German Panzerjägerwagen vol.1
Trumpeter Kit No. 00368
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley


The German Army built many different types of armoured trains towards the later half of the war as did the Russian Army and this new kit from Trumpeter represents one of the later types where a Panzer IV Ausf.H turret was mounted on a special built armoured flatcar which was usually used as part of the BP44 Armoured Train.

The Kit:
The kit consists of 242 parts in light grey plastic as well as two frets of etched parts for the turret Schurzen and a small decal sheet. The track and road sections come from the K5E kit and subsequent track sets with the other parts new to this kit.

Etched parts

The standard of moulding is not as good as you might expect from a mainstream kit today with many large pin marks, quite a bit of heavy flash that requires some work to eliminate and the fit of some parts will require trimming and test fitting will be needed during most of the assembly. But there is also some nice details included such as surface details and some of the interior parts like the full MG34 and wood grain effect on the flatcar storage box.

Armoured Rail Car:

This is a fairly simple arrangement as the armoured flatbed is in two parts, the upper and lower hull sections that fit together much like a boat with just the openings for the four wheels and the usual array of railroad bump stops and linkages.

Assembly is also very straightforward with the hull top having tread plate pattern included and the wheel assemblies include the leaf springs and mountings even though you can’t see any of this after assembly.

The large wooden storage box on the back of the flatcar is made up of five parts and as mentioned has nice wood grain effect included and is designed to be assembled in the closed position.

Assembly of the track sections and road bed is also straightforward and shouldn’t pose any problems and you can add as much ground work as you wish to add more life and variety.

The Turret:

The turret is the main feature of the kit and Trumpeter correctly give you a newly tooled Ausf.H turret with the long 7.5cm KwK L48 gun but unfortunately that is where the good news ends.

The turret is beset with problems, the most serious being it is 2mm too tall at the back, 1mm too tall at the front and the slope of the forward roof is too steep as a consequence.

Other issues include the gun housing being 1mm too wide and .5mm too short, the gun collar about .7mm too small in diameter and has no detail at all such as the recessed screw heads seen on the recent Dragon Ausf.F/G gun collar (kit #6360). The barrel is the correct length but the muzzle brake is undersized and the fit of most parts requires attention with a proliferation of pin marks and excess flash. But you do get an extensive interior so let’s have a closer look at the whole deal.

The turret shell is in one piece with a separate front plate and cut-outs of the side hatches and cupola with the surface detail quite nicely done with flush screws on the roof and weld seams around the side joins. But as mentioned the height is 2mm too tall at the back and as the hatches are the correct size this shows itself with the spacing above and below the hatches being too great.

The lower turret ring is a separate part with traverse teeth around the ring with most of the interior equipment added to this before fitting to the turret shell.

The side hatch hinges are like those of other Pz3 and 4 kits where the main hinges are a separate rectangle added from inside with the outer hatches fitting into the hinges but you will have to trim the turret opening for the hinge parts to fit properly.

The side hatches have interior details but also two large pin marks on each hatch that will be very difficult to remove due to the surrounding detail and other exterior detail includes the rain channels over the hatches and the crew grab handles. The four lifting hooks are separate parts as is the right roof ventilator cover and the two part rear turret bin.

The commander’s cupola is in two main halves with the armoured vision ports in the fixed open position with interior periscopes from grey plastic but each of these has a pin mark in the middle of the periscope lens. On top is a separate hatch ring which has some flash to be removed as does the separate round hatch which has interior details included as well as some more flash and three pin marks which again will be difficult to eliminate.

The fit of the cupola parts is not the best and there is no indication of the correct orientation of the two cupola parts (C4, C5) to ensure the top hatch ring is located correctly and test fitting will be needed. Once assembled the open vision ports are hollow and you can see into the void from some angles and the fit to the turret top locating ring is also a little tricky.

The turret front plate has the correct details for the Ausf.H including the rain guard over the sight hole and a separate left side vision port but there are no interior visor parts or visor arms if you want to show this open.

At the front the gun housing is made up of the gun shield, the housing in upper and lower halves that leaves a side join seam to be eliminated and the front section with the gun collar.
As mentioned there are a number of dimensional errors here when comparing the parts to the Panzer Tracts plans in the Panzer IV book (No.4) but all are 1mm or less so some may not be bothered but it all adds up as the finished turret is a sum of all its parts.

The full length gun barrel is in two halves meaning you have the join seam to deal with and includes the breech with a separate breech block that will need trimming if you want to fit this in the closed position along with a fairly complete gun mounting on the inside.

Included are the two side gun guards but watch the right side guard (part B1) as the instructions tell you to glue this to the locating hole for the separate co-axial MG34 instead of the inner hole provided. The MG34 is a full weapon with separate ammo feed cover and is nicely done but you will need to drill out the muzzle for a better appearance. You can slip the MG34 though the hole in the gun mounting and gun shield at a later time if you wish as this fits neatly through the mounting holes.

When fitting the gun mountings to the inside of the front turret plate don’t glue the elevation gear (part B40) or you will not be able to elevate the gun without problems and also make sure you don’t overdo the glue if you want the gun to elevate.

After attaching the gun the front gun housing can then be fitted to the mounting and the length of exposed barrel is the correct length but the two part muzzle brake is undersized and the outer baffle details are not smooth like the original. There is another minor issue in that the gap between the gun and gun collar is too great and is quite noticeable but there is little you can do about this other than lining the inside of the collar with thin card or similar to reduce the gap.

The turret interior is quite complete with the lower turret basket and attachment legs along with the full traverse gear, crew seats and equipment on the floor ring as well as the ventilator dome for under the roof. The assembled interior will look good when viewed through the open side hatches as it is quite busy with most of the main components provided.

Also provided is the turret Schurzen in two plastic parts with separate mounting brackets but this is rather thick even with the inner sides bevelled and the doors are moulded closed. But you also get the full Schurzen plates as etched parts with etched mounting brackets and this does improve this considerably and also has the doors separate so they can be shown open if required.

Overall the turret would build into a nice Ausf.H turret if not for the height issue as most other dimensional issues are 1mm or less and the many pin marks and fit issues could aso be overcome with a bit of work. Replacing the barrel with a metal aftermarket barrel would overcome the undersized muzzle brake and gap around the collar but as mentioned the height issue really puts it behind the eight ball.


The small decal sheet has just two different style of balkenkreuz but no other markings and the many standard rail road stencilling are noticeable by their absence, but Archers Fine Transfers offer a number of stencilling sheets for German Railroad stock that can be used.

These are the usual exploded view drawings which are easy enough to follow but of course you should study each sequence carefully before cutting or gluing as you would with any kit.


This is a relatively simple kit with just the turret requiring any real assembly but as mentioned above the dimensional issues especially the turret height as well as the additional work needed on the many pin marks and some fit issues does let the kit down somewhat.

But the turret Schurzen could hide the height issue for those not that concerned as the finished kit would look good in a railway diorama and does offer some potential.

Recommended 6.5/10

The Sprues:

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See the Panzer IV subject page for other kit and update set reviews for the Panzer IV.

Panzer Tracts No.4
Panzerkampfwagen IV
Thomas L Jentz
Hilary Louis Doyle
German Armored Trains
in World War II

Wolfgang Sawodny
Schiffer Military History
ISBN: 0-88740-198-8
Achtung Panzer No.3
Panzer IV


Thanks to my credit card and Rainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created July 18, 2007