In WW2, the German Air Force developed a special external power supply unit, called the "Anlasswagen", to use when starting airplane engines or testing weapons or instruments. The unit consisted of a power generator driven by a two-stroke engine. Controls on the upper panel allowed switching between power supply and recharge modes.The unit was installed in a two-wheeled cart that could easily be towed. A hood, wich was folded back while the generator was in operation in order to keep the engine from overheating, protected the engine from the influences of weather. power was carried to the external power socket of the aircraft via a cable with a special plug. When not in use, and when the vehicule was in tow, this cable lay in an open box in front of the main switch.
The oil transporters were set up as single axle trailers with two roadwheels. The oil tanks were equipped with one hand pump and one electric pump. The electric pump worked only in conjunction with the towing vehicle. On smaller airfields it was often the case that the maintenance crew pushed the trailer themselves. The cart had separate chambers so that various lubricants as well as coolants could be transported in one vehicle. Those hoses necessary for servicing an aircraft could be laid around the trailer while under way. The use of this tank cart was often only seen on the larger airfields with a hard-surfaced runway. On smaller airfields, the maintenance crews primarily used oil barrels for filling the lubricant containers.
Verlinden's 1/48 Luftwaffe Airfield Carts set comes in a small side opening cardboard box (picture 1). Inside, there is one bag with resin parts, one photo etched fret and one instructions sheet (picture 2).
The resin parts are well cast and I found no air bubbles. Some work will be necessary to separate the bigger pieces from their casting blocs but the smaller parts will be easier to work with (picture 3).
The photo etched fret (picture 4) will allow you to add about 50 detail parts, wich is quite astonishing considering the small size of the subjects.
The quality of the resin parts is good. The starter cart's main body, which looks like a baby pram (picture 5), is nicely rendered and features relief details on all sides. The oil cart is also well done with numerous nuts, bolts and hinges (picture 6). The tyres have treads on their riding surface and the hub caps have been fitted with bolts and air valves (picture 7).
The two flexible tubing of the carts are provided as rubber threads in the kit and a small wire is also included (picture 3). Take care, the two rubber threads don't have the same thickness!
Comparison with other kits
Both carts are available in injected plastic. The Starter Cart in the German Power Supply
set from Tamiya (watch review
) and the Oil Cart in the Ground Support Equipment
set from Revell/Monogram (watch page 3 of this feature
When compared to each other, the Tamiya and Verlinden starter carts are similar apart for some details on the sides (picture 8). But the resin one won't give you the possibility to display the cart with the upper panel open, as it is moulded in one piece. Tamiya's kit, on the contrary, features an engine wich will allow you to depict an operating unit. In short, Verlinden's cart should be displayed at rest or being towed, while Tamiya's cart can be displayed servicing an aircraft. The chassis is also different one both kits. Tamiya's one is tubular while Verlinden's one must be build out of two flat photo etched parts (picture 9). I think the tubular one will look more realistic. A good point for the resin kit are the optional PE spoked wheels with rubber/steel tires.
For the Oil Cart kits, the comparison is easier: the models are similar in size and shape, but the Verlinden kit is much more detailled than the Revell/Monogram one (picture 10). No need to say more, the resin kit is far superior!
The instructions are printed on a double sided B&W A4 paper sheet with the part's layout and the paint guide on one side (picture 11) and the assembly views on the other side (picture 12). The drawings are nicely done and the build process shouldn't be too difficult to figure out. Be warned, some parts will have to be scratchbuild as indicated in the instructions.
This is a nice little set and a good alternative to the new Tamiya Luftwaffe Power Supply kit (ref. 32533). Both units are well rendered and the level of detail is very good. While the Oil Cart is surely the best available in that scale, the Starter Cart probably isn't better than his injected counterpart. But it features optional spoked wheels wich are very original and realistic. Definitely a reference to be taken into account if you want to make a Luftwaffe diorama!
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