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In-Box Review
135
Schwere Plattformwagen Type 80
Schwere Plattformwagen Type SSyms 80
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by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Surprise! Another rail car from Trumpeter. This one is of the more heavy-duty variety; the Schwere Plattformwagen Type SSyms 80, which is able to transport larger vehicles like the Tiger (which is depicted on the cover). I won't claim any great knowledge of German rail transport. I am making some assumptions for this piece on the knowledge that it's more than likely something that actually saw war-time combat (as much as flat cars can fight wars). I mean the Germans did need to move heavy tanks to the Eastern front right?

The Kit

This kit includes a lot of plastic. The normal section of ground/track that Trumpeter usually includes on this type of kit is doubled due to the loading ramp included with this rail-car. If you look at the photo below on page 16 of the instructions (step 14) you will note the size and scope of this kit once completed. Indeed the Tiger tank shown in outline on the flat car takes up only about 1/6 of the length of the total kit.

The mechanism for loading heavy tanks on to this flat car is actually part of the car itself. There is a triangular load-bearing unit that is moved from the end of the car to the ground when loading. Then a ramp section is mounted on this support and a further hinged ramp is brought down over it. There are no pictures of how all these pieces would be carried on the car once loading if completed. I did find an older product by The Tank Workshop which depicts a pyramid canvas cover over one end of the car, but this doesn't seem to match with Trumpeter's version. And there is an excellent build of this kit by Ed Sarao which has some period photos with Tigers no less. However in those photos I am still not seeing the ramp mechanism. More than likely the ramp was only needed for one car (in a convoy of many) as they would have been able to load the other cars from the ends, etc. However that is just supposition on my part.

The kit itself is typical Trumpeter quality and workmanship. Meaning good, solid, and well detailed (but not to extremes). The most detailed parts are obviously the road wheels and running gear, as well as the car hitches and bumpers. The rest is mostly steel and heavy supports, etc. I will let the photos speak to the this.

The instructions are well illustrated with limited prompts in English and Chinese. Lots of "Make 4" and "Make 6" references.

There is a decal sheet which includes white marking that appear mostly along the sides of the flat car. There is a painting and marking guide (illustrated in color) to give you an idea of a finished piece. The colors shown include field gray, Steel (actually misspelled "Stee") metal black, and "Wood Brown". The Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol color codes are included (but not for all three in some cases).

Conclusions

If you are interested in German rail cars this will certainly be high on your list of candidates for your collection. It will obviously be very useful in diorama making for those massive dios we sometimes see brave hobbyists create. All in all this is another solid (very solid) release by Trumpeter. After many of these releases however I can't help but hope we start to see a few more unexpected items in the future. However that does not detract from this very competent release.

SUMMARY
Highs: Solid details and fits a great niche for rail cars.
Lows: More info could have been provided for fully loaded variation of the flat car.
Verdict: Another good release from Trumpeter. Albeit not a tough kit to get right though.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 00221
  Suggested Retail: $95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 01, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  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 Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright ©2017 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. 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

