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Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr.3-5 Rheinmetall-Fahrgestelle und Krupp-Turm Geaenderte MG-Turm

DML 1/35 Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr.3-5 Rheinmetall-Fahrgestelle und Krupp-Turm Geaenderte MG-Turm Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review August 2011 Manufacturer DML
Subject Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr.3-5 Rheinmetall-Fahrgestelle und Krupp-Turm Geaenderte MG-Turm Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6690 Primary Media 606 parts (569 in grey styrene, 24 clear styrene, 13 etched brass)
Pros Extensive use of slide molding for the upper hull and details Cons No interior or preparatory mounts for an interior provided
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $64.95

First Look

As noted in my previous review, the “Neubaufahrzeug” (new construction vehicle) – Nb Fz for short – vehicles used Rheinmetall developed hulls, first with a Rheinmetall rolled plate turret and then a faceted Krupp one. Prototype 1 had the former and Prototype 2 the latter design, and all three pre-production machines used the Krupp design. The Rh-B turret also mounted its unique twin gun arrangement (one 3.7 cm antitank gun and one 7.5 cm support howitzer) one above the other, whereas the Krupp turret placed them side by side (7.5 cm on the right). Initially the small turrets mounted twin MG 13 7.92mm machine guns, but later they changed to single weapons. A fifth (third) MG 13 was mounted in the mantlet of the main turret as well.

While all of them were built between 1934-35 they were still under test in 1940 when it was decided to send the three O-series tanks to Norway. One was destroyed but the other two were later returned to Germany.

This kit is a virtual duplicate of the Prototype No. 2 kit with some differences in details used. The extra clear styrene viewers of the first kit are not provided nor is the singular “eyebrow” etched brass rain guard for the driver’s viewer.

The entire upper hull and sponsons are molded as a single piece with many of their details in place, and it is a spectacular piece of work. The lower hull is actually a single piece belly and two running strips for the suspension units; each one consists of a four-piece bogie assembly that attaches to a spring on the running strip and twin swing arms for alignment (note the directions are typically DML in this area – e.g. unclear.) Step 2 also indicates a number of small rivets must be removed from the side sponsons. A rear section (A30) completes the lower hull in Step 4.

Tracks are a unique single link style but one which comes on seven 40-link sprues - no DS and no “Magic Tracks” here. The tracks are Step 5 and the fenders Steps 6 and 8. Exhausts go on the right fender and are part of Step 8.

Step 9 covers the fender tips and Step 10 the rear radiator air exhaust shroud (another hidden nub needs trimming here). The vent grilles may either be styrene or etched brass (the option needing that nub shaved).

Step 11 covers the two “wing” turrets but while they come with lovely clear styrene viewer assemblies there is no breech or ammo for the MG 13 and therefore will have to be either built up from the parts box or the turret hatch sealed shut.

The main turret comes with a four-piece “dustbin” cupola and separate side hatches but again, no interior. The sight aperture comes with a separate flap, but again no sight. Each gun is a single part which cement together and then to a mantlet rotor with the entire assembly then attaching to a rotator/peg inside the turret.

Technical credit is given to Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

As these were the “combat” versions of the tank, the directions provide for eight different options that cover the three armored versions. Two are in grey and brown camouflage as with Pz.Abt.z.b.V. 40 in Norway, one is for prototypes in Germany in 1940 with turret numbers 8, 9 or 10, and three are with the numbers painted out. (Note that the modeler has to install the decals and THEN paint them out, unlike some of the US Army vehicles in the ETO in 1944 and their markings sheets.) A sheet of Cartograf decals with dedication markings for vehicle 10 is also included.

Overall this is a kit a number of purists wanted but I suspect many modelers cannot tell the detail differences among prototypes 2 and 3-5. I can’t.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 43 Upper hull details, exhaust system, pioneer tools
  • B 32 Main turret and cupola
  • C 15 Lower hull, fenders, fender tips
  • C 8 German generic early style jack
  • D 92x2 Suspension, drivers, machine gun turrets
  • E 1 Upper hull, sides and sponson tops
  • G 40x7 Single Link Track
  • K 6 German generic OVM
  • W 12x2 Clear styrene
  • MA 13 Etched brass