Probably intended to compliment the release of Trumpeter's WR360 C12 Locomotive, Wings and Wheels have released the Photo manual for Modelers - WR360 C14. Unlike most "walk around" style books, this reference includes a brief history of the diesel locomotive prior to and through WWII. This history includes the evolution of the C12 and C14.
As it turns out, the C12 was a pre-production "beta" version of the C14. Only a handful of C12 versions were produced. However, one did survive, and is in private hands. A picture of this locomotive is provided with this review. It is distinguished by the vertical grill, which can be seen on the box art of the model. For the most part, the two versions are visually very much the same. As can be seen in the reference, the C14 did go through minor variations. One significant difference was that the C12 had only a one-speed transmission, while the C14 had three speeds. This made the C12 very slow, and more or less useless.
The designation WR360 C14 contains a wealth of information— if one knows how to interpret it. WR is short for Wehrmachtlocomotive Regelspur (Wehrmaccht diesel locomotive). “360” is the gross horsepower; “C” designates the axle configuration (three). Finally, 12/14 indicate the weight of the engine in tons. So, the C14 was two tons heavier (more or less).
This class of locomotive was intended for light utility duty such as switching cars in a rail yard. It was not armored, and wasn't intended for use with the armored trains Germany employed on the Eastern front. However, they did see duty with the various heavy rail guns developed during the war. One significant reason for this was that they were a "stealth" engine compared to a steam locomotive. So the model would look good in a diorama with a Leopold or Karl.
I can't help but wonder why Trumpeter would choose to model the C12 instead of the C14. There are a significant number of C14 engines available for study in various museums in Europe (which is the focus of this book). That this isn't exactly an armor subject is also a bit strange.
This is a paperback book of 72 pages with hard cardboard covers. All the photographs are in color, and are printed on high-quality paper. They were taken at various museums throughout Europe; there are no photos from the war era.
The book begins with a four-page history of the C14, but also includes the early history of diesel locomotives in Germany. That section includes several pictures of engines from different periods, including one of what I believe is a C12 (included here).
The book then does a detailed examination of the WR 360 C14/21141 in the Belgian Royal Army Museum. This includes:
• 14 pages of a general "Walk Around"
• 7 pages covering the running gear
• 15 pages of various aspects of the engine compartment
• 10 pages covering the cab interior - the area most in need of detailing on the model (IMHO)
A 7-page walk around of another museum's engine follows (this is a mouth full): the Bayerisches Eisenbahnmuseum Nördligen. The section has a few details not covered earlier.
Next comes two pages covering an engine from a private collection; that may be a C12. The text doesn't specifically say that's what it is, but as far as I can tell, the subject is the C12. The engine pictured does have the vertical grill bars and side louver pattern that match the Trumpeter model.
The book concludes with several 1/72nd scale line drawings of various versions of the locomotive. This does include a C12, but doesn't provide much detail.
Unfortunately, I don't think this book will be very useful to a modeler building the Trumpeter kit. That isn't the book's fault, as much as it is the subject and the kit. This just isn't a very interesting subject when compared to the steam locomotives of the same era. The opportunity for detailing isn't there, except for the cab interior, which is mostly hidden away anyway.
Thanks to Wings & Wheels for providing this review sample. Please be sure to mention you heard about it on Armorama when purchasing.
Highs: Interesting pre-war history of diesel locomotives, very thorough photo coverage of all aspects of this subject.Lows: No war-era pictures. Very little coverage of a C12 (if any).Verdict: Not really useful when building Trumpeter's kit, due to the lack of detailing opportunity of the subject, and kit.
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