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In-Box Review
135
Pz.Kpfw.VI Neubaufahrzeug
Neubaufahrzeug Panzerkampfwagen VI Krupp Gepanzerte Ausführung
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by: Peter van Bezu [ STOOTTROEPER ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

In 1932 the Wehrmacht requested a design for a new 20 ton battle tank, based on the Grosstractor design. It was to be called “Neubaufahrzeug” (New Construction Vehicle), as the Wehrmacht was still forbidden to develop any tanks. It followed the then-a-days fashion of having multiple turrets, like the American M2A2, the English Vickers Independent and the Russian T-35 and SMK designs. None of them proved practical, so they became a dead end in tank design.

Even though the Pz.Kpfw. I to IV did not exist at the time; the number Pz.Kpfw.VI was given to this design thanks to the rigid German numbering system, which consisted of the following classes:

• Pz.Kpfw. I Light Training Tank
• Pz.Kpfw. II Light Reconnaissance Tank
• Pz.Kpfw. III Medium Tank
• Pz.Kpfw. IV Support Tank
• Pz.Kpfw. V Heavy Tank
• Pz.Kpfw. VI Heavy Tank

The Pz.Kpfw.V was the competing Rheinmetall-Borsig design, with the 2 cannon above each other, the Neubauahrzeug Nr.1.
Later, the numbers V and VI were given to the famous Panther and Tiger tanks, although they classed the Panther as a medium.

This German design was intended as a “breakthrough” vehicle and was armed with a 37mm KwK against enemy armor, a 75mm KwK firing HE against AT-guns and pillboxes and 3 7.92mm MG’s, one in each turret. There were plans to install 2 MG’s in each secondary turret, but these plans were never executed. If you want to make this “what if”, no extra MG-34’s are provided, so you’ll have to check your spares box.
A total of 5 were built, the first 2 (nr.1 and 2) were made of mild steel, the last 3 (nr. 3 to 5) were armored. As the specifications stated a 20-ton class tank, the armor was very thin for a heavy tank. Of these 5 tanks, only numbers 2 to 5 have been in action, although the unarmored number 2 only served as a replacement for the loss of an armored one, which is unknown, to confuse the Allied Armies in Norway.

Specifications:

• Weight: 23000kg
• Crew: 6 men
• Speed: Road: 25km/h
• Range: Road: 120km
• Length: 6.65m
• Width: 2.90m
• Height: 2.90m
• Armament: 1 x 75mm KwK L24
1 x 37mm KwK L45
3 x 7.92mm MG13/34 (1 in main turret, 2 in sec. turrets)
• Armor: 20mm (front), 13mm (sides)

The Kit

The kit consists of 11 sprues in grey and 149 (but 140 sprues contain the track pins, with only 4 per sprue) in brown plastic, 1 transparent, 3 PE , 1 bag of tracks, a lower and an upper hull, a cupola and a decal sheet. This makes a total of 835 plastic parts, excluding 264 tracks and 193 PE-parts. Only 36 parts are marked “not for use” and 1 set of PE is in the box, but never mentioned in the manual.
The molding is crisp and up to nowadays standards.

The Suspension

The suspension consists of 2 idler wheels, 2 drive sprockets, 10 double wheeled bogeys, 2 single wheeled bogeys and 8 return rollers. Two options are given for the road wheel bogeys, the return rollers and the drive sprockets, unfortunately there is no reference which to use for which vehicle. Part D14 is a jig for assembling the return rollers. If you choose to leave the inspection doors open, you will need to install the spring arms in step 1. This is only vaguely mentioned as:”Please refer to the guide on P13 for the assembling of complete instruction”. Optional is the use of different length spring arms (2 sizes are supplied) for uneven surface in a diorama.
Track links are provided in a separate bag and can be made working. For this, 140 sprues with 4 track pins are provided, 70 each for the in- and outside pins. According to the manual, 117 links are needed per side, and another jig is provided for easy assembly.


The Exterior

The exterior is heavily detailed. Except for the jack, the kit provides 2 options for all the OVM, the normal version with the clamps molded on or PE clamps and loose equipment. If you choose the first option, you will need to make your own holes in the fenders.
All hatches, visors and even the fuel caps can be positioned open or closed. If you choose to leave the fuel caps open, the kit provides 2 parts to represent the beginning of the fuel lines.

The commander’s periscope can be positioned up or down, as is the antenna, which is not moveable and the headlight. Also are there 2 options for the headlight, but again no reference for the use for which vehicle.

