Saturday, September 3

Review Pt. I: Schwerer Kleiner Panzerkampfwagen (2 in 1) in 1/35th scale from Das Werk

Das Werk have produced something very original & new to modellers in their Schwerer Kleiner Panzerkampfwagen German Heavy Tank Project 1944. A 2 in 1 boxing with two main guns, six decals & easy construction. See the kit's parts before Paul builds it in Pt.I of his review...

Build review Pt. I: Schwerer Kleiner Panzerkampfwagen
German Heavy Tank Project 1944 (2 in 1)
Kit No #DW35019
1/35th scale
Polystyrene, photo-etch kit
Decals for six variants provided inside the box
The Schwerer Kleiner PanzerKampfwagen is a slight contradiction in terms being translated literally into "heavy small tank", and this is the subject of Das Werk’s latest release. While you could be mistaken in thinking that this is an enlarged version of the Hetzer tank destroyer, there is actually a small turret sitting atop that pyramid shaped hull. Weighing in at approximately 30 tons, this vehicle could have effectively destroyed enemy tanks.

The project did not progress beyond the concept phase and was never built for the Wehrmacht. Many concept drawings of the constant changing of the concept are available around the internet.
The kit:
Opening the box, it is quite apparent that this should be a fairly simple kit, and the box is nowhere near as jam packed as some other kit boxes are these days. Not that, that is a bad thing, and it is sometimes nice to be able to put a kit together in a short amount of time, and hopefully with a minimum of fuss. This kit is a collaboration with Amusing Hobby, and looking at the plastic, the parts do have an Amusing Hobby feel about them, although I can’t quite put my finger on what makes that be.

The diminutive size of the kit is quite apparent upon opening the box.
The instructions:
Das Werk try hard with their instructions to make them something different. The full colour instruction sheet looks a little like a period document from the outside. With "Vor dem zusammenbau lessen" setting the tone for readers.
The instruction assembly is clearly laid out for the modeller, with the model constructed in eight easy steps.
The two main gun choices are clearly marked out for the modeller, it really is hard to go wrong with such a simple construction here.
Optional parts are noted, as as tall the symbols of what to cut, bend, glue and drill.

The plastic:
The upper hull captures the shape of the forward leaning pyramid and is a relatively smooth shape except for the cut-outs on the front glacis, and some louvres and a hatch moulded on the back.
Interestingly, photo-etched grills are attached to the inside of the louvres, which will help prevent the see-through effect of the hollow hull once it is all closed up, although it does feel like a bit of a waste of the photo-etched grills.
The lower hull comes in a single tub with sponsons moulded on. 
There are some fairly large sprue gates to deal with, but these aren’t anything too difficult, and once you do, a dry fir of the upper hull to the lower hull shows a pretty much perfect fit.
There is one main sprue with various details that are attached to the hull later on. This kit gives you two build options, with two mantlets and barrels provided for a short 105mm howitzer or 100mm anti-tank gun. The barrels also come pre-drilled and are in one piece, so metal replacements should not be required.
On this sprue, what is also what looks like a 30mm MK 108 cannon found on the Me262 jet fighter. This gun goes into the small turret, hence the PanzerKampfwagen designation rather than a Panzerjaeger.
The side skirts re moulded fairly thickly in one piece. Anyone looking to show these damaged will need to do some plastic surgery.
Both sides of the road wheels and the front drive wheel, along with some single tracks that form the curved sections of the track. 
The tracks come in length and link sections and are very nicely detailed. As you can see, the inside does have some ejector pin marks to deal with, although these are all along the inside edge and will be mostly obscured by the road wheels once they are in place.
The PE fret is very small with only three pieces, two grills which go under the rear louvres, which almost make them optional in my opinion, and the larger piece is an exhaust shroud.
The decal sheet is well printed and in register with a variety of numbers and crosses supplied. The most interesting decals provided are the German “Krieg Züm Sieg” (War To Victory) with the excess paint runs. 
There are six marking schemes provided in the box and all are fictional, so they’re more suggestions more than anything else.

The kit includes six different markings:
Unknown Unit, Berlin, Germany 1945 / Unknown Unit, Hamburg, Germany 1945
Unknown Unit, Freudenstadt, Schwarzwald, Germany 1946 / Unknown Unit, Germany 1945 
Unknown Unit, Germany 1945 (Sorry, my editor forgot to take pictures of this one)
Unknown Unit, Germany, Winter 1945/1946
Some people like paper panzers, and some people don’t. I don’t mind them, and see them as a bit of fun to have a play around without going into the more far fetched walker territory. Plus, what else are manufacturers to do when they run out of German WW2 vehicles to release?

Look on to TMN for the second part in this link, where I will be building & painting this little monster...
Paul Lee

Thanks to Das Werk for sending this kit to build and review.
You can find out more information on this kit, or where to pre-order it from the Das Werk Website