerjägerwagens. This first one is seriously interesting to look at! It is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus the top and bottom halves of the armored rail car and the turret shell. In addition, five sections of railbed are provided as a base for this model. Two frets of photo-etch (one shown, both are identical) round out the materials of this kit.
Assembly starts with the wheels, axles and spring suspension. These are all built up into box shields that mount into the inside of the lower 'hull'. Only the wheels portrude from the bottom. The upper portion of the rail car is mounted onto this assembly.
Next come the storage boxes and couplers at the ends of the car. The couplers can be posed slack or coupled to another rail car (or engine) of your choice.
From here we assemble a very nicely detailed Panzer IV turret that features a nicely done interior and posable access hatches. With the variety of Panzer IV chassis-based support vehicles that Trumpeter has produced and now a highly detailed turret, I am thinking we're not far away from a highly detailed Panzer IV series in our future!
The kit also includes a set of simple national marking options depending on the season you're camouflaging your Panzerjägerwagen for.
This is a very nice looking model and does not appear to be difficult in its layout. Even with all of the detailing, I'd have to say that this would not be a bad choice for modelers wanting to try out a more complex kit.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!