by: Peter van Bezu [ ]
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.
• 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 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 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 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.
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.
A: Suspension (x2)
C: Engine Deck and Sides
D: Engine Deck and Fenders
F: Main Turret
G: Secondary Turrets (x2)
O: Miscellaneous (x2)
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)
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.
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.
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.