The reference book Panzer Tracts No. 4 states that five of these multi-turreted
tanks were produced as test vehicles in 1934 and in 1936 The first
two were of soft steel with a turret made by Krupp, and one with a
Rheinmetall produced turret while the hulls were produced by Rheinmetall
company. Three more with the Krupp turret were later produced with
armor plate, though the armor plate is thin, little better than the
Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack. These two model kits represent the latter three
production vehicles. Jentz & Doyle give the official name Neubau-Panzerkampfwagen
IV (3.7 cm & 7.5 cm) and the common name used today, the Neubaufahrzeug.
multi-turret land-battleship tanks are similar to the British Vickers
Independent tank, French Char 2C, and the Soviet T-28 and T-35 tanks,
a phase in tank design that nations seem to have gone through in the
1930s. The later three with armor plate were sent to Norway in 1940
where one was destroyed. George Bradford describes a Soviet account
of the description of the last two’s destruction in the USSR
Box Art: What We Are Supposed to get in the Box?
Dragon’s boxart above looks accurate and shows the particular
features: a commander’s cupola with vision ports for good situational
awareness, a large main turret with a 7.5 cm L/24 (like on the early
Pz. IV) side by side with a 3.7cm gun (like on the early Pz III),
and side doors for the loader and gunner (like on the Pz III and Pz
IV), and machinegun turrets fore and aft of the main turret. Visible
but difficult to see here is the radio antenna on the port side that
is pivoted down above the side door.
has eight roadwheels on five coil-spring bogies and a tensioning roadwheel
below the idler wheel in the front, all partially hidden by an armor
skirt. The idler is at the front while the drive sprocket is in the
rear, opposite that of most German Panzers. The bow and glacis armor
plates are well sloped like on German armored cars and halftracks
of the period, well before development of the T-34 tank. The Panzer
is painted in a soft-edge two-tone camouflage of green and gray.
The box art for Modelkrak’s 1/72 scale interpretation of this
vehicle shows a variation of the name’s spelling and a port-side
drawing or photograph that matches Dragon’s artwork. There is
a large rectangular door on the armored skirt above the 3rd roadwheel
that I suspect may be a crew door for the driver and machinegun turret,
but I’ve not seen any photos showing this door open and what
is inside. The hull and turrets appear welded though there are screws,
bolts and rivets evident in areas.
Dragon also offers plastic kits of the two Neubau-Fahrzeug prototypes
produced in mild steel. Neubau-Fahrzeug Number 1 (kit 7436) features
the Rheinmetall company produced turret with the two guns one above
the other and a more rounded turret. Neubau-Fahrzeug Number 2 (kit
7437) below features the Krupp produced turret with the guns side
by side and a more angular shape. The hull parts for these two Dragon
kits should be the same as only the turrets differed. The turret parts
for kits 7437 and 7438 should be the same, only the kit decal markings
will be different. These two vehicles were reported to be only used
for evaluation and training, so I doubt were painted in 3-color camouflage
as portrayed here, just Panzer gray, but I am not an expert. Kit parts
and review comments for Dragon kit 7438 will be the same for these
two very similar kits.
Standard on Dragon assembly instructions is a parts diagram on the
front, and multiple-view color drawings for placement of the decal
markings. The light color of the decal paper makes it difficult to
see the decals though. The top two drawings portray two of these Panzers
that served in the invasion of Norway. The bottom drawings I presume
to portray training or evaluation vehicles.
Nr. 3-5 kit 7438, from Dragon Models
Dragon gives us 75 light gray injection-molded styrene plastic parts
on four sprues and with the upper hull and turret as two loose parts,
and two soft plastic band tracks in plastic bags. No etched brass,
crew figures nor resin parts are included. Quality of the molding
and detail is very good and typical of Dragon kits, with little to
no flash and sink holes.
kit MKT 7223, by Modelkrak, Jadar Models
Modelkrak gives us about 60 light amber color cast-resin parts on
pour plugs, all sealed in several small plastic bags within a cardboard
box. There are no etched brass parts and no crew figures. Quality
of the cast resin parts is very good and typical of Modelkrak model
Modelkrak’s hull at far left is molded as one piece and compares
reasonably well in dimensions with the Dragon kit hull; regarding
features it does not compare as well. The size and dimensions of things
like the driver’s area and the four rectangles on the engine
deck are different, and on the Dragon hull there is a bulge in the
hull below the port side machinegun turret. The large hull part did
suffer some breakage of the fenders.
do not compare well: the Modelkrak main turret is squarer and the
machinegun turrets are narrower and more elongated. The Dragon plastic
model is clearly based on Doyle’s vehicle plan, and Modelkrak’s
resin kit is based on George Bradford’s plan. Knowing Doyle’s
reliance on factory documents I am inclined to trust Doyle’s
vehicle plan in Panzer Tracts No. 4, meaning no disrespect to Mr.
the plastic and the resin kit feature all the crew hatches molded
closed except for the commander’s cupola of the Dragon model.
Maybe add a grab handle of brass wire to the driver’s hatch.
At the bottom are the two 18.5-cm long soft plastic band track from
Dragon. This Dragon kit track bears a strong resemblance to Pz IV
and Pz III track but actually differs in appearance, length and width
from Dragon’s Pz IV track in their Pz IV kits 7321 and 7497.
At the time the Neubaufahrzeug was developed, the real production
Pz III and Pz IV track were 36-cm wide while real Neubaufahrzeug tracks
are listed as 38-cm wide.
Like other Dragon model kits, using slide molding they can mold the
gun muzzles open on parts B20 and B21 while the Modelkrak resin gun
muzzles should be drilled out. Much of the slide-molded quick build
suspension will be obscured by the armored skirt.
Dragon’s Sprue A includes turret, fender and muffler parts.
The commander cupola parts A33, A42 and A43 allow the cupola hatch
to be modeled open. Quality of the molding looks very good with no
significant sinkholes or flash. Notice that pioneer tools are molded
to the fenders (mudguards) of both the Modelkrak and the Dragon models
which I find disappointing.
Four more sprues all labeled Sprue-A holding the port and starboard
side sprocket and idler wheels, and the fore and aft machine gun turrets.
Fortunately, despite having five Sprue-A, none of the parts numbers
Modelkrak’s 42 or so tank parts and eighteen 3.2 cm-long lengths
of resin track. The quality of casting is very good with no significant
bubbles or defects. There are a lot of resin pour plugs to be cut
off and sanded smooth. The Modelkrak resin track was adequate for
25 years ago but does not compare well with the Dragon Neubaufahrzeug
band track. I believe that some aftermarket Pz III/Pz IV track such
as from OKB could be a great improvement.
Dragon’s assembly instructions are the typical exploded-view
type in six steps and are competent.
Modelkrak does give simple assembly instructions, and with some good
reference book photos and drawings should make assembly successful.
This is a complicated resin model kit and I recommend it for experienced
modelers who do not mind tedious clean-up of the resin parts. The
shape of the turret and some hull details in the overhead view of
Modelkrak’s 3-view drawing looks more like Dragon’s turret
and Doyle’s plan, rather than the turret in Modelkrak’s
you to Modelkrak and to Dragon for releasing these two fine smallscale
models of obscure but interesting AFVs. They would look good displayed
next to several Soviet T-28 models.
TRACTS No. 4, Panzerkampfwagen IV, by Thomas Jentz & Hilary
Germany’s Fist Super Tank, The pre-panzer Neubaufahrzeug,
By George Bradford, FineScale Modeler magazine, July 1995.
and Modelkrak kits can be purchased from