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Trumpeter 1/35 scale Kanonen und Flakwagen

The flak gun is a complicated assembly of metal and plastic parts, but it looks good. Were it not for the difficulties with the flak gun, this kit would be an easy build.

Kit:No. 01511 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$119.95
Trumpeter, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Two-piece body fit well, was easy to assemble; display base included
Molded detail a little soft; photoetched metal hard to bend; assembly of the flak gun’s photoetched metal is difficult
Injection-molded, 401 parts (71 photoetched-metal), decals
Trumpeter has expanded its coverage of German rail equipment by releasing the Kanonen and Flakwagen, used in BP 42/44 armored trains.

The main body of the car is made of two large moldings, and the good fit of the upper and lower halves makes assembly simple. However, molded detail on the light gray plastic parts is a little soft. Three sheets of photoetched metal are supplied: two for the flak gun and a small one for detailing the big gun turret. Trumpeter provides four pieces of modular track and bed as a display stand.

A small decal sheet provides markings for one car. Also included is a full-color five-view decal and painting guide.

I started assembly with the base. Make sure you place the joint of the two rail pieces exactly between two ties, or the joint plates won’t fit.

Although the rail car suspension is very basic, little of it can be seen after assembly. Large doors in the upper hull fit snugly in their openings, but there is nothing to prevent them from falling in. I glued some styrene-strip stops inside the openings to make installing the doors easier.

Building the flak gun was more difficult. The attachment of the guns to their mounts is a little vague, with no definite locating devices. If you don’t elevate the guns, their sight arms (L25, L28) will not fit together properly. The diagrams for the small, curved gun shields (PE-B3, PE-B4) are confusing. If you positioned the shield pieces as shown in the diagrams, you would wind up attaching the stiffening ribs to their front faces. The main gun shields have an etched line to position one of the stiffening ribs but not the other. There are also two small notches in the shields’ sides to indicate where they are to be bent; these should be filled, but I couldn’t come up with a good way to do it. Too bad Trumpeter doesn’t provide injection-molded parts as an alternative to the metal shields for the sake of photoetched-metal-challenged modelers. Once the main shields are on the gun, you will not be able to pivot it in its gun tub. I added the shields after the gun was in place.

The ten-sided main turret is an interesting molding, with every other panel molded as a separate piece. The main gun is a simplified molding, having only the barrel and recuperator, but that is all you will be able to see. The armor-plate pieces for the flak gun tub lack any panel lines on their insides and are covered with ejector-pin marks. It is not clear in the instructions if these parts are glued to the top of the floor or around the outside edge. I did the latter and everything worked out.

I spent 27 hours building my rail car. I don’t have any references on armored trains in my library, but the finished model clearly looks like the few photographs of the real thing I found on the web. Were it not for the difficulties with the flak gun, this kit would be an easy build. As it is, you’ll need to be good with photoetched metal to finish the kit. But, if you want this 1/35 scale armored train, it is the only game in town.


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