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German Land-Wasser-Schlepper (LWS) Amphibious Tractor Early Production 1:72 Hobbyboss More of a boat capable of operating on land than an amphibious armoured fighting vehicle, the Rheinmetall-Borsig Landwasserschlepper (LWS) was designed for German army engineers to aid river crossing and bridging operations. Although ordered in 1935, the LWS experienced a protracted development period and did not fully enter service until 1942. It proved itself to be a useful design when deployed in North Africa and Russia, but would never have been available for Operation Sea Lion, as originally planned. It was constructed in relatively small numbers until superseded by the Landwasserschlepper II, an entirely different vehicle which was based on the Panzer IV chassis. Hobbyboss haven't released a great many AFV kits in the gentleman's scale, but when they have, they've been good 'uns. Most of their choices have been left-field creations such as railway guns or locomotives, so at first glance the LWS appears to be a departure from the usual eclectic selection. The more I think about it, however, the more the oddball amphibious vehicle feels like a natural extension of their range. The kit is vintage Hobbyboss; well-packed in a sturdy box, it is beautifully moulded and yet comprises a mere 29 parts, due to both simplification of detail and extensive use of multi-part slide moulds. Construction is incredibly simple. The lower hull is moulded as a single part onto which the left and right (or should it be port and starboard?) suspension units and axles must be fixed. These are simple parts, so everything will line up just fine. The running gear and tracks are moulded as single parts too, with just the inner face of the drive sprocket moulded separately. Obviously some compromises have been made in order to mould the tracks in this way, but only just. They really are incredibly well-detailed considering the ultra-low part count. I genuinely wouldn't complain if all small scale tracked vehicles were supplied with tracks like these, provided the quality was as good. They're far less fiddly than link and length and aeons ahead of the rubber-band style tracks provided with some (particularly older) kits. Before turning attention to the upper part of the model, the drive shafts and propellers must be fitted, as well as the rudder mechanism and tow fitting. There is nothing troubling about these parts though. The lower part of the upper hull has been moulded in a similar way to the lower hull, with just the headlights moulded separately. The superstructure requires the clear parts to be fitted, as well as a single internal bulkhead, before it can be added to the rest of the kit. Apart from that bulkhead there is no internal detail, which is a slight shame, but not much will be visible through the windows anyway. A few smaller details have to be added, including the in-water towing mechanism and the roof hatch, in order to complete the model. Small details such as the anchor and life ring have been moulded in place. This doesn't surprise me at all, given the approach Hobbyboss have taken to this kit, but they do look rather clumsy. Two marking options are provided, both for dark yellow vehicles. No historical notes are provided to place the marking options in context, which is a shame. Paint references are included for the Mr Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol ranges. Conclusion This kit marks a welcome return to small scale armour for Hobbyboss. Whilst some compromises have been made, detail is generally very good and the one-piece tracks are about as good as they get in this scale. It's a shame that they haven't provided any option for depicting the rope often seen fitted around the edge of the deck for fendering, but I guess the determined modeller would make a better job of this using appropriate string and PVA glue. Other than that, for what it is, this is a really neat little model. Review sample courtesy of
With the PzKpfw IV build nearly finished time came to look for the next project. One of the models I mentioned having in the stash was the Hobby Boss 1/35th Land-Wasser-Schlepper (LWS) Mid-production version. A most unusual looking and very hefty piece of German WWII hardware that despite being produced in very small numbers seemed to pop up in a great number of locations. Andy "Sgt. Squarehead", who was a great help during the build of my IV supplying a huge amount of information on the IV in general, mailed me and suggested doing a "Buddy Build" seeing as he had a very nice resin model of an LWS. Seemed to be a very good idea so here after a couple of weeks gestation is the kick-off of "Tugboats on tracks". Andy and I will be posting here (fairly) regularly. Cheers Sgt. Squarehead and Gremlin56
My hobbybossy Lws , i wanted to build something a bit different ,And to have some fun , was going to do a water dio with them fishing and drinking but liked the idea of the harbour . ps hand drilled out the vent holes in rear only 120 per side !