Christophe, I have 2 cents to add to this discussion, since my job at Armorama is both soliciting reviewers for new products AND editing their reviews. We try to find reviewers who are knowledgeable about a subject, but that's very hard, given all the samples we get in-house. In addition, we encourage reviews by members who have purchased the kit themselves and want to tell the world what they loved or hated about it. So when samples come in, we try to recruit people who: 1.) are knowledgeable about the subject matter (who's an expert on German electrified barbed wire?); 2.) interested in reviewing a product (kits are easy to give away, accessories harder, books hardest of all); 3.) can write decently or at least well-enough that the editors can make it into readable English There are usually 15-20 reviews in the queue at any given time, and yet it's still hard to find enough reviewers for all the products. For example, I received 10 decal packs from Decalmania over the weekend for a variety of tanks from around the world, including T-34s in foreign service, EW American tanks, etc. I will need to find someone who has these kits and is interested in perhaps putting them on a model to show how they look, but I will be happy if I can find 8 reviewers with myself taking up the slack. I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but it's very easy to complain about this or that reviewer not being qualified to write a review. It would be far more helpful to step up and volunteer to write reviews yourself. Failing that, it's helpful to have feedback about kits here, which is why we have these forums: none of us on staff pretends to be experts in everything or even anything, and we have many fine contributions from those of you who are. Take Gerald Owens or David Byrden, for example, on Tiger tanks. They really add a lot to everyone's collective knowledge by generously sharing what they know. And there are many others, I can't name them all, so if I left you out, please don't take umbrage. If you or anyone is interested in pitching in and writing a review, PM me. There's always room for one more.
APR 05, 2011 - 05:17 PM
Huh, guys, what discussion came up here! First of all I think Jim has done a good review of the kit as a modeller - in my opinion Trumpy´s kit is produced on their standard, which is not bad. The problem is they do not care about accuracy of their kits, if they are not kinda main stream filling their valets. Searching right references for any other would be just a waste of money, even in China. It is much easier to take any model already produced in resin by somebody else and use it to make my own in styrene - cheaper, better selling, bla bla bla. Who could compare their kits with BR52, BR86 or W36 released before by CMK would know what I am talking about. I had spent a few months by researching this wagon, so I am able to see things hidden from guys not interested deeply in this kind of subjects. Most of guys will see - a good looking wagon, nice option for dio with tiger loaded - thats enough, how many of as would care about wrong details like buffer size or something else - just a few silly enthusiast like me. Anyway, as said, Jim´s review is all right in my eyes, and no one really interested in rolling stock would have noticed accuracy issues of the kit. As said even who is not an expert on cinema can still write a 'review' of a movie - and I am sure you will enjoy this review and then the movie as well. Have you seen the Braveheart? YES! Did you like it? SURE - GREAT, JUST LIKE THE REVIEW SAID. All right then - but do you know that this movie is one big nonsence and has nothing to do with true history of Scotland? HM, NO, I DID NOT KNOW THIS - BUT STILL I LIKED IT. Well, do you get my point? So at the end - this review did even more - it opened the gate for as to see and discuss more about the subject reviewed, to let guys know what is good or bad with the kit - and make easier for them to decide if they want to spend their money on it or not. I see this very positive for everyone - and many thanks to you Jim for writing it. You did not spend your time for nothing, thats for sure. Cheers Libor
APR 05, 2011 - 07:04 PM
It is my understanding that most people are just looking for people's honest views on whatever is being reviewed. The Kitmaker Network has a great review system which allows people from the collective community, which is needless to say substantially large, to add their knowledge base to the reviews here through the discussion forums that are linked to them. AFAIK this dynamic system is the best out there for reviewing such a massive amount of material. I would encourage people to constructively ask questions or add their own knowledgeable input when applicable rather than criticizing those who have volunteered their time as being reviewers for not being perfect. This site is about sharing, learning, and having fun. No need to put a damper on that
APR 05, 2011 - 08:02 PM
Personally I own one of these, and while not perfect (a given) I found it a great starting point for detailing and accuratizing to whatever extent you feel comfortable with. It ends of as a great way to display German heavy armour that couldn't otherwise be transported by rail. What else could you want from a kit lie this?
DEC 30, 2016 - 11:05 AM
Frank. Why dredge up 30 old review threads? Bored?
DEC 30, 2016 - 11:23 AM
No, just using the resource as a reference library and seeing how others commented at the time and seeing if my comments might generate new reactions and insights. I thought that that was a good use of the site -am I wrong? I seem to be generating this kind of response, not sure why...
JAN 01, 2017 - 03:45 AM
Why not? This review and the topics are as valid now as when they were published. And not everybody saw this review when it came out years ago.
JUN 19, 2017 - 01:48 AM
Why not? This review and the topics are as valid now as when they were published. And not everybody saw this review when it came out years ago.[/quote] Hmmm, There are, when I write this, 2856 pages of threads in the armor/afv forum with something like 25 threads per page. If we assume that maybe 10% of these are as valid now as they were then we would end up with over seventhousand threads or over 280 pages of revived/resuscitated stuff. The oldest thread was started in January 2002 so that would mean 2856 pages in 15.5 years or roughly 184 pages per year. Those 280 pages of zombies would see us through 18 months without the need for a single new thread ... Just thinking (and writing of course but that should be obvious if You are reading this).... There is stuff in my stash that was possibly reviewed 8-10 years ago. Maybe I should go dredging the depths .... Bringing up old stuff clutters the channel and obscures the new threads. Suggestion: Would it be possible to have some kind of zombie-filter so that it is possible to avoid seeing revivals of threads where the original post is more than 2 years old? Maybe make the age limit configurable. / Robin
JUN 19, 2017 - 02:27 AM
Perhaps it might help everyone (and avoid semantic disagreements) if there was a simple coding system for the level of examination of a new product. For example; A = An Announcement of a forthcoming kit – may include box-art, CAD or sprue photos. No editorializing. P = A Preview of a just-released kit – examination of sprues, comments on quality of mouldings etc., its context in the marketplace. R = A build log of a just-released kit and full Review as sponsored by Armorama. Depending on what is commonly accepted as “just-released” (I would suggest 1 or 2 months), finally… B = A build-log of a kit that’s in general circulation with more personal opinions about the kit – and acceptable as an alternative to the first [R] Review. I suggest the A, P and R categories should keep personal opinions to a minimum and be as scrupulously objective as possible. Not always easy but that’s why we’re not all Reviewers. Another issue raised is the author’s degree of expertise. That’s a more difficult thing to standardize because an author’s self-assessment risks turning out to be an understatement or an overstatement compared to the majority of readers’ opinions (!) If I was nominated to do a Review of e.g. a T34/76, I can guarantee 10 members will turn out to have a better or more accurate knowledge than I – does that make me a novice or an expert? Well, I think I have a reasonably good knowledge and enough references on the shelf to back it up. So how about this scale; 1)They threw this at me, I’ve never built one before so I’m just documenting how well it goes together & have no idea if it’s missing details or has errors. 2)I have a reasonable knowledge of the kit subject but “experts” are welcome to challenge. 3)I specialize in kits/subjects like this and will put out a contract on anyone who contradicts me. OK that definition should end at “…this.” This rating would only be necessary for “R”s i.e. the review is an R1 or R2 or R3 so that readers can decide for themselves how much credence to give the review – and so hopefully they won’t (or shouldn’t need to) bark at a Reviewer, because their credentials have already been stated. The coding system could be flagged as a special icon at the left of the thread where currently it just says “Review”.
JUN 19, 2017 - 03:22 AM
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