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1:35 Faun L 900 including SdAh 115 Das Werk Catalogue # DW 35003 Available from around €69.00 (RRP) The Faun was one of the heaviest German trucks in service at the time. It weighed 8,800 kilograms and was 10.4 meters long, 2.5 meters wide, and 2.6 meters high. It required a crew of only one, that being the driver. It was powered by a 150hp Deutz F6M5171 diesel engine and could carry a total cargo load of up to 8,800 kilograms. The Faun had no armour protection or armament, and it had six wheels, four of which were the drive wheels. Its primary purpose was transporting and carrying small tanks and armoured vehicles, hence the abnormally long body and powerful engine. The Faun could carry up two small tanks at a time using a special vehicle trailer. The Faun was produced by a variety of manufacturers, including Büssing-NAG, Vomag, Faun, Fross-Büssing, Krupp and MAN. Not many of these trucks were produced, and even less were converted into SdKfz 4 half-tracks. The Faun was mostly used from the early to mid-part of World War II, as it was primarily used to carry and recover small German tanks such as the Panzer I and Panzer II. It's usage throughout the war was then mostly limited to the transportation of heavy equipment, troops, and other light vehicles. Extract from World War II Wiki The kit Thanks to Uschi van der Rosten and Das Werk, those of us with a Facebook presence have been watching this kit come together for a short while now, with regular updates on CAD, packaging and also a test shot build from Alex Glass himself. As I write this, this kit is on the cusp of release, and modellers should be able to get their hands on it later this month or early January. You can see why Das Werk are proud of their product. The presentation alone is a bold statement of their faith in the product with an attractive artwork by Jason Wong, who also produces artworks for the likes of Takom. If you look carefully at the lid, you’ll note the product name and company logo are finished in gloss, while the remain is a nice satin finish. On the box side we see profiles and schemes for the vehicle. For those of you who don’t know, Das Werk is a collaboration between Uschi van der Rosten and MBK Distribution. In the case of this release, work has also been done in conjunction with Pete Hamann and CustomScale. The box itself is quite weighty, as it should be as it contains two model kits; the Faun L900 3-axle truck, and also the SdAh 115 flatbed trailer. Inside the box, all sprues are separately packed, except for the two which are supplied twice. In total, there are NINE sprues of light grey styrene, and one of clear. There are also two packets of vinyl tires, a number of brass rods and a small decal sheet. An instruction manual is provided for each of the models, both Faun and SdAh 115. Instead of rolling through text for each sprue, bearing in mind that I’m fairly unfamiliar with the characteristics and breakdown of such vehicles, we’ll look at each sprue in photographic form, but now I’ll also explain some of what features this kit offers in terms of options etc. From the outset, it became pretty clear that the Das Werk team wanted to create a model that could be used in any scenario that could be thrown at it, and as a result, the load bearing elements of this kit would need to be able to be modelled in a fashion that was realistic of the completed scenario. With the Faun, there is always the possibility that this flatback vehicle could be travelling empty, or with moderate or heavy load. To that end, the designers of this kit have included three separate sets of leaf-spring suspension arms so cater to all three possibilities, and of course then allowing the finished model to sit lower on that suspension when carrying heavy equipment. That is a fantastic little touch. You’ll also see that the kit has some lengths of brass wire. These are designed to be bent around a supplied plastic former so as to create the metal hoops that optionally sit over the rear of the Faun, and would possibly be covered by a soft skin. When the soft top wasn’t deployed, the hoops are stowed further forward. It is of course possible to build the model without the sides fitted too, and just the open back. There are so many possibilities. What the instruction manual also provides is a series of load images which will give you an idea about which suspension parts to add vs the weight carried. Whilst the Faun has a very nicely detailed cab, detailed underside/chassis and some excellent wood grain finish to the appropriate parts, no engine is supplied, so that really isn’t an option unless someone releases an aftermarket solution for this. The SdAh 115 trailer is also no less featured, with numerous options for the modeller. These include three load options and the ability to pose the rear axle away from the trailer and fit ramps for loading the trailer itself. Like them or loathe them, both the Faun and the SdAh 115 trailer have vinyl wheels, but these are actually very good! Seam lines are extremely minimal or even almost invisible, so shouldn’t be a concern for the average modeller. Now to the plastic! Faun L 900 Sprue A (x2) Sprue B Sprue C Sprue D Sprue E Wire Wheels Decals A single decal sheet is included which contains markings for the exterior as well as cab instruments. Printing company is unknown, but the decals are nice and thin, have minimal carrier film, solid colour and perfect register. SdAh 115 trailer Sprue F (x2) Sprue G Sprue H Wheels Instructions A separate manual is provided for both the Faun and the SdAh 115 trailer, and whilst there are some commonalities between them, there are some inconsistencies, such as no parts/sprue map for the SdAh 115 trailer manual. No real biggie though. Generally, both manuals are very easy to follow with the various illustrations reminding me very much of Wingnut Wings in their style and colourisation. There is also plenty of annotation throughout and notes on the various options. There are plenty of paint references given throughout too, with codes for RAL, Tamiya, Mr Hobby, Ammo, Vallejo, Humbrol and Mission Models types. Various schemes are also supplied, attributed to unknown units. Conclusion Production quality really is superb, rivalling other high-end contemporary kit manufacturers. I think I saw one little bit of flash that wasn’t bigger than a pinhead, and there are no defects such as sink marks etc. A major-league effort has not only gone into some very nice engineering, but also into the research and development of this new kit, and it really shows. With the jig to bend the soft-top support hoops etc. it’s pretty obvious that building this kit will be an absolute joy. If you have some money left in the run-up to, or after Christmas, you should consider treating yourself! My sincere thanks to Das Werk for the review sample seen here. Watch out for this kit soon, from your favourite online model retailer.