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Panzerfaehre Gepanzerte Landwasserschlepper Prototype No.1

DML 1/72 Panzerfaehre Gepanzerte Landwasserschlepper Prototype No.1 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review November 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject Panzerfaehre Gepanzerte Landwasserschlepper Prototype No.1 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7489 Primary Media 92 parts in grey styrene
Pros First kit of this vehicle in styrene in this scale Cons Few noted other than it takes two and a pontoon to make a complete set as planned
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $22.99

First Look

As I noted with the 1/35 version of this kit, like many combatant nations in WWII, the Germans were faced with river crossings roughly every 10 miles or so in European conditions. While taking bridges intact was obviously a priority and having engineer bridging units a must, they did not have any true means of amphibious crossings in hand during the war. The closest that they came was the boatlike Landwasserschlepper which was not armored. Later in the war Magirus was tasked with creating an armored replacement, and as such did produce two prototypes of the Panzerfaerhe (armored ferry) vehicle.

This it was not, as it was basically a large amphibious vehicle that carried any troops or cargo internally (ferries by their very nature carried their cargoes on open decking or at least on a main deck). As a result, experiments were made with a decking set that connected two of these vehicles together (and which was apparently tested with the two Magirus prototypes). But by that time (mid 1942) the Germans apparently saw such vehicles as a luxury they could no longer afford.

While there are now several 1/35 scale kits of this curious vehicle out, this is the first kit of the Panzerfaerhe in this scale in styrene. As noted it requires two of them together to make an actual ferry and DML will probably release both the second prototype and the pontoon set later in 1/72.

This kit is totally new and shares little with previous kits. Assembly is like that of the tank kits and begins with the suspension. It then moves to the propeller and propeller guard (I profess ignorance of the vehicle, for it seems to lack a rudder so I have no clue how it was steered!) The deck and casemate are next, but unlike the 1/35 version the latter consists of two parts and closed hatches. As there is again zero interior it is not a major drawback.

The four vent stacks come next but here are fixed in the "up" position. The winch is provided but this model does not have the crane of its big brother.

The tracks are one piece DS Plastic runs and are listed as being 183mm in length to fit; those in this kit were 177mm so some stretching will be necessary.

Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundsen.

Finishing directions are provided for Prototype 1 in the hands of an unknown unit (probably either the factory or a weapons/engineer test range). A set of white crosses are provided on a Cartograf sheet.

Overall this is a nice enough model on its own, but as with the 1/35 scale version it requires the Number 2 prototype and pontoon to complete it as a prototype tactical ferry. Given today's prices it will be pricey for a 1/72 scale model.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 22 General details
  • B 10 Upper decking details (stacks)
  • E 4x2 Bogies
  • F 16 Road wheel faces
  • K 16 Road wheel pairs
  • I 4 Drivers
  • J 4 Idlers
  • M 8 Return rollers
  • D 1 Upper decking
  • X 2 DS Plastic track runs
  • Z 1 Lower hull