An Austro-Hungarian engineer, Günther Burstyn, designed a "land-ship" vehicle in 1911, which was tailored to cross trenches, provide infantry support and crush barbed wire entanglements. This was the Burstyn Motorgeschütz. It was relatively small, with a revolving turret and potentially armed with a light 37 or 47 mm gun, and a crew of two. The unique aspect of this experimental design was the articulated arms that could be deployed to assist in trench crossing, and "push down" barbed wire. These arms were lowered to help cross trenches, angled to push down wire entanglements, and up for normal terrain . Burstyn received a patent and built models and a wooden mock-up; but the design went no further. He proved to be a visionary. His design anticipated trench warfare years before WW1 and included the basic layout of a tank.
Vargas Scale Models from California USA specializes in esoteric subjects from World War One and the Interwar periods in 1:35th and now 1:72nd scale. All are CAD designed and 3D printed in resin. Sales are direct to the modeler on the web.
The kit is packaged in a small sturdy corrugated cardboard flip top box. Inside are the instructions, and zip-lock bags with a whopping four 3D printed resin parts cushioned in bubble wrap. Parts include the hull, the turret and two gun options. The instructions are a single double-sided page printed in color. They consist of CAD renderings to highlight the assembly. There is no parts list or painting instructions. No photo-etch is included or needed. No decals are included or needed.
The parts are printed in a gray resin. The detail on this tiny tank is excellent. Rivet detail and the unique trench crossing arms are crisp. The support structures are very fine and are easily removed. The remaining nubs are easily sanded off. Striations are the bane of 3D printed kits. On this kit, they are very minor, and are easily addressed with a good self-leveling sandable primer.
The parts required a thorough cleaning with a toothbrush in warm soapy water followed by rinsing in warm water and blow drying with my airblower. To ensure that the resin was fully cured, I laid out the parts in direct sunlight for one minute per side.
Once the parts were cleaned up, the assembly was trivial – there are only three parts to glue. The parts fit is good. Medium viscosity cyanoacrylate (CA) glue was used for the joints. I primed the assembled kit with Mr. Surfacer 1000 in a rattle-can which filled nearly all the striations. The remaining striations on the front hull were sanded out.
Painting and Weathering
After assembly, the tank was carefully preshaded with Tamiya XF1 Black with a .015 needle in my Harder & Steenbeck airbrush. The light areas and centers of the panels were carefully lightened with Tamiya XF2 White. I sprayed the tank with Tamiya XF49 Khaki. The centers of the panels and top were modulated with Tamiya XF60 Dark Yellow. The tracks were brush painted with Tamiya XF84 Dark Iron and given a wash of AK Track Wash. I applied a dot filter with various colors of Winsor & Newton oils. After allowing the oils to dry, I airbrushed clear coat of Future. AK Streaking Grime was used as a pin wash and various AK Interactive enamel streaking effect products were used for streaking. After applying a coat of Model Master Flat Clear Lacquer, I did a light dry brushing with Winsor & Newton oils, Wear points were rubbed with a 6B pencil and/or Uschi Chrome powder.
Vargas Scale Models developed a good selection of obscure WW1 and Interwar subjects in 1:35 scale. They are branching out into 1:72 with many of the same interesting subjects. This kit again highlights how the CAD and 3D printing technologies can give us great kits of esoteric subjects at a reasonable price point. Due to the need for CA glue and epoxy, it is more appropriate for experienced modelers. I highly recommend the kit and hope to see more new Great War and Interwar kits in both 1:72 and 1:35 scales from Vargas. Vargas Scale Models offers their kits for sale on https://vargas-lg.myshopify.com Thanks to Vargas or providing the review kit.