by: Bill Cross [ ]
Originally published on:
After Germany was defeated in WW1, the Allies prohibited its tiny army (the Reichswehr) under terms imposed by the Versailles Treaty from developing military vehicles of any sort. But the Germans almost immediately began cheating, designing and testing military hardware under the "civilian usage" pretense. Since most military powers after the Great War were looking to implement at least a limited mechanization program, Germany also started testing vehicles to give its armed forces maneuverability in the field.
In fact, Germany more than any other power embraced the concept of Bewegungskrieg ("war by movement," the more-correct term than Blitzkrieg). This included a call for trucks/lorries that could carry 2-3 tons of cargo, tow heavy weights like field guns, and project re-supply and deployment over long distances. Out of a directive of the Heereswaffenamt (HWA) (Office of Army Procurement) in 1929 came a call for a 6x4 truck. That original truck prototype blossomed into a wide variety of variants, including cargo trucks, radio vans and tankers.
While much ink has been spilled over the ubiquitous Opel Blitz, the most-recent movement in the hobby has been towards kits of trucks made by other manufacturers like Henschel and Büssing-NAG. In response to this explosion of 1/35 scale kits of three-ton trucks, the folks at Nuts & Bolts have moved beyond their usual focus on tracked and semi-tracked vehicles to soft skins. Number 32 in their series covers medium-cargo 3 ton lorries in the 6x4 configuration developed under the Reichswehr, and later the Wehrmacht.
First off, the new book looks terrific: printed on high-gloss, heavyweight paper, including many color photos. It's broken down in X sections:
Introduction (Historical/Technical Development & Production) (pp. 2-19)
Special Bodies & Usage (pp.20-25), including the vehicle breakdown of a typical communications company in 1941.
Camouflage & Markings (pp. 25-28) that covers the many camo variations from 1928-1945.
Modelling (pp. 28-34), a highly-personal assessment of some of the recent kits in 1/35th scale depicting these sorts of trucks.
Bibliography (pp. 34-35): a long list of publication (in German) used in preparing the book stretching from the 1930s to the current time period.
Then the book shifts to sections about the various trucks and their manufacturers with Büssing-NAG 9pp. 37-38) first up, followed by:
Henschel (pp. 39-47)
Magirus (p. 47)
Krupp (pp. 48-51)
Mercedes-Benz (pp. 51-53).
Next is a section on Special Equipment & Accessories (pp. 54-56) and Special Bodies (pp. 57-129). This makes up the greatest part of the book, and looks at all the many ways the three-ton chassis could be adapted to various needs (including fire engines!).
Following that is a section of 26 pages of line drawings of these specific trucks:
Büssing-NAG III GL 6 (Kfz. 79)
Büssing-NAG KD mittlerer gelaendidgaengiger Lastkraftagen offen (open-topped cargo bed version
Henschel 333 D1 (open-topped)
Henschel 33 D1 radio van (Kfz. 72)
Krupp L 3 H 163 Bildkraftwagen (photo processing van for propaganda photographers) (Kfz. 354)
Mercedes-Benz LG 3000 Pioneerkraftwagen I
Mercedes-Benz aircraft refueling truck (Kfz. 384) Series 17 T
Mercedes-Benz aircraft refueling truck (Kfz. 384) Series 3 T
The line drawings are followed by eight pages of painting schemes and camouflage. I'm happy to see that early war duo-tone disruptive brown over panzer gray instead of ignoring this as most camo schemes do.
Then comes an overview of vehicles in museums and private collections. These are cool to see, though one should always be careful making build and painting decisions based on vehicles that have been restored, as there is no way of knowing whether modern parts have been added, or if the paint schemes are pure fantasy.
Finally, unlike in earlier Nuts & Bolts editions, the later ones include step-by-step builds of styrene kits by master modelers. This edition includes the Krupp L 3 H 163 radio/communications van (Tony Greenland); the Henschel Typ 33 cargo truck (Vinnie Brannigan); and the Mercedes LG 3000 (Tony Greenland & Heiner Duske). My only criticism of this section is the kit manufacturers are not identified.
I'm particularly impressed with the nice balance between historical reference, clearly-written text and line drawings for the detail nerd, along with how-to photos and captions for the various styrene kits for these kits.