The Orange Box Series kits from Dragon are basically previously released models that have been repackaged. The kit in this review is a combo of Dragon 6069 Schwerer Plattformwagen Typ SSY railcar flat top and Dragon Kit 9018 Pz Bef Wg III Ausf K.
Review of the Railcar
The instructions are a composite of the two separate sets of instructions, so I’ll start with steps 23 and 24: the assembly of the railcar frame and top or deck. Make sure that you have a flat surface to place the 4 pieces of the deck and that surface will not be marred by the possible glue seepage between the 4 pieces. Lay the 4 pieces face down and run a line of glue between the panels. While the glue is still soft, place the frame on the underside of the deck and make sure that everything is square. Glue the frame to the deck and let it dry.
- Steps 25 thru 28 is the assembly of the rail trucks. To make painting easier, I assembled the wheels and painted them with Humbrol track brown. The wheel tracks where “painted” with an 8B pencil and shined up with a cotton swab. The trucks are completely assembled except for the wheels and one ball bearing housing. This allowed me to paint the truck and then insert the painted wheels and glue them in with the ball bearing housing. Doing it this way will keep the masking to a minimum.
- Step 29 adds the boarding step and the trucks to the frame. I added part D5 (truck mount) to the frame, but left the trucks off till the end. They basically get in the way, so I waited to add them until almost the end.
- Step 30 builds the buffer subassemblies and the tie down hooks. I found it was easier to assemble the tie down hooks by gluing the A9 base to the frame first, then adding the A8 hook. Keep a close eye on the buffers, as one is flat surfaced and the other is a domed surface. The original instructions were incorrect in the placement of these parts. The instructions in this release are correct.
- Steps 31 and 32 add the right side and rear panel details. I suggest that you not attach part B3, the airbrake hose storage hook until the very end of assembly. It will get broken off regardless of how careful you are. The airbrake hoses are shown for a single railcar standing alone and are curled back and in storage. This is okay if you are going to show the railcar by itself. However, if you want to have several cars lined up and linked together, you will need to modify the air hose. You could replace the entire air hose assembly with flexible tubing or saw the air hose in half just above the lower curve. Then swivel the hose around 160 degrees so that it is pointed toward the center of the next railcar and reattach. If you do two cars together, you should wait until both cars are finished, place them in line and adjust the air hoses to link up with each other. This will give the railcars the appearance of being connected.
- Step 33 adds the left side and front panel details.
- Step 34 adds the buffers and the connecting hooks. If you are careful you can make the connecting hooks “workable” sort of. It appears that Voyager is preparing a brass set of buffers and connecting hooks. I will be ordering a set to see if they are better than the stock parts.
- Step 35 adds the railing and hand brake.
- Steps 36 thru 38 consist of the building of the roadbed and insertion of the ties and rails. The ties come in three different wood grain patterns and the instructions show how to lay them in order to give the appearance of 6 different patterns.
- A x 4 Road Wheel
- B x 2 Misc Parts
- D x 4 Top and Frame
- H x 2 Road bed
- G x 2 Rails and ties
Painting and Decals
The instructions show one paint scheme: wood color for the ties, track color for the rails and silver for the rail tops. The rail bed is okay, but for better detail, I suggest that you make your own bed with gravel filler from your local railroad shop. The decals are done by Cartograf of Italy and are in good registration.
This is a very good model. The molding is well done. No flash and other than the road wheels, very faint mold lines. As with most Dragon instructions, be careful. Check, recheck, then dry fit multiple times before adding glue. This will make a much different base for showing your German vehicles. However, don’t display a Tiger I or II on it as this railcar was rated only up to the weight of a Panther. If you so choose, you can combine this kit with others and make a complete train of loaded cars headed for the front. What a diorama possibility!
Thanks to Dragon Models USA for the review sample.