Hanomag RL-20

Published: April 22nd, 2017     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Plusmodel
Price: $77.00
Product / Stock #: 485
Product provided by: Plusmodel

Background

Hanomag (Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG) was a German producer of steam locomotives, tractors, trucks, and military vehicles in Hanover. During World War II, the car plant made military vehicle engines, a military version of their heavy tractor renamed the SS-100, and halftrack troop carriers. The single most important and iconic military vehicle to be designed and built by Hanomag during World War II was the Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track (commonly called simply "the Hanomag") with a total production numbering just over 15,000.

The Hanomag RL 20 wheeled tractor was manufactured from 1937 to 1942. The 1.9 litre, four-cylinder diesel engine produced 20 HP. At the beginning of WWII many of these tractors were put into service with the German Wehrmacht.

Plus Model's Kit

This kit by Plus Model includes 70 resin parts, a small photoetch sheet, and decals for two versions: A Panzer gray German wartime version, and a blue civilian version. Instructions are exploded diagrams in a 12 page 8 x 6 stapled booklet. The instructions are fairly clear, but reviewing subsequent steps will help with placement. The resin parts come in three plastic bags, and a separate bag includes the photoetch fret, decal sheet, and a small piece of copper wire. All the parts are packed in a bubble wrap bag inside the cardboard box.

The gray resin parts have nice detail, are mounted to casting blocks, and have flash typical of resin kits. Some of the parts are very thin and delicate, such as the shift lever, chassis control arms, etc. This will require great care removing flash and getting them off the casting blocks. Be careful to study the instructions and the part to determine where to remove it from the casting block. Many of the resin pieces are very small so do as much cleanup as possible before removing them from the casting block.

The photoetch fret is fairly thin and many of the parts are extremely small. Experience with photoetch is helpful assembling this kit.

Assembly

Steps I To VII assemble the chassis and rear differential, including several photoetch parts. The front axle, part 6, is one of the first pieces to be installed. Be careful to get the axle square to the chassis so the wheels end up flat on the ground. Likewise, in step III, make sure the rear axle is square to the chassis and the front axle. The pedals installed in step V are very delicate. The pedals should be installed after the engine to make sure they fit correctly. I didn't install the drive shafts at this point and installed them after the engine is installed to check the length. The shafts fit very well and were the correct length.

Step VI installs the front and rear fenders and the side running boards. The angle for the front fenders is a little vague, but setting it firmly on the chassis outrigger helps to set the angle. Likewise, the location of the front fender braces, parts M8, are not marked. It would be helpful to have some locating marks on the underside of the fender and the side of the chassis to get these in the right location. I just tried to balance them from side to side. The steering linkage is installed it on step VII and requires the trimming the linkage to the correct length.

Steps VIII to XII assemble and install the engine and exhaust system. The parts fit very well and everything goes together nicely. The engine turns out to be a very nicely detailed assembly.

Steps XIII to XV install the body and the interior controls. Best to install the photoetch pedals before the cowl assembly, part 39, is installed. The cowl and radiator fit well, but use the hood and radiator shell to make sure everything is in the correct place. Be careful to get the cowl & windshield parallel to the axles. I didn't so the body is not straight with the chassis.

Lots of very small photoetch pieces are installed with the interior controls. Step XV shows the installation of a plastic film for the windshield, but it is not provided with the kit. I installed plastic acetate from a blister package after painting.

Step XVI installs the steering wheel, driver seat, radiator shell and support rods. The wheels are also installed at this step, but I'll install these later after painting. The steering column, part 11, extends through the dash, firewall, and connects to the steering box. All of these elements aligned in the construction, nice engineering and fit Plus Model!

Steps XVIII - XXI complete the assembly of the vehicle. The cab roof fits nicely on the top of the windshield but I didn't glue it in place to allow painting. The hood and side cowls can also be glued together but removed from the vehicle for painting or display. Lots of small photoetch and resin details such as hood latches and grab handles add nice detail to the kit but are very small to install.

There are a few decals for the kit depending upon which option is built. The decals for the ID plaques are too large, but all the decals settle down nicely with solvent solution.

Summary

Plus Model's kit has very nice detail, the parts fit well, and the finished product is a great little vehicle. There is lots of clean-up like most resin kits and some fitting of parts is necessary. Experience with resin and photoetch is suggested for this kit. The engineering of the kit is nicely done and with some patience will be an enjoyable build.

Thanks to Plus Model for continuing to make these great kits and providing review samples to IPMS!

  • Sample instruction sheet
    Sample instruction sheet
  • Resin parts
    Resin parts
  • Completed resin engine
    Completed resin engine
  • Chassis assembly
    Chassis assembly
  • Chassis assembly nearly complete
    Chassis assembly nearly complete
  • Engine detail
    Engine detail
  • Completed model with hood and top removed
    Completed model with hood and top removed
  • Fully assembled model
    Fully assembled model

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