The Interior

Shortly, there is none.
The only interior are the, nicely done, stocks of the MG-34’s in the secondary turrets, but there is nothing in the main turret. The inside of the hatches is well done with handles and PE for the windows if you nevertheless choose them to be open.
The inside of the commander’s cupola is well done, with 8 clear periscopes inside and 8 hatches for them outside. 4 Of them can be positioned closed.


Sprues

A: Suspension (x2)
B: Suspension
C: Engine Deck and Sides
D: Engine Deck and Fenders
F: Main Turret
G: Secondary Turrets (x2)
N: Miscellaneous
O: Miscellaneous (x2)
P: Miscellaneous
Q: OVM
R: Alternative Suspension (x4)
S1: Track Pins (x70)
S2: Track Pins (x70)
T: Clear Parts
X: PE (2 parts, never mentioned or shown in manual)
Y: PE
Z: PE


Instructions

The manual consists of line drawings in 27 steps, plus 5 extra steps for altering the suspension. The drawings are clear but busy, and also include detailed drawings for bending the PE.

Options

Decal options are provided for all three produced vehicles.
The options you have are:

• Panzertruppenschule Putloss, Germany 1937 (2 color camouflage-scheme)
• Panzertruppenschule Putloss, Germany early 1940 (Panzer Grey)
• Pz.Abt. z.b.V.40, Norway April 19, 1940 (Panzer Grey)
• Pz.Abt. z.b.V.40, Norway Late April 19, 1940 up to summer 1940 (Panzer Grey)
• Unit Unknown, Dubno western Ukraine, June 28, 1941 (Panzer Grey)

The color numbers are given for: Mr. Color, Aqueous Hobby Color, GSI Creos, Humbrol, Model Master and Tamiya.

Conclusion

As this is an In-box review, I cannot judge the fitting of the parts, but the detailing looks very good.
About everything is in the box, up to PE replacement rivets, but, and I quote the manual: “The conversion is for experienced modelers”. The only things missing are metal barrels and an interior, but as there are no surviving examples, this is probably due to lack of reference.
SUMMARY
Highs: Very detailed, with many options, though not always clear which ones to choose for which vehicle.
Lows: No interior, even not in the turrets. This includes the breeches of the main guns.
Verdict: Very well done kit.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35A003
  Suggested Retail: $50.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 85.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.00%

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About Peter van Bezu (Stoottroeper)
FROM: NOORD-BRABANT, NETHERLANDS

Hi I'm Peter and I live in the Netherlands, near Eindhoven. Got back into modelling a few years ago with the 88 (Tamiya), since then I made numeral models. Just for the fun to get a nice model. See you around. Peter "Stoottroeper" is just the soldiername (like GI) in the regiment I was in, ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Peter van Bezu [ STOOTTROEPER ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

2 Updates: 1) According to some the tracks are "Friuls", this is mentioned nowhere in the box, but the plastic looks the same. 2) The 2 PE-parts labeled "X" are mentioned in the addendumleaflet and are used to secure the jack. Peter
FEB 08, 2012 - 03:42 AM
Friuls ? Somewhat confused by that statement, as those are white metal tracks and the kits are clearly plastic. As I understand it in style and construction they are more like ModelKasten ones, with track links held together with small pins glued into place each side of the link. Its also a method seen in recent Trumpeter releases. Alan
FEB 08, 2012 - 04:28 AM
Hi Alan, Yesterday I took the kit to the moddelling-club I infrequently attent and they said the tracks looked like "Friuls" As I have never used neither "Modelkasten" nor "Friuls" I took their word for granted. Peter
FEB 08, 2012 - 05:22 AM
Have you guys checked the comparison review on PMMS? Amusing Hobby kit got the best rating from Terry.
FEB 08, 2012 - 05:45 AM
Here is the link NeubauFahrzeug Nr.3-5 comparison. It's quite impressive.
FEB 08, 2012 - 07:25 PM
Thanks Mario. This kit dont look like its for novices. These Modelkasten type tracks are getting popular, just got some with a trump kit, dont know if they are as good? look very similar, even a jig with the trump kit.
FEB 13, 2012 - 05:35 AM
Peter v B! My late father was at the site where one of the "Neubaus" was demolished in the walley of Gudbrandsdalen here in Norway in 1940. Some summers ago I got the opportunity to visit a tiny WW2-museum at Kvam. Here I could study some relics from the tank. (A climbing wheel). It was NOT panzergrau, but lighter, german field-grau. Have a nice building-evening! Trond in Norway.
MAR 16, 2012 - 02:36 PM
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