Unlike some armies of World War II that of Germany was very far from fully motorised, and relied on huge numbers of horses for everything from moving artillery to basic supplies. The wagon in this set is typical of the vast logistics that the German armies needed. German supply wagons were standardised and this is the ‘Hf 2’, the standard heavy infantry wagon of the war.
The wagon itself comes in remarkably few parts yet makes a very fine model. The hard plastic used helps as always with such kits, but the edges and the detail are lovely and crisp, and the whole thing goes together beautifully, while the model appears to be accurate in all respects. One of the real strengths of this kit is the number of options it provides. To begin with you have the choice of a closed or open hood (although nothing is provided by way of a load should you go for the open top). Better yet you have all the traces and instructions to hitch either a four or six-horse team. Four-horse teams were the norm (although sometimes a two horse team was used too), but it is great to have that flexibility on offer here. The three figures on the left of our picture are riding the team, while the last two are riding the wagon itself, and here we find another option. The man with the whip can instead have an arm with which to hold the brake, which would be appropriate if there are outriders.
The outriders have been used in other Preiser sets (and one by Revell), but they are nicely done and appropriate. Equally the two seated men are very appropriate, and these come with a choice of heads to allow them to wear a helmet or peaked or unpeaked field cap. The horses are all-different, which is great, although the highly bent hooves on some seemed to us to cast some doubts on how natural some of the gaits are. The whole kit is made in a hard plastic apart from the selection of traces, which are soft and therefore better reflect the flexibility of the real thing.
This is a superb model which delivers about as much as you could possibly ask for. Looking at the wide array of parts on the sprue you might think this a difficult model, but the traces are the most tricky bit, and no modeller of any experience should have any difficulties. Although at 1/87 scale this is rather too small to go with the many soft plastic sets elsewhere on this site, it is a cracking model which we can only hope will one day be made in 1/72 scale by this prolific manufacturer.