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Starting Unit

Plus Model 1/35 Starting Unit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2004 Manufacturer Plus Model
Subject Starting Unit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 159 Primary Media Resin/Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing, interesting vignette or diorama possibilities Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $32.20

First Look

If you've seen some of these vehicles in museums, you've noticed that they provide a hole below the radiator to attach a starting crank for mornings like this where the battery will barely function. Well let's say that hand-cranking a cold diesel might warm you up, but it certainly isn't fun or too effective in some weather conditions.

Starting Unit

There you are in the middle of the Russian Front. The commander orders your unit ready to move, but it is below zero and the diesel engine in your halftrack appreciates the cold as much as your joints.

Given the problems of getting cold machinery started, Wehrmacht engineers came up with an innovative solution. A cold morning kit that contains a heater to pre-heat the engine block, a starter motor that attaches to the crank shaft, as well as a storage box and the requisite fuels to make the starter system work.

As you can see in the set photo, the parts are finely cast in tan resin and are supplemented with photo-etch for the various heat guards and a set of decals for the stenciling. Included in the set are the pre-heater, the starter motor with attachment mounts, two barrels of what appears to be glycol, two fuel cans, a sand bag and the storage box.

According to the instructions, this set represents the Bosch system developed in 1943 and deployed with units operating the Panzer II, Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger I, and a wide range of heavy vehicles.

This is a beautifully engineered accessory that will add significant reality to the vehicle or vignette you're building. Check them out!

My sincere thanks to Plus Model for this review sample!