by: Harald Haensel [ ]
Elite is a German family operated maker of full resin kits and conversions. Their range covers German vehicles of WWII and the modern Bundeswehr. A small selection of Wehrmacht and Bundeswehr figures is offered as well.
Generally, Elite kits exhibit a high quality sculpting and casting. Ordering is via an on-line order form, E-mail or telephone.
Plans to motorise the developing new German armed forces date back to early 1952. Progress in tyre development allowed the use of wheeled vehicles for tasks, which previously could only be performed by tracked vehicles. For this reason the authorities came to the decision to use wheeled vehicles for heavy hauling tasks. The required vehicles were graded into different weight classes according to NATO standards. The requirements included the least possible variances from available commercial vehicles to ensure the availability of spares from the civilian sector. In the category "over-heavy weight trucks" (vehicle gross weight over 15 tons and a payload of 10 tons off road), the contract was awarded to Faun.
In those days, Faun was a small company in comparison with other German automotive factories. They did however, have a lot of experience building heavy and specialized trucks. Their concept was a modular design combining the vehicles with likewise modular engines. Faun used the engines from the German maker Deutz. Deutz offered a range of air-cooled diesel and mult-ifuel V8 and V12 engines. Between 1958 and 1970, 214 vehicles of the Faun L912 - 45A with open cab were produced. The vehicles were mainly used at engineer units to tow flat-bed trailers up to 25 tons. A common load for these trailers was heavy construction equipment or the AVLB bridges of M48 or Biber.
The kit is packed in a solid card box. The parts themselves are packed in plastic Ziploc bags. Everything then secured by foam chips. The box contains 149 resin parts, a piece of mesh, transparent plastic sheet for the windows, and a 15 page instruction sheet. This sheet starts with a listing of all parts followed by the assembly instructions themselves. Even though the instruction language is German, I think there will be no real problems to build this kit.
The resin parts are made of a kind of cream resin that is easy to work with. The parts are well moulded with only some flash on smaller parts. Cleaning these seems to be no problem. Most of the casting blocks locations are chosen well, so you will barely see these areas on the assembled model. Depending on the part sizes, some moulding blocks are quite large. A good saw like the JLC resin saw will handle these with ease. No warping was evident. Even the chassis frame was straight. Sanding was necessary around the bottom of the cargo area, the backside of the driver's compartment and the large stowage box on my example.
The fitting of the parts is really good. Only a minimum of trimming was necessary. The only exception to this I could find was on the rear axle section. Here I had to check the correct distance of the wheels to the frame and the rear cable guide (Part 26) mounted on the left side of the frame. The wheels have to stand clear of this part. Adjustment should start with the left front wheel of the axle group.
All parts should be cleaned prior to assembly because of excessive use of mould lubricant!
Please note: the pictures show the model dry fitted! It was only put together to take the photos. The position of some parts doesn’t show the final position.
Two decent sculpted figures with contemporary headgear are provided with the kit. Two additional heads, one with beret and the other with steel helmet, are provided as well.
Decals were not included.
In my opinion you will this kit results in an impressive and unusually rare model. Some experience of building resin kits is helpful.
Tankograd Militaerfahrzeug Spezial N0 5009 First Generation Modern German Army Heavy Prime-Movers and Tractor-Trucks