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In-Box Review
135
Panzerjagerwagen Vol.2
German Panzerjagerwagen Vol. 2
  • TSM369

by: James Bella [ C5FLIES ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
The BP44 German armored train, introduced in 1944, improved the BP42 by replacing the front and rear pusher cars with Panzerjagerwagen anti-tank cars. Basically these were armored flat cars incorporating a low superstructure and a Pzkpfw IV turret mounted with a 7.5cm KwK L48 main gun. Trumpeter, who previously released the Panzerjagerwagen Vol. 1 (also Reviewed Here on Armorama), has now introduced the second variant in Vol. 2 which will be covered in this review.

kit contents
The kit is packaged in a sturdy, top opening cardboard box containing:
5 sprues in gray styrene consisting of 205 parts
1 lower body in gray styrene
1 upper body/superstructure in gray styrene
5 sections of rail-bed/base in gray styrene
1 small decal sheet
2 PE frets for the alternate turret schurzen marked as left and right
12 page stapled instruction booklet
2 sided instruction sheet for the rail-bed/base
Full color plate for painting/finishing

the base

A nice inclusion on Trumpeter's part is the rail-bed/base with their train series. The Panzerjagerwagen Vol. 2 is no exception and the 5-piece base is nearly 500mm long if used as a stand-alone. This may also be connected to base sections in their other kits by omitting section Road A, the end cap(s). Trumpeter also offers an extra base section sold as kit #00213 in case an extended length is required. The base sections, ties, and rails are separate, making painting and weathering easier. If used as a stand-alone base, one of the tie sections, L4, and one of the Road A sections will need to be shortened. The Road A section is scored underneath to facilitate cutting. The ballast on the base is well done as is the wood grain on the ties. The rails have an excessive amount of injection marks which will need to be taken care of and four joint seams on the base will need attention to achieve a smooth look. Instructions for the base are printed on a two-sided sheet and finishing is left up to the builder's taste.

the rail-car
The Panzerjagerwagen Vol. 2 shares many parts with Vol. 1. In addition to the rail-bed, sprues A, B, and C appear to be exactly the same as well as the turret, PE, and decals. This means that the noted flaws in Vol. 1 are also inherited in this second variant, the most notable being the dimensions of the turret and the ejector marks on the inside of the hatches. I have not checked the main gun fit into its respective sleeve but fear that there will be a noticeable gap as in Vol. 1 which will need to be filled. Also, since no clear parts are provided, vision ports and glass blocks are molded in gray styrene. Since a turret interior is included in the kit, these items will need to be addressed if you plan on having the interior viewable.

What is new in the kit are the lower and upper car bodies and sprue E, which replaces sprue D in Vol. 1. The car body is longer in Vol. 2, 19mm longer in fact according to Trumpeter's website. The sides are tapered from the top down in this version giving the car a sleeker appearance. The molding is well done showing no sign of warping or sink marks. The rear plate is no longer a separate piece and has been engineered into the lower half. Dry fitting the top and bottom showed a very good fit with only slight pressure needed to close any gaps. The superstructure has separate additional armor plates which, thankfully, have no ejector marks and need only minor clean-up. These attach via tab and slot and should present no problems. Some other differences in Vol. 2 include the shape of the plow blades, placement of the headlamps, and omission of the wooden storage box.

Both PE and styrene schurzen for the turret are included with the styrene being beveled to achieve a thinner appearance. Some clean-up on the styrene schurzen will be needed due to ejector marks and a few sink holes are also present and will need to be filled. The styrene mounting brackets are molded too thick and it's possible that only the PE brackets could be used if you opt not to go the full PE route.

Decals consist of simple balkenkreuze markings only, either black on white or white outline. If Reichsbahn markings are desired for the flat car, Archer transfers or similar will need to be used. The instruction booklet is well laid out, with clear, uncluttered 3-D line drawings in 15 steps, though step 12 is for the styrene schurzen only and steps 13 and 14 are for the PE schurzen. The full color finishing plate shows front/back, left/right and top views in a three tone snaky line camo pattern. Other color options for the Panzerjagerwagen could be a mono color of dark yellow or a winter whitewash but these are not depicted on the finishing guide.

conclusion
Some may balk at what they feel is a high price for this kit, but considering the sheer size and uncommon subject matter, plus the added benefit of a display base, the cost is on par with similar models. What Trumpeter needs to do is improve their molding process, since flash and excessive/poorly placed ejector marks should be a thing of the past given modern technology, especially if you are using the same parts in more than one kit. They say the devil is in the details and it is the small flaws, many also carried over from their previous release, that make this a mediocre kit instead of an outstanding one. Hopefully there are more of the BP44 train series in Trumpeter's future; with a little more effort on their part the finished product could be exceptional.

A Build Log has been started on the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.
SUMMARY
Highs: Included base, uncommon subject matter, continuation of a series. Instructions are clear and the color plate painting/finishing guide is a plus.
Lows: Molding process needs upgrading, omission of clear parts, dimensional inaccuracies carried over from previous kit remain.
Verdict: With a little extra effort, this should build into an impressive model, either alone or with others in the series.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 00369
  Suggested Retail: $49.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 30, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.44%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.63%

Our Thanks to Stevens International!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About James Bella (c5flies)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...

Copyright 2017 text by James Bella [ C5FLIES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for posting this review,having just got mine as well i agree with what`s said. NOW FOR THE GRIPE Trumpeter have re-used that blasted coupling again,making this kit useless without the flatcar that carried the de-mountable tank.IMHO i would much rather that they had released this so that it can fit in with the BR52 locomotive and other carriages that are out there.For them to do this is like selling a tank without the tracks. C`MON TRUMPERTER,DO`NT DO HALF A JOB.
DEC 31, 2007 - 01:20 PM
Dan, if I'm reading this right, you're talking about the coupler in the rear, that hooks up to the tank carrying car. That's kind of a catch-22, if it could hook up like the rest of the train it would not have the auto release function. Agreed that the two Panzerjagerwagens are pretty much stand-alone models at this time, and it should be a fairly simple project for Trumpeter to come out with the flat car (tank not included, please). IMO, though, they will release the other cars first, as in a marketing sense they would be a more interesting subject.
DEC 31, 2007 - 02:51 PM
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Photos
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