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Trumpeter 1/35 scale Panzerlok BR 57 armored locomotive

Trumpeter’s BR 57 is a large and imposing model with good detail where it can be seen and enough track bed to make a good display.

RELATED TOPICS: MILITARY | ARMOR | OTHER
Kit:No. 00219 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$190
Manufacturer:
Trumpeter, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Pros:
Cool subject; good surface detail
Cons:
Sink marks; poorly fitting panels
Comments:
Injection-molded, 602 parts
FSM-NP1010_20s
FSM-WB1110_01
FSM-WB1110_02
FSM-WB1110_04
FSM-WB1110_05
FSM-WB1110_06
Another in Trumpeter’s line of unusual and interesting kits is its 1/35 scale BR 57 armored locomotive, the first time this vehicle has been made in injection-molded plastic in this scale. The overall quality of the light gray molding is very good, with only a few ejection-pin and sink marks in spots where they would show. The large instruction booklet features clear, large diagrams but no detail-painting instructions. A color sheet shows five views of a single camouflage scheme. No photoetched metal, decals, or figures are included in the kit.

I started with the display base. It comprised several sections that did not fit very well. I filled all the joints on the base edge and used epoxy putty to blend in the ballast where the seams were noticeable. The ties install from the bottom and stand just barely above the ballast. I had to get out my motor tool and grind down the ballast in several areas before I could slide the rails into place. Make sure you have your rail joints centered exactly between two ties, or the joint plates won’t fit.

The engine frame and drive mechanism is a complex assembly. I painted many of the parts beforehand. Surprisingly, the wheels must be glued in place on the frame. I suggest having all the subassemblies ready to install before attaching the wheels so you can make minor adjustments to their position if needed.

The main body of the engine comprises several flat plates that lock into and are glued to several subframes. Many of the long, flat pieces were warped; no matter how I tried fitting them together, there was a small gap between the lower and upper panels (parts E2 and C1) on the right side. I backed the joint between the panels with some plastic card stock bent to the angle of the joint, then filled the small gap with epoxy putty. There was no such problem on the left side.

More difficult was fitting the main cab side panels (parts F2 and F10). They are simple butt joints guided by a frame (G3) that does not securely lock to the base. Were I to build another, I might remove the frame clips on the panels and use sheet-styrene tabs to help align the joints.

Assembling the tender is much easier, but again I found fit issues with the large, flat panels. The worst was the rear upper panel (Part N6). I filled small gaps with white glue, larger ones with epoxy putty. I left the body off the frame of the tender until after painting.

I airbrushed my model with a 1:1 mix of Tamiya desert yellow and dark yellow, and followed with a freehand camouflage of  red brown and olive green. When that had dried I applied my usual artist’s-oil wash and dry-brushing.

I airbrushed my model with a 1:1 mix of Tamiya desert yellow and dark yellow, and followed with a freehand camouflage of  red brown and olive green. When that had dried I applied my usual artist’s-oil wash and dry-brushing.

I spent about 42 hours building the kit, not bad considering its size and complexity. Trumpeter’s wartime locomotive is a bit of a challenge, but experienced modelers will be rewarded with an attractive model of an unusual subject.

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