Trumpeter 1/35 BP42 Geschützwagen Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||1509||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Interesting subject||Cons||No interior|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$119.95|
During World War 2, the German war machine relied on railways to provide forces at the front with weapons and supplies. These rail lines of communication were especially critical on the Russian Front where roads were few and far between. While these rail lines provided the Germans with the ability to move men and materiel quickly, Russian forces regularly tried to interdict these supply lines by land and by air. These threats to the German lines of communication lead to a number of unique solutions to protect the trains. Against air threats, FlaK guns were mounted to rail cars, then these led up to armored emplacements atop rail cars to increase survivability for the gun crews.
Threats from Soviet ground forces ranged from infantry to armored assaults. To defend against the latter threat, the Gernans employed surplus tank turrets on armored rail cars. One of the more lethal combinations was the Geschützwagen that was an armored rail car mouning a field artillery piece up in an armored turret to provide anti-tank and anti-personnel fires as required.
If you're into 1/35 scale model railroading, this is a great time to be a modeler. Trumpeter and others have produced a growing selection of locomotives, rail guns, and rolling stock to recreate the German Reichsbahn of World War II. This latest release is one of several armored rail cars produced by Trumpeter to replicate members of the armored trains that tried to protect the rail lines between Poland and the German lines well inside Russian territory.
The kit consists is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees, plus separately provided upper and lower hull sections and track sections.
Construction starts with the railbed which is rather essential to have completed before you can start on the lower hull. The track sections go together easily as with past releases and the rails slide into their slots on the railroad ties.
The lower hull is next with the axle subassemblies which mount into place. You might want to wait on gluing the wheels and axles together until you've gauged them on the completed rails to you get a proper seat with the completed model.
The kit statistic say there are 193 parts used in this project. There is no interior detail in the main hull of this kit, so all of those parts are used to dress up the exterior of the completed model. The access doors and hatches are separately molded and can be positioned open, but you'll need to scratchbuild your own interior.
The rather interesting turret design is nicely replicated in the kit and while it doesn't have any interior either, it does capture the visible elements of the field gun quite nicely.
Markings are provided for a desert yellow/brown/green armored rail car circa later war.
This should be a simple build considering all of the parts and will be a definite eye-catcher for the scale model shelf when completed. For those of us who like modeling railroad subjects, this is a most welcome addition.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!