IBG out of Poland has dropped another one on us: hot on the heels of their release of the Einheitsdiesel series of trucks comes the new Büssing-NAG 500 series of heavy haulers. Again, this one is a 1/35 scale offering, and as far as I know, these are the first Büssing-NAG trucks to ever see the light of day in styrene. IBG has released concurrently the 500 S and the 500 A to add to their growing fleet. Happy days indeed. It’s big, ugly, and it comes modestly clothed in dark panzer gray, so what’s not to like!
Büssing was Germany's oldest truck maker, and acquired the auto manufacturer Neue Automobil-Gesellschaft (NAG) in 1934, hence the name Büssing-NAG.
The kit comes packaged in a standard top-loading box; the bottom tray is quite sturdy, but the top portion is a bit on the flimsy side. Inside you will find
6 rather hefty sprues in medium gray
1 small clear sprue
1 decal sheet with marking options for a pair of vehicles
a 20-page instruction booklet divided into 25 steps that has been created with a CAD program
For a quick video look at the box contents, check out Jim Starkweather's latest episode of "Cracking the Box" right here.
The plastic is on the soft side; if you have built anything from one of the Eastern European manufacturers, you will be familiar with this type of styrene. Nothing wrong with it, it still glues and takes paint as well as others, it is just a bit soft, so take care with it.
The instructions jump around a bit: the first steps concern building the cargo bed under-flooring. It looks like IBG forgot to add the chamfered end to the rail beam supports for the bed, and ask the modeler to cut them correctly to get started. The cargo bed has no wood grain present anywhere; some modelers are happy with that, while others will want to add some. Personally, I like a bit of wood grain on my models, and will add a little using a razor saw. I know you can’t really see too much-- like none at all-- in this scale, but I think it adds a little something.
The instructions next lead you into the wheels. I really like the way they have tackled this issue: a three-part tire that sandwiches together giving you some really nice tread detail and embossing of the Continental name. It will mean you have to give up the always enjoyable seam clean-up that you get with vinyl tires, but most of us will deal easily without that headache!
After heading back to the cargo bed, where you will have a choice of regular strakes (slats?) or extended strake sides (the only place on the model that I found any ejector pin marks), the instructions will get you started with the radiator. After that quick step, you head off into the cab, which is admittedly a bit on the Spartan side. You get a dash that is nothing special, gas and brake pedals, gear shift and brake, a diamond plate-type floorboard, along with a very basic steering wheel. For your driving comfort, a poorly-detailed bench seat has been provided. I am no mechanical engineer, but it would seem that a gear shift would indicate the need for a clutch pedal, but maybe not. One thing I could not find was a photo that gave any views inside the cab.
The inside doors have molded-on something or other that may be map cases. The kit does provide for separately-molded door handles. Unfortunately, the outside of the two doors is left with a bit of a sink mark that will need to be filled, however that should be a fairly easy fix. I would imagine that these vehicles would be a bit void of detail inside, but if you have some photos or other information, you might want to add a bit of extra detail in this area.
The next steps will have you adding the side mirrors, signals(which are a bit on the basic side), and the windshield and other windows before moving on to the hood area. The side panels for the hood have the distinctive seven louvers. These are molded without openings, but should actually have louvered openings; if you are so inclined, you can sand-off the offending areas and redo them, but it would be a good bit of work. After you have finished with that, it is on to the engine, an odd choice, as the hood is molded closed and doesn’t really easily allow for opening. At any rate, you do get a decent, if somewhat basic, engine and at least you will know is there!
Following that, the next seven steps will have you working on the frame, suspension, and the rest of the undercarriage. Much like the earlier Einheitsdiesel, it seems a little overdone: from the engine to the muffler is no less than seven different pieces of plastic representing the pipe, and a further five for the couplings between lengths. I wish they had put a bit of that extra detailing budget into the cabin interior. You do get the rather cool, if not a bit odd, embossed Büssing-NAG bumper that you can see in the photo to the right.
Add the wheels assemblies, attach the very nicely-rendered fenders, slap on the finished cargo bed, the cab hood combo and you’re just about done. A few more undercarriage brackets, license plates and what-have-you and that’s it.
decals & painting
Your marking options come in two flavors:
The 11th Artillery Reg. of the 11th Infantry Division located in East Prussia in 1938
The Pioneer Battalion of the 2nd Motorized Infantry Division in 1939 during the Polish campaign
As far as painting, well let’s just say it would help if you are a fan of Panzer dark gray. Maybe these were over-painted with the dark brown like some early war vehicles, but I couldn’t say for sure.
Most of us will be happy that this guy is available in plastic, I know that I am. The detail is a bit sparse in some areas, the plastic is a bit soft, the fidelity of the molding is not quite what others are now doing— in other words, it is not a Dragon or AFV Club kit. But all in all, it is not bad. At the very least, it provides a decent starting point from which to begin for the super detailer, and it looks like a fairly easy build for the modeler who just wants to add something a little different to the shelf collection. Soft skins have always been popular subjects, and this one should prove to be no exception.
Thanks to IBG for this review sample. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering.