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1:35 German Armoured Train PanzerTriebwagen Nr.16


James H
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1:35 German Armoured Train PanzerTriebwagen Nr.16
Trumpeter
Catalogue # 00223

 

 

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The Panzertriebwagen No. 16 (Skr. PzTrWg 16 or PT 16) was a German heavy armoured train, powered by a Voith 550hp hydraulic transmission diesel engine, and built by the Berliner Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft Actien vormals L. Schwartzkopff, in 1942. This vehicle was based on a locomotive design for an armoured train (WR 550 D14), and then encased in further armour and equipped with two armoured artillery positions, at both ends of the train. These were initially armed with two 20 mm anti-aircraft guns (2 cm Flakvierling 38) but this was modified to use two Russian 76.2 mm FK 295/1 cannon (as used on the BP42 armoured trains). The thickness of the armor Panzertriebwagen No. 16 ranged from 31mm to 84 mm, and the vehicle was the heaviest armoured rail vehicle in existence. Only one was built, and this served on the Eastern Front.

 

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By 1943, the train was used as a reserve weapon, patrolling areas that were threatened by partisans. In the spring and summer of 1944, it was in the service of the Army Group Centre, and participated in, amongst others, in the battles of Rawa Ruska and Lublin. It was then withdrawn westwards after the Eastern Front started slipping towards the borders of the Third Reich. In April 1945, PzTrWg 16 took part in the battle of Neuruppin, and between the 1-2 May 1945, was captured undamaged in Neustadt. After the end of World War II,  PzTrWg 16  was pressed into service with the Polish Army, maintaining operational military communications in the areas of service. The train was on operational service in the Bieszczady Mountains, up until the end of 1947, protecting railway routes and election posts against partisans, during the referendum on the 30 June 1946. The same operations were conducted for the elections for the Polish Sejm parliament, on January 19, 1947.

 

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Trumpeter certainly like to release some oddball kits, and this is definitely one of them. It’s also an imposing box, being quite large and certainly pretty heavy too.  I have quite a liking for Trump’s box artwork, and this one depicts PzTrWg 16 sat stationary, presumably somewhere near the Eastern Front, with a German officer and soldier looking on. It’s quite an understated image, but one that demonstrates the sheer size and power of this train, and its relative featureless façade, save for the armoured turrets at each end. This will certainly be an interesting and leftfield subject to tackle. Opening the lid immediately shows the reason why this box weighs so much. It is absolutely stuffed to the rafters with styrene. Some of these parts are impressive in their size too.

 

This behemoth of a kit contains:

  • 19 sprues, moulded in light grey styrene
  • 6 large, individual styrene parts for train sections such as cab, chassis and turrets.
  • 8 large styrene parts for the roadbed
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 510 plastic parts
  • 3 Photo Etch frets with a total of 204 parts

The box itself has a single narrow compartment set aside into which the large hull and chassis are located. You will also find the clear sprue and PE frets here too. All plastic parts are bagged too, with the cassis sat into the bottom of the cab. The remainder of sprues in the box are mostly packed in twos, but there is no need to worry about possible damage, as all is superbly packed.

 

UPPER HULL & CHASSIS

 

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Well, I really couldn’t ignore these parts for my first look at this kit. The hull itself is the section that contains the diesel powered loco, all hidden in a seriously robust looking exterior. To give you an impression of size, this part is almost a couple of inches longer than a foot (around 340mm), and is as tall as it is wide (approx. 95mm). This impressive feat of engineering must’ve employed some sort of slide-mould technology due to the various slots, openings and other minor external detail. The top of this clearly shows the riveted armour plating, ventilation louvres/punched panels, cover plates, and some very impressive weld seams around the forward and rear crew entry cupola points. The upper centre section is a separate piece, presumably as this is where the injection moulding point was. Small traces of sprue gate can be seen here and just need to be removed. For clean up, that’s all that’s required on this part. More neat weld seam detail can be seen around the fore and aft ends of the hull.

 

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Internally, there is no detail, but there doesn’t need to be. There are some stiffening ribs that run top to bottom along the inside walls. These help give the chassis something to sit against so that that part remains straight.

 

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That chassis is pretty featureless, simply being a floor for the hull. Onto this will fit the wheels and running gear parts. A large hollow centre will accommodate a disc that acts as a securing point for the train gear below. Again, I think this is moulded separately as it was originally the point where the plastic was injected.

 

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ARMOURED TRUCK/PLATFORM

 

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There is a turreted and armoured truck at each end of the train, and as a result, you will need to make two identical assemblies for these. There are zero differences between the two. The largest parts here are the truck base and the plastform that sits atop them (mounting the turret). Each of these two parts (4 in all) is separately bagged and requires virtually no clean up at all. Very impressive. Detail is necessarily sparse, but contains bold raised rivets, weld seams, hook and anchor points for the main hull, and slots/holes for minor external detail.

 

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ROADBED & SPRUE L TRACKS

 

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This, when assembled, is around a metre long, with the model itself measuring approximately 630mm. This would give you some space for any further display items, or maybe you could shorten the track accordingly. The track consists of four different sections, with two of each included. In the manual, these are referred to as ROAD A, B, C and D, and construction is very straightforward as they have interlocking lugs. Test fitting them does show that the side faces will need some filler and sanding to remove joints, but the ballast surface detail is more than passable, with the joints hiding reasonably well amongst the detail. Note the hollow slots. This is where the sleepers fit from below, moulded as sections. Onto this will fit the tracks and other minor, associated parts.

 

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Two identical sprue ‘L’ runners are included for the roadbed, and these are packed with protective foam in between them. This protects the fragile cleats what sit on top of the sleeper sections. These are designed so that the track actually threads down the sections. A simple but effective wood grain finish is applied to the sleepers, but perhaps the edges are just too perfect. A little nibbing here and there will improve their look. The tracks themselves look very good, but thee are some ejector pin marks running along the inside edge of them. These can be effectively hidden by ensuring that these face inwards, away from view.

 

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Lastly, the track joint plates are included here, incorporating both bolt head and threaded end/nut detail, just to break things up a little. That’s a nice touch.

 

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SPRUE A

 

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The parts here are pretty obvious, with the hull upper centre section and the lower chassis central disc being included. Parts are also included for the hulls lower running gear framework. These will be further supplemented by further sprue additions. As will most main parts on this model, detail is sparse but accurate, with large studded rivets and bolt heads being the only real order of the day on the side parts.

 

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SPRUE B (x4)

 

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We now start to see parts which tell you that this is actually a train. These sprues contain all of the wheels for this subject, plus chassis spacers, leaf spring suspension parts, wheel fixing caps and bearing housings etc. You’ll also notice parts for the train lamp bodies too, as well as footplates, handles etc.

 

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SPRUE C (x2)

 

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There are quite a number of detail parts included here. These include buffers, globe buffers, footplates/stanchions, brackets, hydraulic hoses, tow lugs, grab rails, rear platform access protective armour etc. The access doors are also moulded separately and can be posed either open or closed. However, if you want them open, you’ll have to fabricate the internal detail yourself, as none is included. A strange option by Trumpeter, and one that will only be useful if someone releases a detail set, or you can make the parts yourself.

 

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SPRUE E (x2)

 

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Both of these sprues contain parts for the turrets, exclusively. The main turret is moulded with alternative side plates as separate parts. There are 10 sides to each turret. These are quite plain looking, with only an opening in the upper face for crew entry. The reason for the separate plates is that each of these has raised detail. It would’ve been a nightmare to mould them integrally. Also present here are parts for the guns and the large turret bases. Each gun has a fabric cover for its mantlet, and these are included as plastic parts, and looking suitably realistic.

 

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PLASTIC SUMMARY
Apart from the edges that need filling on the track sections, and the pin marks along the inner track lengths, there’s nothing at all to fault here. I can’t see any defects, such as sink marks etc, and moulding is generally very, very good. A little flash here and there is about the worst you can expect to see here.

 

PHOTO ETCH

 

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Even though there are over 200 PE parts here, they are quite simple, if not repetitive and fiddly to fit. They mainly consist of small lugs that fit to the outside of the turrets and their carriages, as well as the hull armoured sides and roof. These are mainly carried on a large, single sheet. Two identical, smaller frets are included, with more lugs and parts for turret guns.

 

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INSTRUCTIONS

 

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These are very typically Trumpeter, with clear line drawings illustrating all construction sequences. Nothing looks very difficult with this model, but there are no colour call-outs for any part. The reason for this is probably because most things were the same colour anywhere (field grey). A colour sheet is included that shows the completed train sat on its track.

 

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Conclusion
Actually, this is a very nice kit, and would make a welcome change from the usual run of the mill subjects that we all get bogged down with from time to time.  It’s also a reasonably priced kit. I’ve seen this for around £75 + P&P from one retailer, and the model itself is pretty large when complete. There’s nothing here to challenge anyone, except for perhaps those PE lugs, but that’s more by necessity than a fault of Trump! Great kit. Strange subject, but with a wow factor when finished!

 

Highly recommended

 

My sincere thanks to Pocketbond for the review sample.

 

 

 

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