ARM: Review - DML 1/72 Panzerfaehre Landwasserschlepper Prototype No. 1

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 scale Armor-Pro Series Kit No. 7489; Panzerfaehre Gepanzerte Landwasserschlepper Prototype No. 1; 92 parts in g
rey styrene; pre-order price US$22.95 from Dragon USA Online
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in styrene in this scale
Disadvantages: few noted other than it takes two and a pontoon to make a co mplete set as planned
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all small scale German fans
    As I noted with the 1/35 version of this kit, like many combatant nations in WWII, the Germans were faced with river crossings roughly every 10 miles or so in European conditions. While taking bridges intact was obviously a priority and having engineer bridging units a must, they did not have any t rue means of amphibious crossings in hand during the war. The closest that they came was the boatlike Landwasserschlepper which was not armored. Later in the war Magirus was tasked with creating an armored replacement, and as such did produce two prototypes of the Panzerfaerhe (armored ferry) vehicl e.
    This it was not, as it was basically a large amphibious vehicle that carri ed any troops or cargo internally (ferries by their very nature carried the ir cargoes on open decking or at least on a main deck). As a result, experi ments were made with a decking set that connected two of these vehicles tog ether (and which was apparently tested with the two Magirus prototypes). Bu t by that time (mid 1942) the Germans apparently saw such vehicles as a lux ury they could no longer afford.
    While there are now several 1/35 scale kits of this curious vehicle out, t his is the first kit of the Panzerfaerhe in this scale in styrene. As noted it requires two of them together to make an actual ferry and DML will prob ably release both the second prototype and the pontoon set later in 1/72.
    This kit is totally new and shares little with previous kits. Assembly is like that of the tank kits and begins with the suspension. It then moves to the propeller and propeller guard (I profess ignorance of the vehicle, for it seems to lack a rudder so I have no clue how it was steered!) The deck and casemate are next, but unlike the 1/35 version the latter consists of t wo parts and closed hatches. As there is again zero interior it is not a ma jor drawback.
    The four vent stacks come next but here are fixed in the ?up? position . The winch is provided but this model does not have the crane of its big b rother.
    The tracks are one piece DS Plastic runs and are listed as being 183mm in length to fit; those in this kit were 177mm so some stretching will be nece ssary.
    Technical assistance was provided by Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and G ary Edmundsen.
    Finishing directions are provided for Prototype 1 in the hands of an unkno wn unit (probably either the factory or a weapons/engineer test range). A s et of white crosses are provided on a Cartograf sheet.
    Overall this is a nice enough model on its own, but as with the 1/35 scale version it requires the Number 2 prototype and pontoon to complete it as a prototype tactical ferry. Given today?s prices it will be pricey for a 1 /72 scale model.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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