The essence of “what if” modelling can basically be summed up to that of imagination. This is the creation of models depicting a type of vehicle or variant that was designed on paper but never made it to production or an imaginative creation by the modeler based on a combination of facts and plausible possibilities. Paper Panzer Productions (PPP)
was created with the What if enthusiast in mind; offering a wide variety of cast resin and photo etch aftermarket parts to bring detailing to post war creations modelers are trying accomplish. In recent months, there have been several new products added to the PPP
growing line of products including the item this review is centered on, the Radar und KDO40 Turm Heimdall
Back in the Second World War, the German army used what was called the Kommandogerät, which was basically a static radar device used to calculate the range and altitude of an aerial target so to be able to compute the correct bearing and elevation of a group allowing Antiaircraft (AA) weapons to accurately concentrate fire. This unit is a combination of a rangefinder and computing device. The Kommandogerät needed external power to operate so it was equipped with a generator. Static AA placements early on in the war would be connected to Kommandogerät (KDO40) via cables from the KDO40 to a central distributor located between the firing positions allowing the KDO40 to control fire of all units on one target at the same time.
Realizing the vulnerability of the AA static placements, a mobile version which was mounted on a variety of trailers. In addition to the trailer mountings, there is evidence that radar systems like the KDO40 were mounted on trucks and possibly spare tank hulls.
Radar und KDO40 Turm Heimdall
At this point in the story, this is where the Paper Panzer Productions Radar und KDO40 Turm Heimdall
comes into play. PPP
has created a cast resin turret version of the Kommandogerät 40. The kit is supplied in PPP
’s standard flip-top cardboard box with a colorful rendition of the turret on the front. The parts inside are nestled inside a bed of packing peanuts with smaller parts to this kit sealed in Ziploc-type bags. This is a multi-media kit containing fifteen pieces in a variety of cast resin, copper and brass parts.
The bulk of this kit is comprised of the turret itself. The turret is cast in resin with a corresponding base plate typical to what is used on most models to connect the turret to the upper hull of a build. The majority of the surface detail have been cast into the turret and it has one hatchway that is open allowing a supplied hatch cover to be added and depicted in either an open or closed configuration. The range finders, the two rather large cylindrical parts are provided separately. These arms are similar to the ones seen on the Kommandogerät 40 but differ slightly in design. There are cutouts in the forward sides of the turret to receive these solid cast arms.
As mentioned above, there is a single hatch provided allowing the modeler to show the hatch on top of the turret either open or closed. There is no interior detailing provided, however, this adds the possibility of adding a figure through the hatch if so desired. PPP
has incorporated a small cooling fan box that can be added to the turret. This of course would have been needed due to the heat generated from the computing system within the turret. There are three different periscopes provided as well. There is no set location to adding the periscope…if needed at all.
has also provided two of the wiring distributors with this kit. These boxes, in most cases, would be placed on the ground in between the individual AA units with wires running to and from each gun placement. Inside the kit, there are two lengths of copper wire in two different gauge thicknesses. These are for adding grab handles to the turret if so desired. Finally, PPP
has included to 1/35 scale 1.4m turned brass antennas from RB Model
with this kit.
While this kit does not come with any form of instructions for putting the turret together, the process is pretty much straightforward. The rangefinder arms slide into the round openings on the sides of the turret. The hatch cover is another no-brainer as it fits into the only opening on top of the turret. After that, the cooling fan box, handles, periscope and possibly the distribution boxes are in the hands, and imagination, of the builder. I chose to place the cooling fan on the side with the fins to the grill facing back. I also opted to use only one of the periscopes provided utilizing the round mounting piece molded into the turret’s roof. As for handles, I popped a couple on the hatches and near the edge of the roof as I seen fit. I might consider adding more in the future just for visual interest. The antenna slide right into the corresponding molded antenna mounts located on the roof of the turret. I did run a small drill bit into each mount allowing room for the antenna to fully seat inside without the use of glue. This lets me remove them if I choose to transport this piece later and not bend them off. Finally, I placed one of the distributor boxes on a large plate ate the rear of the roof….why, I don’t know really, just looked interesting I thought. Another thought occurred to me while taking the pictures for this review and it was confirmed with a simple Google search. This turret would make for a great pillbox depiction as well. A little test fit inside a Joe Farina cast base proved my point!
I for one have been more and more interested in the What If genre of building in the past couple years. The freedom to create and just open up and have some fun is what this hobby is about. The Radar und KDO40 Turm Heimdall
from Paper Panzer Productions
is a unique piece and can certainly be applied in a number of different placements from static as in the pillbox form to a mobile unit on just about any platform that the builder can dream up. The casting of this kit is excellent overall. I only found two small pinholes at the business end of the rangefinders. These were easily filled and sanded. There were two seam lines that needed some cleanup work on these rangefinders as well. I have to say I would recommend the Radar und KDO40 Turm Heimdall
turret to anyone who is interested in the subject and wants to have some fun building a “what if”.