by: Harald Haensel [ ]
The first look is really impressive. The kit arrives in a huge box which is 57.5cm long, 34cm wide and 13cm high. Be prepared! Opening the box will take your breath. Hundreds of parts fill it to the top. 710 in total.
Because of the Second World War and the the enormous growth in demand for steam engines, German industry had to look for new ways of constructing them. Until this time, the manufacturing of these was time consuming and needed a lot of man hours. In 1942 the german company Schichau was instructed to develop a simplified type of engine. Based on the standardized BR 50 the BR 52 matched requirements and was quickly known as the “Kriegslokomotive”. More then 7000 units were built. Therefore the BR 52 is the World's most built steam engine.
The type was used by the German Reichsbahn (German democratic republic) until the mid 1980's. During the 60's, the German Reichsbahn launched an upgrade program for their remaining 200 engines. This is the reason why most of the surviving BR 52's look very different to the original engines.
The box contains 16 sprues with parts moulded in light grey plastic, 1 with clear parts, 1 with photo etched parts, 1 with some steam pipes made of vinyl, 8 segments for the railway embankment, 1 decal sheet with markings for tree different engines, a coloured print as painting guide and the instruction sheet, which is actually a book 36 pages thick.
The moulding is good. Only the smaller parts of sprue C in my example need clean up caused by a little offset of the forms. I couldn’t find any warping despite the fact that there are a lot of large flat parts. Dry fits of the boiler housing and the fire box ( parts B1 B5, B6 B7 ) show that there will be some trimming necessary and putty will be needed. The parts show a lot of fine details like engraved lines, rivets or screw heads. The wood texture of “wooden” parts is really crisp. On the other hand, there are a lot of ejector pin marks spread over the parts. Most of them will be invisible after assembly, but some of them are located in really exposed places, e.g. part C3 which is the front wall of the cab. Another point that I don’t like are the running boards alongside the boiler / smoke chamber (Parts E4, E6, E8 and E9). They don’t look realistic. But this can be easily corrected with some aftermarket PE-plates. In total I can't offer much criticism.
Watch out assembling the buffers. There are two different types of them, two of each. Trumpeter call them global buffer and flat buffer depending of their surface. One of each has to be placed at the bumper of the engine and of the tram. You should do all buffers at page 7 of the construction sheet. But you’ll need only one of each at that time. The others will be needed near the end of the construction at page 35.
You can choose some options building this kit:
The major part is the front of the engine. You can choose to do the kit with or without the wind deflectors. Depending on that, the layout of the head light and the service platform is different.
Secondly, you can use different tail lights at the tram. Unfortunately there is no advice from Trumpeter which decals you should use, if you like to choose the variant without the wind deflector boards. May be No 52 1325. But it’s only guessing.
A railway embankment with a length of 86 cm (33,54”) is provided with the kit. This is what I measured. Trumpeter states a overall length of the kit of 88.6 cm (34,5”). If this is true, the rails will be too short.
As stated above, there are markings for three engines. The codes are 52 2495, 52 8139 and 52 1325.
No 52 2495 is shown on the colour guide with the body painted black and red running gear. Left right side view as well as front- and rear view are provided of this engine. No 52 8139 is camouflaged with a base cote of field grey and middle stone stripes. The colour guide shows here right side view.
No 52 1325 is not covered.
At one side of the box No 52 2495 is shown with her left side camouflaged too. There is no further information about this version.
A really impressive and well detailed model. This kit will be an eye-catcher on every shelf.