Neubau-Fahrzeug Nr. 3-5

Published: November 9th, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Don Barry - IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $79.95
Product / Stock #: 6690
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

The kit consists of over 400 parts on 15 sprues (7 containing individual track links), 1 upper hull, 1 small photo-etched fret, and 1 sprue of clear parts. The instructions are the exploded view type, with part numbers and sprue letters called out, consisting of 15 assembly steps on a single, multi-fold sheet. Painting details are shown throughout.

Despite the number of track links to be used (124 per side), there was only one problem area to be dealt with. I followed the kit sequence for assembling the suspension and had less than stellar results. Gluing the road wheels onto the side frames leaves them too flexible and makes it difficult to line up. On the second side, I assembled all the road wheel pairs first, letting them cure before attaching to side frames. Be very careful to make sure you have the correct side frames as they are mirror images of each other. The tiny notch in the circular engraving points to the front. I did the same for the return rollers, letting the wheel pairs cure before attaching them to their respective mounts. All this occurs in steps 1 and 2, and it's pretty much smooth sailing from here.

Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 go quite smoothly. Test fitting of the fenders revealed that the slots in the hull side are a little undersized. I carved a little out of each to make them a bit taller, which eased assembly. The instructions recommend 124 track links per side. That number fit perfectly, allowing a slight bit of sag. I made up a run of 124 and wrapped them around the suspension, making the final joint on the front large idler wheel. When cured, they were gently removed, painted, and reinstalled. Fenders were left off until near the end of construction.

Steps 7, 8, 9 and 10 cover upper hull details. Once again, there are no fit problems. In step 10 I used kit part A-3 for the engine inlet louvers instead of the photo-etched pieces, as it looked just as good, and the photo-etched parts would have needed soldering. This is just a case of replacing a perfectly good kit part with a more difficult but not necessarily better photo-etched one.

Steps 11 thru 14 build the main and both secondary turrets. Clear parts are included for the armored glass blocks in the vision devices, a very nice touch if you are leaving hatches open. The lifting arms for the armored covers are also included as an option. There are no other parts included for detailing the insides of these turrets. The machine gun barrels are nicely detailed and have slide-molded muzzles. 4 are included, but only 3 are used, leaving a nice spare for other projects. The main and secondary gun housings in the main turret need some filling and sanding along their joint line, but nothing major.

I chose one of the Norway paint schemes for my example, base coating the model in Tamiya German Grey overall. When dry, I sprayed on a coat of Future floor wax as a gloss coat. When that had dried, I used Silly Putty to match off the hard-edged camouflage scheme. To replicate the RAL brown color, I used Floquil Roof Brown, lightened a bit with Antique White. I would have preferred to stick with the Tamiya colors, but as you may know, we are going thru a bit of a drought in Tamiya paint color availability. When the Floquil had thoroughly cured (about 72 hours), the model was re-coated with Future to provide a uniform gloss and to prepare for decaling. I used the second scheme shown, vehicle 10, with the memorial to the fallen comrade, and the darkened numerals, which I did by hand with Tamiya Field grey. A final flat coat of Testor's Dull Coat was airbrushed on, followed by earth colored washes with ground pastels added, applied to the running gear and more lightly to the fenders and hull.

I greatly enjoyed building this kit. I probably could have avoided my problems with the suspension with a little forethought, but even so, it was a pleasant project. The subject fills a void in the development of the German panzer arm, and is a nice palate-cleanser after the recent flood of "paper Panzer" projects. Technical and tactical experience gained with these early vehicles influenced future designs and tactics, eventually leading to the more familiar Panzer of later years. I highly recommend this kit, both as an enjoyable project, as well as a history lesson. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for making this review kit available and to IPMS for the opportunity to build and review it.

  • Left front
    Left front
  • Left rear
    Left rear
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Right rear
    Right rear
  • Front closeup
    Front closeup

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