8.8cm Panzerschreck Infanteriekarren
|Rating:||Recommended with Reservations|
S u m m a r y
|Price:||Price about £10.95|
|Advantages:||Accurate trailer with useful options; infantry equipment almost 100% correct|
|Disadvantages:||Anatomical problems with humans and horses; groosly oversimplifed harnesses; limited painting options for uniforms|
|Recommendation:||Recommended for the trailer but plenty of work required for the horses and figures.|
F i r s t L o o k
I have always had a soft spot for German trailers, particularly the Infantry carrier after having scratch built one 15 years ago. I was interested in comparing this new kit with my own earlier efforts. The cargo carrier in the kit is one type of the 5 developed and built by Germany during the war.
This vehicle used four different styles of wheel. Two styles are supplied in the kit. The other may be found in Tamiya's Kettenkrad kit and the last type is a wire spoke wheel. To get this you need the old Italeri kit of the Harley Davison motorbike and use the front wheel with a new centre. Photographic evidence also shows that non-standard Soviet and French wheels were also sometimes used as replacements.
The handrails round the top of the trailer are very fragile. I replaced mine with slightly thicker Slaters rod bent to the same shape.
The trailer could be towed by three different methods, two of which are in the kit. The towing bar is correct and so are the horse drawn shafts. The one that is missing is the T handle shaft for the unfortunate infantry to pull on one per side!
The trailer shapes up very well - so well that my scratchbuilt trailer matched the kit in all dimensions.
Problems with the kit are mainly concerned with the figures and the horse.
First the figures. At this late stage of the war, uniforms were very badly made and the fit was poor. This is not represented in the fit of the uniform trousers. They represent modern tight fitting types, not the loose baggy German late war products. Also, the blouses in the kit can only have one of two camouflage patterns painted on them .
The last problems are the "flat head syndrome" and the overly long forearms; both of which are difficult to deal with. 1
At least the equipment has improved and is nearly 100% correct, although wooden furniture on the rifles still looks a bit thin.
The Horse and its
Very Basic Harness Equipment
I first had to find out what sort of horse the model was meant to represent. This in itself can present challenges as certain breeds have a definite colour range to their coats. 2
After a lot of reading I settled on 3 breeds as being the nearest - Page 202 Breton, page 208 Russian Heavy Draught, and page 206 Rhineland Heavy Draught. I leave it up to you to make up your mind on this one but my own gut feeling is the Breton as the kit scales out to be 14.3 hands high at the shoulder.
There is a wonderful section in this book that shows how a horse walks, trots and gallops with the relative leg positions on the ground. You may have never guessed but Dragon's horse will fall over on its side as it has two hooves off the ground at the same time on the same side! This is impossible. This blunder is going to take a lot of correcting as the rear right leg has to be extended and the hoof flattened to sit on the ground. Also the horse misses out on shoes - what a pity.
Now we come to the horse harness. 3 It is grossly oversimplified and is lacking in the most basic of details. See my scale drawing with this review. If you do not want to go to the trouble of correcting the harness there is an easy way to disguise the problems. You can cover up this glaring omission by putting two feed bags one each side where the cart trails fit to the horse.
Conclusions of the cart kit is great but it is a pity about the lack of research on the uniforms and anatomical faults. The sooner they get rid of the "flat heads" the better. It is also great pity about the lack of harness detail on the horse. If Historex could get the harnesses and horseshoes right 20 years ago why can't Dragon?
Overall I am not very impressed with this kit. I feel Dragon could do a lot better in areas of research on Uniforms, the Human Anatomy, Horses and Harnesses! I can only recommend this kit to those who will be able to correct the problems with this kit. However it will appeal to the BMSS lot, as it will give them yet another horse to work with.
I give it 4 out of 10.
Note 1: See the following book- " Camouflaged Uniforms of the Wehrmacht" by J Borsarello and D Lassus pages 18 bottom left Tan splinter A and page 19 splinter C. A word of warning to figure painters - it is impossible to represent the rain dashes in 1/35 scale. The full size measurements are largest 60mm by 1mm and smallest 25 mm by 0.5 mm in 1/35 scale this means the largest is 1.7 mm long by 0.028 wide.
Note 2: The book used is the Guide to Horses of the World published in 1984 by Treasure press, obtainable from your library service, as it is no longer in print. Invaluable if you do lots of mounted figures as I used to do 20 years ago.
Note 3 I used the Horse at War book and Cavalry at War both longs out of print. The drawings are a compilation of several photographs in both books, and your own research is needed into which type of harness you wish to show on the model. The best pages are in Cavalry at War : Pages 104, 105, 130, 132, 153,155,162,182.
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