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Paul A H

German SLT 50-3 "Elefant" tank transporter with PzH2000 self-propelled gun & Fennek armoured reconnaissance vehicle

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German SLT 50-3 "Elefant" tank transporter with PzH2000 self-propelled gun & Fennek armoured reconnaissance vehicle



1/72 Revell

Elefant1.jpg

This new boxing from Revell provides three vehicles currently in service with the German Army. The huge "Elephant" tank transporter was designed by Faun in the 1970s to meet a requirement for an all-terrain vehicle powerful enough to haul large tanks such as the Leopard. Over 300 have been produced and in the 1990s these massive machines were upgraded to the 50-3 standard represented in this kit.

The most modern of the three vehicles supplied is the Fennek armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Developed jointly for the German and Dutch armed forces, the first Fenneks were delivered in 2003 and the type has since seen service in Afghanistan with both armies.

The star of the show for me, however, is the Panzerhaubitze 2000. This fearsome self-propelled gun has been in service with the German Army since the late 1990s. Considered by many to be the most powerful self-propelled artillery system in the world, the PzH2000 is capable of firing a burst of three 155mm rounds in nine seconds and can achieve a range of nearly twenty-five miles using enhanced-range projectiles. The PzH2000 is also operated by Greece, Italy and the Netherlands, with whom it made its combat debut in Afghanistan in 2006.

The whole shooting match arrives in the usual Revell end-opening box, with the sprues for the three vehicles bagged up separately. This is not surprising given that all three subjects are also available as individual kits. The Fennek is the smallest and simplest of the three models, and occupies only two sprues. The Elefant and the PzH2000 occupy four sprues each. There are no transparent sprues. Instead, Revell supply two thin sheets of clear plastic from which you must cut your own transparencies.

The Elefant occupies the most space in the box and is comprised of well over 200 parts. The quality of the mouldings is pretty good, although there is a small amount of flash present on one sprue. There are also some sink marks in noticeable places such as the roof of the cab, however these can be easily fixed with a little filler.

Elefant5.jpg

Elefant4.jpg

Construction starts with the chassis of the main tractor unit, and moves on through the suspension and drive train, to the cab and its detailed interior (which includes a nicely moulded dashboard and grab-handle) and finishes with the engine and wheels.

Elefant6.jpg

The trailer unit comes next. Construction begins with the chassis before moving on to the suspension and wheels and ending in the loading ramp. The modeller has the option of building the trailer on its own hydraulic feet or attached to the Elefant itself. The loading ramp at the back can also be finished in the fully deployed position for loading or unloading, or folded and raised for transport. All in all there are 92 steps for constructing this beast, so it should keep the builder occupied for a good while. The only area of construction that may prove to be a bit fiddly is the transparencies. As mentioned previously, these have to be cut from a sheet, although Revell do provide a template in the instruction manual.

decals.jpg

There are two decal options for the Elephant, representing German Army machines named Obelix and Hannibal. The colour scheme is the same in either case, and paint call-outs are for the usual Revell colours. No mixing of paints is required to for the main camouflage colours.

Next up, the tiny Fennek feels like a weekend build compared to the huge Elefant. It is comprised of just over 50 parts, all nicely moulded with just a tiny amount of flash on one part but no sink marks.

Fennek2.jpg

Fennek1.jpg

Unlike the Elefant, there is no interior detail, but little will be visible through the small windows. As with the Elefant, these must be cut from the clear plastic sheet using the templates provided. Once this is done, the rest of the vehicle can be assembled.

Fennek3.jpg

There are lots of nice features such as the wing mirrors and smoke grenade launchers, and the hatches on the roof may be built open or closed. There is also an option to mount a choice of machine gun or 40mm mortar on the roof of the vehicle. If you want to go to town on this miniature marvel, there are photo etch sets available from Eduard and Extra Tech.

As with the Elefant, decal options are provided for two German Army vehicles, although the colour schemes are identical so there is little difference between them.

Last, but by no means least, is the PzH2000. Construction of this awesome weapon system looks to be straightforward and begins with the chassis. The suspension is already moulded in place, and looks to be nicely detailed. Track is of the link and length variety and looks very nice on the sprue.

