Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr.2

Published: September 14th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $24.99
Product / Stock #: 7437
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

I will start this review by stating that the new Dragon release of the German Neubau-Fahrzeug is a well-engineered, fun to build kit that goes together nicely to produce a very realistic replica of the "new construction vehicle". My assembly time was short as there were no fit issues, and I probably spent more time researching this vehicle than anything else, but more on that later. The slide mold technology being utilized by Dragon allows for the front idler wheels and road wheels to be single-piece items, but with an impressive amount of detail for this scale.

In researching the Neubau-Fahrzeug, I found a vast amount of information, most of it conflicting, which led to more research, which led to more conflicts...well, you get the idea. From what I can reasonably trust (I think), the "new construction vehicle" was developed in 1933, based on a request for a 15-ton vehicle from the automotive design group within the ordnance departmen, known as Wa Prw 6. The first two vehicles were made of mild steel and were completed in 1934 and 1935. The subject of this kit, the second completed vehicle, had a chassis built by Rheinmetall-Borsig along with a turret produced by Krupp, employing side-by-side installation of the main armament.

Neubau-Fahrzeug number 2 was equipped with a 75mm KwK L/24, a 37mm KwK L/45, and a 7.92mm MG 34 in the main turret, along with two additional MG 34 guns in the smaller turrets. The vehicle had a crew of six, and was powered by a 290 horsepower V-12 Maybach HL 108 TR engine that could move the vehicle of speeds of up to 30 kph, and the maximum range was 120 kilometers.

Upon opening this kit, the modeler will find eight sprues (seven of which are labeled as "A") holding sixty-six of the pieces, while the upper hull and turret are packaged loose, and the Dragon Styrene tracks and decals are bagged and mounted on a heavy stock insert that will be familiar to anyone who typically builds Dragon kits. The plastic is the typical light gray, lightly textured product the company is known for, while the Dragon Styrene used for the tracks is tan in color. The instructions are in color and are printed on a single sheet of glossy paper folded in half; the center pages provides all of the assembly directions, which consist of a mere five steps. Unlike the larger Dragon kits which typically provide several items for a person's spare parts container, there are but two leftover parts when this kit is completed (an axe and a machine gun barrel).

As I mentioned, the kit goes together well, and I have no fit issues to report. In step 1 of the instructions, I did find that parts B2 and B11 (the road wheel assemblies) were swapped, and in step 5 my small turret upper portions were labeled A1 instead of the A9 in the directions. Do not lose sleep or waste time looking for part A34 mentioned in step 3 as it does not exist in this kit, which can be verified by looking at the parts tree map on the first page of the instructions. During my construction, I decided to leave off the fenders, which are to be installed in steps 2 and 3, until after I had installed the tracks as it seemed easier, and it worked well for me. I will admit to having a laugh at the comments on the bottom of the second page of instructions which inform you that the track length needs to be checked; according to the comments, Neubau-Fahrzeug nr. 2 should have 122 links with a length of 203mm and that the tracks can be stretched or excess cut off in order to obtain this. In short, mine fit perfectly, and no, I did not count the links.

Painting the vehicle was a challenge, which is why mine ended up looking as it does in a monotone scheme. The instructions show a dark gray and dark brown scheme, as well as a tri-color scheme consisting of yellow, brown, and green. Dragon provides left side, front and back views of both schemes, which only leaves the top and right side for a person to figure out on his own. My initial thought was to replicate the brown and gray scheme, but in the end this did not work out. I was able to find a photograph online of the right side for the two-tone vehicle, but being black and white, I would have to guess at which portion would be gray and which would be brown. I found no photos of the top of the vehicle for this scheme. The color for the brown is Model Master 1533, which I found is an out of production 1/4 ounce bottle (the old square ones); of course, this was after an exhaustive search on my part.

Based on other photographs that I found online, I felt safe with the typical all-gray paint scheme, but I did follow the suggestion of the instructions to use Model Master Acryl Field Gray. In addition, based on the photographic evidence of my research, I left the cross decals off of the vehicle (they are also not mentioned on the painting and markings page of the instructions). The tracks were first painted with Vallejo Track Primer, then received AK Interactive Track Rust pigment, Track Wash, and Dark Steel pigment. I liked the look initially, but when I sealed everything with a flat coat, I lost the metallic appearance on the edges of the track. This was my first use of the product, so I still have more to learn. The rubber portions of the idler and road wheels were painted with Vallejo Dark Rubber, and the tools are Vallejo New Wood and Oily Steel. The MG 34 barrels were painted with Model Master Metalizer Gun Metal, and the bare exhaust pipes are Burnt Iron.

As far as my hits for this kit are concerned I will again commend Dragon for their level of detail for this scale and, as mentioned before, applaud their engineering for the fit of this kit. The slide-mold technology used by the folks at Dragon made the idlers and road wheels look great with minimal work on my part, and the main gun barrels and exhaust are improved in their appearance as well (although I did deepen the impressions slightly with drill bits). The Dragon Styrene tracks glue together with Tenax 7R, which is very convenient as compared with the "rubber band" tracks of old.

My only real miss would have to be the Painting and Markings shortfall on the instructions. As I mentioned, I did have a fascination with the two-tone scheme, but could not find good photographic confirmation to help guide me. The parts being swapped in step 1 is easily recognized and fixed, and as there are only two small turret upper pieces, you get what you get in the kit. I am not sure of the use of the extra exhaust piece on the first and second Neubau-Fahrzeugs, but they were clearly present on the other three that were produced. I will also mention that I would have liked to have seen the small turrets able to be positioned up and down, and although part A10 is designed to support this, part A11 does not lock on firmly enough to allow for vertical movement.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this kit to those who enjoy working in 1/72 scale as the finished model is very manageable in regards to the amount of display area that it requires. I remember seeing photographs of this vehicle in my research books many years ago, and was pleasantly surprised when it was released as a plastic kit. Based on the ease of construction, it requires very little experience to build this kit up nicely as long as you are not bothered by a limited number of very small parts.

As always, I want to thank the folks at Dragon Models USA for providing this kit to the IPMS-USA to review, to Steve Collins and the countless others who keep the Review Corps running, and to you for taking the time to read my comments.

  • Bottom view during construction
    Bottom view during construction
  • Right side
    Right side
  • Top view
    Top view
  • Front
    Front
  • Left side elevated
    Left side elevated
  • Left side
    Left side
  • Rear
    Rear
  • Right side elevated
    Right side elevated
  • Underside
    Underside
  • Main and rear MG turrets
    Main and rear MG turrets
  • The advantage of small scale
    The advantage of small scale

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