by: Adie Roberts [ ]
The first field kitchens were carried in four-wheeled wagons by military units on campaign throughout history. Karl Rudolf Fissler of Idar- Oberstein invented a mobile field kitchen in 1892 that the Germans came to refer to as a Gulaschkanone (Goulash Cannon) because the chimney of the stove resembled ordnance pieces when disassembled and limbered for towing. The German army used these and other types throughout the first stages and in some cases right the way through World War II. As technology has advanced, larger trailers have evolved as horses were phased out in favour of motorized vehicles more capable of towing heavier loads.
Two large grey sprue
Five small grey sprue
Five smaller lighter grey sprue
Two photo etch
Length of string
One small decal sheet
One instruction booklet
First thing you notice is the great art work and just how sturdy the box is with its open top lid, cardboard bottom and just how much like a bronco kit it looks. Upon opening the box you have two larger sprue's both of which contain parts for the kitchen and limber. There is some nice moulding on the first sprue with some clear and quite well detailed parts with a nice spring suspension. There are some very small delicate parts on this sprue that go to make up the limber so some care and attention will be needed when cutting these pieces of the sprue. The limber cart builds up in a box type frame with a few detailed parts added like the tools and storage space on the back for canisters.
Onto the actual kitchen sprue known as the Gulaschkannone (Goulash Cannon) there are some very well detailed parts particularly the casing with its studded metal work which looks very nice. There is also some very small parts on this sprue where care will be needed with removing.
The build itself at this stage looks to be relatively easy and without any pitfalls that I can see, just some small detail to add including some photo etch making it look more realistic.
The frame work for the kitchen trailer looks nice and sturdy with some good detail the frame comes in a lower and upper to which some leaf springs are fitted. A huge deep saucepan that fits straight into the middle of the oven.
Metal work to the bottom has some nice detail with a fire box at the rear to empty out old burnt coal and ashes. Then the chimney stack when not in use or is being transported, is where the name the cannon came from as when dismounted for travelling it can be mistaken for a cannon.
Turning to some of the smaller grey sprues sees some great detail in the wooden wheels. However on closer inspection you cannot help but notice some mold seems and flash on the outer side of the wheels that said I do not see much work here other than a sanding stick and elbow grease.
The next two smaller sprue's contain some canisters, bucket and old milk churns some great detail on some of the parts that go on to make the canisters but also a fair bit of flash on the lids of them.
The following sprues contain the figure, dog, and horses. Although some great detail especially on the horses with some very nice detailed leather straps and harness around there bodies. There is again some flash around the horse mainly on the outside edge. Also on the detailed parts of the horse mane and especially on the tail.
The figure is different to those offered by any other companies that I am aware of, and with some good touches including soles to his boots that you glue on separately, which have tread on them! The face to the figure is well done and looks realistic overall. The figure is good, but yet again like all the lighter grey sprue's they seem to have much more flash on them than the darker ones. The last of the lighter grey sprue's has a saddle and stirrups that unfortunately have the most flash and possibly the hardest to clean especially on the stirrups that are very small and fine and will make cleaning without braking difficult.
Instructions and Decals
The instructions I have to say are well laid out and seem easy enough to follow. You have your usual check list with all of the different sprue's on there, with a key showing what each logo means.
The build itself starts of on page 3 with the box section of the limber and frame work to the bottom of the limber. Everything on the build looks fairly straight forward apart from some small parts and storage for some canisters. The last part of the limber build gives you the option of open back for placing equipment while cooking or closed for transporting.
Moving onto page 5 you start the build of the kitchen again building in a box fashion using the metal and wood boxing including the internal oven. Some photo etch is included for the grate to make it look better than with just the plastic version. Next you are building the storage boxes and laying the bottom of the cart chassis together all looks straight forward at this point. All the detail parts come next with some very small parts and more photo etch. The wheels and canisters nearly complete the build. You have to decide again at this point if you want to display it as an open and working kitchen or transporting version thus having the chimney stack up or down.
The last two pages include the finishing of the extras and detailed parts then move onto the horses and figure which really look straight forward. The instructions I have to say these look very easy to follow and also come with some rule scale marks for cutting the string and chain quite a novel part.
The decals are very small and include the German badge for the helmet and a couple of detail ones for the kitchen and limber.
This looks a good kit with some work needed on the lighter grey sprues (the horses, dog and figure) due to the flash and moulded lines. It does make me wonder if this was not used by another company or may have been another company’s mould before as all the darker grey sprues seem flash free. For anyone like me that loves to build dioramas this really does give you some very nice options for a large field kitchen feeding some soldiers or perhaps a horse drawn kitchen on its way to the forward line. I do believe that this kit is worth a look and I will be checking out some more of Riich models in the future.