Author Topic: Copper State Models 1/35 scale Romfell Panzerwagen  (Read 937 times)

Offline Dave W

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Copper State Models 1/35 scale Romfell Panzerwagen
« on: February 08, 2020, 09:53:35 AM »
Copper State Models Romfell Panzerwagen

REVIEWED BY David Wilson
Scale: 1/35th
Price:  €39 Euro (Export price) ($US 42; $A63.74). Within Europe €41.19 (includes VAT).               
Stockist:   Review Sample provided by and available through Copper State Models at:
Contents:   135 parts in grey plastic; Clear parts; decals for two marking options; full colour 18 page instructions booklet.

Although by all accounts only one or maybe two were ever built, the Austro-Hungarian Romfell is a one of a kind military vehicle from WW1. With its distinctive inward-sloping body, circular turret, disc wheels, solid tires, and radio, it was quite a modern vehicle for the time. History however has consigned the Romfell to a footnote in the armoured car lineage.
The outbreak of WW1 saw Austro-Hungarian forces scrambling to match Russia’s emerging armoured car force, followed by the Italians. Armoured cars evolved quickly during the war.
Two Austro-Hungarian armoured car designs emerged in 1915, one of which was the unorthodox-looking Romfell. Its designers were two Army officers, Hauptmann and Engineer Romanic and Oberleutnant Fellner. Rom/ Fell soon segued into the name for their design.
They used an existing chassis ( whose is not clear, possibly a Mercedes) and built the machine in 1915. For its time it was a futuristic design with inward sloping sides, a low turret and solid rubber tyres. Armament was a Schwarzlose 07/12 HMG. It was also fitted with a Morse telegraph, quite a revolutionary concept in 1915 vehicles.
Apparently only one was built, but there are conflicting reports of another in 1917/18, and the Romfell’s operational history is as vague as its production figures. A confirmed sighting on the Italian Front in 1918 seems to be the only known use of it.
Nevertheless there’s something about the Romfell that cries out for it to be revived in model kit form, and irrespective of its known use, the unorthodox design lends itself perfectly as a diorama accessory for ”what if” or Steampunk-type scenarios.

Copper State Models’ first 1/35th scale plastic WW1 armour subject, the Lanchester armoured car, was a phenomenal kit, and the company set itself a high benchmark to meet for any subsequent releases.
Thankfully the second model in CSM’s armoured car range meets and surpasses those standards being super impressive in its detail yet intelligent in its economical parts layout.

With the Romfell armoured car, Copper State Models has effectively revived a long forgotten but futuristic Austro-Hungarian design of WW1, of which only one or two machines were made.
With its recent high quality 1/48th and 1/32 aircraft kits and the delightful Lanchester, Copper State Models has righty claimed a place as a serious player to be respected in the scale models world.
The Copper State Models story will be known to many. Originally an American cottage industry manufacturer of WWI aircraft kits and accessories, it catered to the multimedia market of resin and white metal models.
In 2012 the business changed hands and since its re-launch from Latvia the re-invented Copper State Models has stunned the model community with some innovative subjects ignored by mainstream players.
After its impressive entry to the 1/48th injection moulded WW1 market with its acclaimed Sopwith Dolphin, Copper State Models followed this up with distinctive subjects such as the Caudron G.IV  French reconnaissance/ bomber and the Hydravion floatplane version.
These were followed by another subject never previously kitted in 1/48th scale- the RFC two seat Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.8. The company’s long anticipated 1/32 scale Nieuport range announced CSM as a serious rival to Wingnut Wings in detail and quality.
The Lanchester was a landmark armoured kit and the Romfell confirms that CSM is now a major player in quality WW1 model manufacturing.

Copper State’s Romfell has 135 parts in grey plastic; three clear parts; two marking options and al colour 18 page instruction booklet. The five plastic sprues all come individually protected in plastic bags, as do the transparent headlight parts, which is a big plus. Add to these a small decal sheet from Cartograf and a novel instructions booklet in the form of a Romfell owner’s manual.
There’s a lot about this kit I like. The engraved and raised detail is finely done, and the parts breakdown looks pretty straightforward to assemble. There’s nice internal detail too which means suitable doors and hatches can be posed open.
I understand Copper State has several 1/35 scale figures on the way to complement this kit, as they have done with the Lanchester and Nieuport kits.
Unfortunately we have not yet received review samples of the figures so we cannot comment on how they would complement the kit.
The kit’s 18 page instructions booklet, in a size close to A4 format, evokes the Wingnut Wings approach, and is finely detailed and clearly illustrated throughout. However the paint callouts are vague and this means modellers will have to pursue this information from other sources.

The instructions booklet features colour representations of two schemes offered but there are no hobby paint callouts, so modellers are thrown on to their own resources. Green or dark grey. Take your pick.

There’s growing interest in WW1 land war subjects and the acclaimed movie “1917” has done much to shine a new light on the Great War. The quality and detail of the Romfell kit design says much about how Copper State Models has adapted to customer wishes in delivering unique subjects in a high quality kit at an affordable price.
Highly recommended.
(Review kit kindly supplied by Copper State Models. Please support the businesses that support this Forum.)

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