Hobby Boss 1/72 German 280mm K5[E] Railway Gun Leopold

It seems quite astonishing that 25 of these 218 ton monsters were produced by Krupp, although the healthy production run was thanks to their development beginning in 1934 when resources were aplenty for such projects. By far the most versatile of the giant German rail guns, the 280mm K5 (E) (the E meaning Eisenbahnlafette (railway car gun-mount)) could fire up to 15 rounds per hour over a distant of 40 miles from its 70ft long barrel. Positioned on a standard straight railway line the gun mounting only had a two degrees of horizontal traverse, so initially a greater degree was achieved by operating from a curve piece of line. By moving the gun backwards and forwards the traverse was adjusted. This situation was later improved by laying a cross track for the front bogie to sit on and improved still further when operated from a 360˚ turntable which was especially laid for the K5.

By the beginning of the Second World War, eight K5s were in service ready for the invasion of France in 1940, but early action saw problems with the barrel which was soon rectified. Krupp continued to develop and improve the K5 throughout the remainder of the war and their reliable service proved to be a thorn in the side of the Allies especially in Normandy and Italy.   

This example of the K5 Railway Gun named Leopold, was brought out by Hobby Boss back in 2008 but is still readily available from a number of stockists including Creative Models (www.creativemodels.co.uk) who supplied Military Modelling with the example. Big model railway guns like this are perfect in 1/72 mainly because they can be slotted into a HO/OO rail scale although there is no reason why it should not be incorporated into traditional 1/72 diorama either. Even at this scale, the kit has quite a presence and once complete is 44.5cm long, so consider how much room you have in the cabinet before embarking on it.

The 316 light grey parts are held on eleven sprues, all looking crisp and well moulded. The build is spread through twelve stages via an A4 instruction booklet. The first five stages are taken up by the large double bogie units which will immerse you to such a degree you will forget that you are actually building a gun. The remaining stages take you through the juicy part of the build while the ‘German Railway Track Set’ has its own single A4 sheet of instructions for what is a most straightforward part of the build.

Highly recommended to all military rail fans and for those modellers who like a change of scenery once in a while.

Thanks very much to Creative Models for our sample. www.creativemodels.co.uk    



Product: Construction kit

Ref: 82903

Scale: 1/72

Parts: 316

Price: £32.99

Manufacturer: Hobby Boss

Website: www.hobbyboss.com