Upon receiving this kit, I was thinking why was Trumpeter making one of these? I didn’t know anyone else made one until doing some research, and I found a few companies did. ARK models from Russia makes a Waffentrager, along with Alan Models. Whether or not this is the same mold, I can’t say. Upon opening the box, you get 10 sprues of orange plastic (very similar to that which ICM uses), 10 sprues of gray plastic link-to-link tracks, 5 PE frets, a steel tube, an aluminum barrel, and a sheet of decals. A 16-page black and white instruction booklet, with easy-to-follow directions, and a painting reference sheet with one scheme are also included. The color reference has call outs for Mr. Hobby Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints.
The instruction booklet has 19 steps and options for plastic or photo-etch versions. The model can be built out of full plastic, except for a few parts. Its biggest options are the fenders and gun shield. I chose plastic fenders and PE gun shields.
- Step 1: The suspension-to-lower hull construction is fairly simple. Good clean-up is required to get the road wheels looking good and sitting straight. There was a little warpage in my copy of this kit in the suspension, but it was easily corrected by bending suspension pins so the road wheels sit perfectly.
- Step 2: This step was track construction and was a breeze. Although there are 10 sprues of track, clean-up and assembly went rather quickly. I was able to make short runs of track and wrap them around the suspension in about 45 min per side.
- Step 3: After construction of the drivers and ammo storage compartments, part C40 is the floor to driver’s compartment. It has two deep knockout marks that need to be filled and sanded. This would have been visible, since the driver’s area is open.
- Step 4: After transmission and ammo installation, the transmission can be seen, so I installed it, but not the ammo bins because they are under the fighting area and would not be seen.
- Step 5 and 6: With the option to remove the plastic fenders and replace them with PE ones, the PE fenders look really nice and would make a good-looking representation.
- Step 7: This step includes placement of the engine cover and fighting area floor. Part A14 is an instrument panel and Trumpeter includes a decal to cover this. I used it and it looks okay, even after toning it down with some weathering.
- Step 8, 9 and 10: This step adds details to the outer area of the vehicle. Be wary of small parts and the carpet monster.
- Step 11: This is the first step in construction of the main gun mount. Lots of small parts here also.
- Step 12: This is for construction of the gun breech. Very straightforward, with a little clean-up on breech halves to remove the seam.
- Step 13: Attaching mount and breech. Along with building ammo racks for the gun shield, follow instructions because you don’t want to glue the gun so that it doesn’t move.
- Step 14: Gun shield construction. This is for the PE option. This went together very well. The only drawback was photo etch parts D1 and D2 are mismarked, and Part D1 should have a hole for part C49 (plastic) to be installed in step 15.
- Step 15: See note in step 14 about parts D1 and C49.
- Step 16: This is for the plastic option for the gun shield.
- Step 17: Final assembly of gun shield to mount and OVM tools.
- Step 18: Construction of gun barrel. You have the choice of aluminum or a 2-piece plastic barrel. I used the aluminum one. The muzzle break is a plastic 2-piece segment, regardless of what barrel you use. Mounting the barrel into the breech, along with minor small parts to gun shield, rounds out this step.
- Step 19: In the final assembly, you affix the gun to the vehicle deck and add a traverse lock, part C50, to keep the gun stabilized. I decided to leave this part off so I could remove the gun if I chose to.
Painting was done with Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics and weathered with AK interactive pigments. I chose to use a 3-color scheme instead of the 2-tone one depicted in the color call out sheet. The decals went down easily and needed no setting solution. Micro Sol flat rounded out the finish.
I would recommend this kit to anyone wanting a 8.8 cm Waffentrager in his collection. It is a good representation of a sparse subject and easy to build. Lower hull details are sparse, while the gun shield is immaculate. It gets a plus in my book.
I would like to thank Squadron for supplying the review kit and IPMS-USA for giving me a chance to review it, and you for taking the time to read this.