Die Waffenkammer make 28mm resin vehicles for WW2 and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the level of detail on their castings. So I bought a schwimmwagen and a Hanomag from them and threw some paint at them.

The Good

This is a really good quality casting, with plenty of fine detail. I can see why people rate Die Waffenkammer (literally: “the armoury”). The kit comes as a hull with separate wheels, two crew miniatures an MG and stowage.

This is the pic on the Die Waffenkammer website

The casting had very little flash to clean up, and no significant defects. There were a couple of small mould lines, quickly cleaned up. Some of the detail on the casting is very fine, to the point where things like the tow hooks and the roll bar between the front and rear seats could be quite easily broken, so you’ll need to store it safely. The picture on the website (above) shows the swimmycar with a front windscreen in the vertical position. Mine seems to lack this, I don’t know if it’s a casting defect or if the mould has been changed because it was too flimsy. Either way I’m actually not bothered about it, as they would have folded it flat in combat, so I would have cut it off if it was present. Nobody likes a faceful of glass from a near miss.

It’s a cute little kit, and gives my Germans in Chain of Command a nice little runabout that’s a little more war-face than their current softskin option.

Die Waffenkammer is also really cheap. This Schwimmwagen was about CAD $25 including shipping from Canada, which is about £13. Warlord will hit you for £18 shipped from within the UK, so about 50% more.

The bad

All Die Waffenkammer vehicles come with crew miniatures and stowage. That’s great, but honestly the quality of the resin crew figures isn’t great. The fact that they’re resin also makes them quite fragile, especially fine detail like gun barrels.

The crew are a bit oddly proportioned, and lumpily moulded.

The crew is a bit oddly proportioned, and lumpily moulded.

On this kit the steering wheel is moulded onto the driver miniature, so replacing him with a different one could be fiddly. The bloke in the back seat is in a slightly funny pose that doesn’t actually fit well into the seats. I needed to tweak mine a bit to get him in, and even then has ended up sitting sideways. Hmm.

You don’t get any transfers in the kit. Most schwimmwagens I’ve seen in pics are pretty plain, but I did have to bodge up some numbers to stick on the number plate at the rear. I didn’t bother adding unit icons to the hull front, which seem to have been fairly common. You’d could freehand those, or make your own decals.

I unfortunately had some shipping trouble. I ordered direct from JTFM Enterprises in Canada who own the range, as I was happy to wait for it to dawdle across the Atlantic on a boat. I ordered in October and chased it up in December, only to find that my order had been missed and was only just dispatched. It then went missing in the post, and JTFM kindly agreed to send replacements free of charge. The replacement vehicles turned up in a few weeks, which is fine. Bottom line is that if I order from them again I’ll be getting them through their UK stockist Great Escape Games. When I originally ordered GFG’s range was limited, but they’ve now got more in.

Paint

I went for a plain dunkelgelb paint job, and had a lot more luck with my wash than I did on my recent Wespe disaster. I originally tried thinning my Army Painter Strong Tone ink, but that didn’t cover well either, so settled on a technique of letting the wash dry for a minute or two, then going back over with a wettish brush and evening it out. Don’t leave it too long though, the AP ink washes dry quickly.

I took out any remaining unevenness with a liberal drybrush of Army Painter middlestone, which I find works really well as a highlight over dunkelgelb, despite its slight greenish tone. There are some imperfections left from the wash, but I’m tending to leave these in these days, I reckon a bit of scruffiness works for WW2 vehicles.

The verdict

Overall it’s an A- to Die Waffenkammer for the quality of the vehicle, and about a D for their crew figures I reckon. So if you want or need crew figures you might want to look into getting them elsewhere.