K5 (E) Leopold
in Scale 1:35 by Trumpeter 
with machined barrel


Author Th. Schrecke  2004
updated 20.02.2004

Preliminary Remark

This is the English Version of the Making of.. Page that was already published. To give our modelling friends around the world the chance to understand how to handel the kit and the machined barrel by 48 Special Models it was translated.
We recommend to take a closer look to this page before starting building the model. Although we don't think we know all about modelmaking it may be helpful to know the "mistakes" others did!

Instead of the German Version this is a finished Version which will not be updated anymore

  The Kit
  • The machined Barrel
  • Diorama preparations
  • The Base
  • Diorama
  • Shelter
  • Building Report
  • Fitting the Chassis
  • The Carriage
  • Generator-/ Ammunitoncontainer fitting
  • Painting


    Main paint sheme of the Leopold is tank grey. With this color the whole gun may have been primed.  The camouflage may have been changed at the place of action to meet local needs. On most of the pictures I saw until now, the gun was in this grey color. Except for museum pieces, which are mostly colorful. This means the museum piece colors may be fictitious in most ways. Like most of the time working with original pictures and data is recommended. There are some interesting pages in the internet on this item.
    It is recommended to spraypaint the inside of the carriage in tank grey. So it can be assumed that the whole gun was painted in a tank grey protectiv paint and the camouflage, when ever, was only applied to the outside. In cavities that can't be reached after assembly this is especially important. So you are forced to prime certain sections from time to time while assembling them.
    When the model is finished the wanted camouflage is applied only to the outer surface and hard to reach areas will not be masked nor painted at all.

    The whole chassis will be painted tank grey and aged rusty allover beforehand. Are the chassis completed the decals will be applied and final aging follows.


    Read the instruction first!

    Mistakes in the instruction

    Page 12
    (1) Truck lower assembly. 
    In the upper picture at the right below the section <<A>> is shown twice. This is wrong! The part right beside Part H22 is a section <<B>>.

    Page 13
    Parts H4 should not be cemented but put together dry and fixed after assembly (see page 14).

    Page 15
    Mounting of part H21 should appear at last! Because the part J24 needs to be adjusted eventually and all other parts hinder that.

    Page 17
    Assembly of upper and lower part should happen earlier. The lots of small parts make a assembly hard to manage  otherwise.
    Best is to do the steps on page 15 first and then put together the upper and lower part. After that all other parts can be added!
    Parts J43 should be hooked in only for the first. After aging etc. they can be fixed.

    Page 18
    Make the wire parts A and B from brass wire, not from the copper wire included.

    Page 25
    On the picture showing the assembly of the lock the part B26 is not shown! It is positioned on the inside of B25 and grips in the notch right above. When installing the machined barrel don't forgett the ballast inside the lock!

    Page 26
    Part M7 is located on sprue M (rails, marked as MX2 in the Plan). The cavity in parts C33 and C29 need to be treated with putty or superglue.

    Page 33
    The barrel can be exchanged by the machined aluminum barrel by Schatton/48 Special Models. Therefore take notice of the assembly instuctions above. 

    Page 40
    The jig B17/B37 is colsed on the lower side (see pictures). Part B8 fits only in one direction! Check beforehand. 

    Painting / Decals
    The decals are a real task! Besides the fact the the numbering is wrong, the text are full of spelling mistakes! Some can be repaired by cutting out single letters and changing their positions. But some letters simply don't exsist.
    Here the only hope is to make your own decals or wait for a correct sheet by a accessories manufacturer. Another way is dirting them up so they can't deciphered anymore.

    Here some of the extra hard ones:

    no words!
    Here I interchanged some letters, but unfortunately the S and L are missing. 

    Filling depressions (not feeling depressions)

    Like said before the lots of depressions are the biggest weakness of the kit. Most of them occure from the ejectors that seperate the kitparts from the mould. Good moulds don't show such depressions, because they are leveled with the mould surface.
    Sink holes occure when less material is injected with less pressure to the mould. Both defects are a lack of quality, which could be prevented by the manufacturer.
    Treating such defects right on a kit means useing putty. It is recommended to check the parts before assembling them. Are the defects extrem return the kit to the retailer you bought it from.
    Small defects can be filled with superglue or putty. This schould be done in several layers and with small amounts of material. The superglue will not set inside or has to be sanded down in painstaking hard work. When useing putty it is almost the same. The solvents can't evaporate and weaken the plastic. Which means in extrem the part will be damaged. Superglue is harder than plastic and therefore hard to sand. But it dries much faster and connects better to the surface. Large gaps can be filled with a special glas bubble filler for superglue. This filler kicks the superglue a little and prevents heating up. The bubbles are hard and hard to sand therefore. So don't use too much.

