Hobby Boss- German Flakpanzer V Ausf. A
For the First Look at this kit check here: https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=15052
Construction begins as usual with the lower hull tub-- adding all of the torsion bars to the interior floor. Pins help align the orientation of the bars which helps with the exterior alignment- it is a shame there is no interior to help show off all of this interior detail. Steps 1-3 install the inner bars and outer suspension arms. Steps 4-6 add the road wheels, sprockets, and idlers- as well as the tracks and track guards and fenders. Each track link is made up of three parts- the main link and two guide horns to glue in per link. At 88 links per side and 176 total- that is 352 guide horns to glue in. I did all this for the review and the tracks look pretty good- but I don't understand Hobby Boss' obsession with having the modeler attach their own guide horns when just about everyone else seems in include them already attached. Any misalignment makes for later headaches...but luckily I had the week off for the holidays and so was able to clean up and assemble the tracks in a matter of hours-- but if you want to save the hassle, go aftermarket to be sure.
Step 7 has you attach the exhausts, jack, and stowage bins. The instructions would have you add L31, and L38 and 39 to the bins, but there is no L sprue and I couldn't find any similar looking parts on any of the other sprues. The rear plate is then added to the hull tub but there is no clear indication of how to align it so use your best judgement. Steps 9-15 all involved the top hull and all associated parts. Periscopes, hatches and covers, engine hatches and cooling fan covers with PE grills, pioneer tools and racks, and lights are added here. Step 16 adds the side skirt racks and PE skirts but I skipped this step as the scheme I did was devoid of these.
Steps 17 and 18 assemble the top turret, including hatch covers, and the twin slide-molded gun barrels. Step 19 installs the turret to the hull to complete construction.
Painting and Decals
Considering the fact that this never saw full scale production and only a wooden mock-up turret was ever placed on the Panther chassis, I wanted to seek out something other than the drab monotone Panzer grey the kit features-- and thanks to this article on Tank Encyclopedia, I got the idea for my scheme based on the David Bocquelet drawing at this link:
I figured this might be how the one mock-up might have been found by occupying troops and liked the chalk markings on the turret. I used AK Interactive White Chalk Lead to recreate these. The turret and hull were painted with AMMO by Mig paints from the StuG Interior and Exterior paints set. I did not weather it at all considering it did not see action and I hadn't done a clean build like this in a while.
This was a pretty straightforward build and as it was a conceptual design as opposed to one in service, I felt a bit more freedom and less pressure to build it to exacting measures. I enjoyed trying out a what-if scheme and keeping it unscathed. I did NOT enjoy assembling the track links-- they are easily doable, but this is not my most favorite part of the build to begin with-- and making one attach 352 guide horns individually does not exactly endear one to the task. If you enjoy paper panzers and building something out of the ordinary, this is certainly a good choice.
Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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