schwerer Panzerspahwagen (Infantriewagen)
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||196 Parts in Grey Plastic|
|Price:||Around US$20/ NZ$40|
The Infantriewagen is part of Dragons growing range of World War II rail cars, a subject area which until last year had been neglected by major kit manufacturers. The kit comprises a late war armoured rail car, a display base and 5 figures. It has new moldings, good detail and fits together smoothly OOTB (out of the box). The figures are Dragons 1944/45 tank crew (kit 6014). The kit is reboxed as Revell in some markets.
B a c k g r o u n d
Armored trains were first used in the US Civil War and were employed by numerous European nations in the first half of this century. Armored trains were used primarily for mobile artillery (in the absence of good roads, rail is the best way to transport heavy field and anti-aircraft guns) and for internal security against partisan attacks. For the WWII German army, rail was the key form of supply.
The recently released Dragon heavy armoured rail cars were introduced in 1944 and saw service in Russia and Yugoslavia. After the war Czechoslovakia used some until the mid 50s.
Although each of these cars was self propelled and could operate independently, they were designed to operate in a train of 16 cars, as follows:
Each of these rail cars is available from Dragon, except the flakwagen which can made by replacing the turret of the infanteriewagen with a Wirbelwind turret. The whole train would make an awesome diorama.
In practice the self propelled rail cars often operated independently or in small numbers due to battle conditions and fuel shortages.
The routine patrolling of the rail lines was generally done by light reconnaissance rail cars, such as the Panhard armoured car with rail fittings, which would call up the train when necessary.
C o n s t r u c t i o n
I was surprised how easily the Infanteriewagen fitted together over several modeling sessions. The large armoured sides and roof plate butt up squarely without any need for support while drying. Similarly by using the tracks as a jig, the bogies were assembled in line without problem (yes they can roll down the track). The armoured car contains plenty of detail which are crisply molded and add interest, especially if weathered. The MG 42 are particularly nice and it is a shame to hide most of them inside.
I found the instruction sheet well laid out & accurate and recommend that when assembling the sides to check against it to ensure that you dont confuse the left and right panels. It is necessary to drill a few holes on each panel ("L" and "R" markings are provided to indicate which hatch holes to cut).
My specific comments are:
The kit is complete and has no real need for after-market additions, unless you wish to add an interior or rail couplers to link multiple cars. The problems with the rain guards and vision hatches relate to Dragons designing the kit so as to reuse the sprues in other rail cars.
P a i n t i n g
The Germans painted their armoured trains using the same guidelines as for their Panzers. Ive found four schemes for the Infanteriewagen:
Each armoured train had German cross markings on the sides as seen in the Dragon box art.
T r a c k a n d E m b a n k m e n t
The kit includes 30cm of track on a raised embankment that makes an ideal display base in its own right. Alternatively it could be used as part of a diorama base. I assembled mine out of the box. Additional gravel, debris and vegetation could all be added to the base.
The embankment consists of 4 sections that require a bit of filler (but not sanding due to the gravel effect). In hindsight, I would apply some weight to the embankment while it dries.
The sleepers are the highlight of this base. Not only are they a snap fit, they have 4 different patterns of wood grain and are laid slightly asymmetrically. Overall this gives a very realistic effect. The rails fitted into the sleepers snugly and do not need glue. This also allows the rails to be fitted after painting.
S u m m ar y
I enjoyed making the Infanteriewagen. I found it well molded, such that it went together smoothly OOTB. Given the inclusion of a display base and a 5 figure set, the kit is good value.
R e f e r e n c e
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