    Painting in between steps and final finish

    All small parts and the hard to reach areas too should be painted before assembly. 
    The steps are as follows:

  • Priming (i.e.Mr Surface 500)
  • Sanding slightly
  • Final paint
  • Gloss clear varnish
  • Decals
  • Matt clear varnish
  • Sanding slightly (if necessary)
  • Aging (dark wash, etc.
  • matt or gloss final varnish

  • Applying a gloss clear varnish layer is done only once after final color painting was applied. After applying the decals a single layer of clear varnish is applied and sanded with 800-1000 grid wet sanding paper and lot of water over the decals afterwards. This will reduce the thickness of the clear varnish layer so far that the decal will level after a second or third layer of clear varnish. The decal edge will be almost invisible then. But take care while sanding. Only erase the clear varnish layer!
    Is this finished the whole model gets a matt clear varnish (acrylic, if possible) coating. This means a lot more paint than usual depending to the size of the model.

    After the paint has set for at least 24 hours, that gave all paint layers time to dry, aging starts. Except for the wooden grids, which have been aged beforehand with artists oil paints. The oils are applied on the brown basic color and wiped off after the solvent has evaporated mostly. This makes a nice wooden look.

    The whole gun was treated with a dark wash from brown and black oils which have been thinned down with Humbrol thinner. With a broad, soft brush the whole model is drenched now (this takes the whole man). Also the airbrush can be used. The wash will be let set a little and dry, then the surplus  will be wiped off with a soft cloth. At hard to reach areas a Q-tip helps. Clean Humbrol thinner helps to lighten to dark areas. It is important that the last spraypainted layer was a water/alcohol based acrylic paint, to prevent the thinner from eating the paint below! After drying a dry brushing can apear too with slightly lighter colors and or rust brown. Always start careful with less paint.

    It is almost impossible to prevent scratching the surface finish while working. This meets the real thing too. The defects need to be touched up necessaryly with airbrush or brush. But applying a clear varnish has changed the tone of the color slightly. This again causes stains. Also badly or less stired paint or different manufaturers may cause this.

    Therefore the primary paint tone (tank grey) should be filled from different cans to a single bucket and stired well. If possible a lager can should be purchased instead. I used up about 5 cans of Tamiya XF-64 tank grey and the sixth is ready to follow.
    A small difference in shades makes sense at all in this case too. Because large objects like this needed to be touched up constantly. Differences in tone are inevitable. That is why I used it consciously in this case.

    The ongoing color design should orient on historic pictures from that time. Depending on the place of action some special features may occure.

    The completed lock block.
    It was painted with
    Gunze Metalizer, polished and sealed with Gunze Metal Primer.
    After that the grease was done with oilpaints which have been applied and wiped off again. After the oils are dry it was again painted with clear varnish.
    The wooden walkway was primed with XF-10 brown with a brush and painted with a oils dark wash then. When dried almost, it was wiped of partionaly.
    The whole chassis was treated with a dark wash from black and dark brown oils thinned with Humbrol thinner.
     The carriage was treated the same way. Beforehand touch up areas were willingly applied.
     Especially in places dirt tends to stay the wash should stay. After a short period of drying the surplus is wiped off.
    The platform of the ammo container. Later gun versions had have an extended platform on the container and a switch for two trolleys.
    The lock block is movable and can be taken out or pushed in completely (for elevating the barrel).
    The ladders are not fixed on the top. So they can be adjusted in different positions. The chains holding the hatch are made after original pictures. 
    The muzzle of the Schatton/ 48 Special Models barrel. The grooves reach into the barrel for some cm. They where treated with oils too, to show them better and simulate wear. The inner barrel tube was brought out by sanding of the paint with 800 grid sanding paper. 

    Main View

    The gun on its turntable. Always the front chassis is placed on the turntable!
    The elevation of the barrel is managed without mechanical blocking.
    Also in low elevation. On some guns the recoil area were painted too.
    In this position the hoses on the front chassis need to be removed!
    The diorama will get additional figures, a waggon Typ Ommr and a Kübelwagen to bring it to life more.
    The diorama base is about 1,5m x 0,71m. It can be separated to show only the straight track.