PZH20002.jpg

PZH20001.jpg

The rest of the construction seems uncomplicated. Only one hatch may be fixed in the open position, although this is no biggie given that there is no interior detail. The turret and its huge cannon are moveable. This allows the modeller to display it in a variety of poses including full elevation, which looks very impressive indeed.

PZH20003.jpg

PZH20004.jpg

This model of the PzH2000 will make a nice addition to a collection of self-propelled artillery. I might have to snap up the Trumpeter AS-90 to display with mine. Again, two decal options are provided, both for German Army machines and both in the familiar black/green/brown camouflage.

Conclusion

Revell has supplied three high-quality kits of modern European military subjects in this boxing and there is more than enough detail packed in to please most modellers. The only aspect that might prove to be tricky is the transparencies, but with a little care and attention these will surely provide a nicer finish than injection-moulded plastic, particularly in this scale.

The only real criticism I have is that it would have been nice to have some more decal options, particularly as all three vehicles are in service with a number of armed forces other than the German Army.

Where this set really stands out, however, is in the price. The RRP of this boxing is £24.99, a considerable saving over the £39.99 RRP it would cost you to buy all three kits individually. Revell must have been in a generous mood when they put this set together!

Review sample courtesy of

logo-revell-2009.gif

Edited by Paul A H

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Nice review Paul I built the Elefant last year and it is a big kit in 1/72.

I will have to get this set, if anything coz I want to build 'em all again :)

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Yes indeed... good work that man ;)

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Ta chaps!

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Spahwagen Fennek

Revell 1/72

Following on from my in-the-box review of this newly released German armour-fest, I thought I'd do a build review of one third of this trio - the Fennek armoured reconnaisance vehicle. Taking up two small sprues, this is a compact kit that goes together very well. The sprues are clean and well-moulded and detail is very nicely rendered, particularly the rivets and the mesh vents on the top and the rear of the hull.

Before the body of the Fennek can be assembled, the windows must be cut from the supplied sheet of transparent plastic and glued to the inside of the upper body. Revell provide measurements for these parts in the instructions, but I preferred to cut them by eye, starting off with pieces slightly larger than I needed and trimming them down until they were the correct size. The transparencies are a little tricky to get right, particularly as they don't seem to respond to polystyrene cement. For those building a kit with this feature, a different adhesive such as superglue might be a better choice. No need to worry if things go wrong, however, as there is plenty of transparent plastic suppplied. Once this step is negotiated successfully, the rest of the build progresses very smoothly. There are a couple of options for the builder to choose from too; a 40mm grenade launcher or a machine gun, and whether to build the optical kit fully extended or retracted.

Fennek4-1.jpg

Once the Fennek was assembled, a quick squirt of Alclad Primer was needed to prepare the model for paint.

Fennek5.jpg

Not having access to Revell paints locally, I deviated from the instructions and used Tamiya acrylics, thinned with cellulose thinners. Paints used were plain and simple Nato Black, Nato Green and Nato Brown. I used Blu-tak for masking

Fennek6.jpg

The model really looks the part once the camouflage is complete. Decal options provided are for two very similar German Army machines, with the only difference being the number plates. I understand the individual boxing of this kit includes decal options for Dutch Army and ISAF schemes as well, so if these interest you, you should look out for that version.

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I sprayed very light, well-thinned coats of Flat Earth and Buff over the lower parts of the model to replicate dust and dried mud.

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Conclusion

This is a lovely little kit that is straightforward to build and looks the part once completed. The level of surface detail is excellent and certainly up there with the best for this scale. There are one or two tricky aspects to the build, but fine (or fiddly, if you prefer) details are par for the course on a 1/72 armour kit. Highly recommended.

Edited by Paul A H

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Dude thats tiny! Never the less a fantastic little build.

Do you know if there is a 1/35 to be found?

Ian M

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Thanks Ian :) Revell have produced the Panzerhaubitze 2000 in 1:35 and Trumpeter have kitted the Elefant, but as far as I know, Revell's 1:72 Fennek is the only kit available of that vehicle. The Fennek is the missing piece of the jigsaw!

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