Built Review
German rubber rafts
WWII German Rubber Rafts
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by: Ed Burgess [ BURGESSE ]


The German army used highly portable inflatable rubber rafts for river crossings and engineer work. Broncoís simple kit offers an accessory that can be displayed in the water or on a truck.


The small, side-opening box contains two identical sprues to make two rafts. Instructions are printed on the back. Construction is basically three pieces. The bottom half has molded-on wooded slats which you could either paint first or wait until after construction. After getting the body together, you need to add a dozen rope handles around the circumference and throw in four oars. Thatís about it. The parts fit together perfectly, leaving inconspicuous join lines around the outside and the inside. From some reference pictures itís clear that these lines should be there, clearly seams between rubber sheets, so you will not want to fill and sand it.

Both halves have sprue attachments on the mating surfaces. You must be cautious removing these, as cutting a whit too far will leave a visible gap which would want filling. I wish Bronco had made the floor slats a separate piece, as the molded-on floorboards will require careful painting. The rope handles are quite small and have very shallow depressions to locate them properly. Care is needed here, too, and the result will be fragile.

Colors are called out for Hobby Color, Mr. Hobby, Humbrol, and Tamiya, but really you only need black and brown, so not too hard to choose.

All the pictures I found showed a loop of rope going through the handles around the boat. That would be easy to add and will much improve the look. There is a fitting provided for, presumably, a flag or perhaps a pintle. Some opportunity for weathering the deck, but the black rubber body really doesnít need much.

What we need next is a set of six or eight soldiers kneeling and sitting, some of them manning the sweeps.
Highs: Simple, flexible diorama item, well-molded and widely applicable.
Lows: Petite handles would have been sturdier with pins. Floorboards molded on.
Verdict: Very nice, inexpensive accessory with many uses. In the water, on trucks, or tied to armored vehicles a couple of rafts could add a lot to a scene.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AB3578
  Suggested Retail: $7.99
  PUBLISHED: Sep 09, 2016

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About Ed Burgess (burgesse)

Copyright ©2021 text by Ed Burgess [ BURGESSE ]. All rights reserved.


Yes, good model subject. I'vce wanted these since reading about Rommel bouncing the Meuse in 1940. I've seen film of them being pulled to the bank by Sd.Kfz. 23s. Great diorama models.
SEP 09, 2016 - 12:12 AM
How do these measure up against the old DML ones?
SEP 09, 2016 - 02:31 AM
Look pretty similar. Maybe sharper detail. At least the raft bottom is moulded in, unlike the Dragon one with some fit issues and puttying needed.
SEP 09, 2016 - 04:02 AM
RIP ESCI and Dragon
SEP 09, 2016 - 08:19 AM
I've always fancied doing a dio of engineers rigging a bridge for demolition to slow an Allied advance while retreating figures/vehicles pass over it so these would be ideal, especially as there are two rafts. Another one to go in the ideas box
SEP 10, 2016 - 01:36 AM

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