Following their recent release of the Karl-Geraet 040 Morser “Karl” Dragon has now released this huge kit of the German Railway Gun 28cm K5(E) “Leopold”. With the imminent release by Trumpeter of their K5 it shapes as the battle of the titans, but more on that later.
The kit comes in a huge box measuring 690mm x 435mm x 120mm and contains
747 parts in light grey plastic plus a small etched fret with 7 parts used,
a length of fine chain, a short length of twine, a decal sheet and of course
The recommended retail price is Yen ¥11800, USD $99.95 and EURO 89.95.
There are 676 parts for the gun and carriages with a further 71 for the six figures included, the figure sprue is marked “1/35 Karl-Geraet crew” but as I didn’t get these in my Karl kit I guess they have been added later.
The quality of the parts is excellent with crisp flash free parts with a minimum of sink marks; those that are present are very shallow and should be easy to remove. The first thing you notice about the parts is that they are huge as you would expect but complimented with some very fine detail parts.
The two railway trucks have a large central section with details added to
the undersides. The lower suspension including the leaf springs and axle
mounts are a single piece for each side but the details included have good
definition. The wheels and axles are trapped between the two suspension units
and are designed to rotate.
The top platform is a large moulding with nice surface details included with additional detail parts all with nice definition.
There are two separate side panels with additional details such as the crew steps and other fittings with the two separate end panels having the usual railroad bumper stops and couplers as well as additional equipment mountings again with good definition.
The main gun platform is one huge tub with two sides and bottom included in the one moulding, this measures all of 620mm long and has perfectly straight sides without any warping for such a large piece. The sides have openings for some fittings as well as a control panel with inside details and separate door which can be shown open with if you wish; this would only be open during firing and not during travel. This is detailed with an etched floor panel for the crew stand for added detail.
The interior of the body has additional full length side panels some 600mm
long as well as eight internal support bulkheads.
Added to this is the full elevation mechanism which is quite comprehensive and will allow you to position the gun at whatever elevation you with.
The barrel is in the usual two halves with rifling added to the insides of the barrel tip, this is parallel with the barrel, but probably will look okay when assembled.
The large breech assembly has a separate breech block, recoil cylinder and mountings and again will look impressive when assembled. Four 28cm shells are included, two normal rounds and two rocket assisted which have a separate centre section with raised rifling guides included.
The upper decking is again a large single moulding with the cut-outs for the central barrel and recoil assemblies. Added to this are additional details such as the full length side railings, side mounting steps and front barrel travel lock. Many of the added assemblies are multi-part for good detail definition.
Finally there is the large loading platform for the rear rail truck and this has some of the nicest details on the whole gun. The platform is made up of separate sides and rear sections with electrical and control panels with separate doors which can be shown open or closed, again depending if you are modelling the gun in firing or travel positions. Added to the platform is the shell loading crane which has etched parts for the lower stand plates. The two large exhaust stacks also have etched heat shields and the twine is used for the side crew safety supports, added to this a separate shell loading trolley with its own mini rails on the platform top section.
To sit the whole gun and trucks on are seven sections of track and embankment from the previously released Railway Track w/embankment set (No.3825) with the two end embankment sections included. These simply clip together but you will need to use all seven to sit this huge gun on.
As a bonus there are the six crew figures wearing standard field grey uniforms. Each figure has separate heads, torsos, legs and two sets of arms per figure and the usual selection of personal equipment for the figures. This set has been scheduled for release separately in October as set No.6201.
The instructions have traditional line drawings for the construction sequences and not the colour type instructions of recent kits, for mine this is a good thing as these drawings are far easier to follow.
Markings are included for only the one gun named “Leopold” with some added stencilling details; the decals have thin carrier film with a matt finish but should react okay with usual decal setting solution.
The painting guide shows the gun in three different colour schemes, one in overall grey, one in overall yellow and the third in yellow and red brown cam scheme as shown on the box top.
See Instruction sheets (Will open in new window, only close that window when you have finished navigating through the pages.)
In all this is a huge kit with some large well moulded parts as well as nice smaller details and should look impressive when assembled, its size will no doubt add to this.
As references on the K5 are thin on the ground I can only take the details on the kit at face value, but what is there looks well defined and impressive enough.
Click on thumbnails for larger view
Please note: Some scans are done as mulit-part images due to the size of the parts.
This may result in some image distortion.
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Click here for a Comparison Review between this and the Trumpeter 280mm K5(E) Leopold Railroad Gun.
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Page created 16 July 2003