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

with machined barrel

The Kit
The machined Barrel
by Schatton-Heavy Steel / 48 Special Models

Author Th. Schrecke 2004-2015
updated 05.03.2015

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 handle 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

    In the 3rd quarter of 2003 the chinese company Trumpeter released another, new one of a range of kits on the German market. This time in a race for the Christmas sales, in competition with Dragon another chinese modelkit manufacturer.
    The kit was waited for by artillery and railroad fans with anticipation.  In 1/35 scale it was not only expected to be a rich detailed, but also almost 1m large, impressing model. The amount of detail is also stated by the quantity of 1140 parts. Therefore the kit may be if not the largest, but the one of the largest plastic modelkits of its kind! The box of about 50 X 25 X 25 cm is stacked to the top with parts.

    The Kit

    The railroad gun not only comes on a simple track. No it is optional to build also a rail cross with a turntable. This cross has an estimated length of 1m in each direction. At least now you should think about where to place the final model!
    Apart from that the parts look o.k. on the first glimps. All of them are moulded in a clean way and are not out of shape. Unfortunately they show a awful lot of depressions, which result from the production process. This calls for putty, even if a lot of them may not be visible in the end. It would be a nice turn of Trumpeter to keep their attention on this problem on the upcoming kits. 

    Credtiable is the careful packaging of delicate parts, which are i.e. wrapped up in foam foil or cardboard. Unfortunately this could not prevent breaking of some parts like the banisters in my kit. Luckly I already wanted to exchange them against brasswire.

    A big advantage is surely the etched parts set for the exhaust grating of the Generator Container. Also the bolts for the barrel moving structure are made from metal. A weekness is the way the wheels are connected to the 12 axles. So it is a stand still model it may not be a big problem, but railroad fans like to watch their waggons roll smooth. It would have been inspired to fit the gauge to the Märklin Spur I, to make possible to let it roll with the other waggons. The gauge almost fits the Spur I, but the polystyren wheels won't last long. 

    After copeing the first look into the box the next shock comes when looking in the assembly instruction. What is usualy a printed matter of about 4 or 6 pages of volume, comes along here as a 40(!) pages book. Only the first look takes an evening, but is necessary. 

    All in one it is an overwhelming first look and already when purchasing the kit a feeling occures to have bought something big for the money.

    The machined barrel by Schatton-Heavy Steel/48 Special Models
    Not available any more from 48 Special Models !!

    48 Special Models was proud to offer a world novelty. Fitting for the excellent Trumpeter K5(E) Leopold Railroad Gun 48 Special Models had developed together with Schatton Heavy Steel a fitting machined barrel made from aluminum.
    Due to contract violations by Schatton Modellbau we will not offer this and other Schatton items anymore! But to keep modelers informed on how to handle it, we will leave this pages on our website.

    When I bought the kit and inspected it careful, like any modeller does, I immediately realised the large, but poor plastic barrel. As a professional modeller I disliked at once that the barrel had 5 segments from the cradle to the muzzle. And that they lacked enough flesh to connect them straight, without any supporting construction inside. Also any tank modeller knows that two halfpipes don't make a tube. This knowledge has been understood by most of the scene and promted some manufacturers to offer machined gun barrels.

    The K5(E) Barrel for the Trumpeter Kit

    The K5(E) Barrel for the Dragon Kit
    The difference is the cradle mount, the rest is the same.

    Not available any more from 48 Special Models !!

    The barrel consists of two machined parts drilled through completely. The hole goes straight through from one end to the other and grants an original impression. Also the grooves are carved into the muzzle! The barrel will be placed into the exsiting cradle and fits exactly to the Trumpeter adn Dragon kit.

    1 Set 
    of  German K5(E)1.,  2. and 3. charge ammuniton

    To order this item see our

    1 Set contains
    2 pieces of 1. charge,
    1 piece of  2.& 3. charge,
    resin casted

    Available now, only from
    48 Specials Models


    These 1., 2. & 3. charges fit for both Leopold kits (Trumpeter and Dragon) as well as to the granades and shells. They where used to increase the firing range of the gun. The Trumpeter kit even contains the fitting decals !
    These charges are produced and
    only available from 48 Special Models.

    To make building the kit easier I will show the making of on the following pages. 

    The machined barrel in comparison with the kit parts.
    A cut through the barrel cradle shows the way the barrel is positioned.
    The machined part reaches to the lock. The hollow space needs to be filled with ballast. 
    The integrated barrel.
    The machined barrel consists of two parts...
    ...which are sticked and glued together .
    A clearly visible reason to buy the machined barrel!
    The rifleing is grooved in about 2cm into the muzzle.
    Assembly of the machined barrel

    The machined barrel is constructed that way it fits to the exsisting kit parts, instead of the plastic barrel. But it has a weight of estimated 400 gramms and is therefore much more heavy. This must be compensated by several precautions.

    The barrel consists of two parts, which need to be glued with superglue (Cyanoacrylat) or screw safety glue (Anaerobic glue). This should be done after the barrel is placed into the cradle, to make handleing easier. 

    The barrel is placed in the cradle of the K5 and glued or screwed to it, instead of the plastic parts. The barrel end rests in the lock tight. So the aluminum barrel has a weight of about 400g the lock needs additional weight inside. Ideal are lead shot pellets (available in gun-/fishing shops).

    Before putting the barrel in place the ballast needs to be sealed in the lock with resin or superglue. This should be done in several steps, to prevent heating up and let the glue set. As to be seen below I added a cardboard tube, which has the fitting diameter. So the lock was sealed to the front (by glueing on a strip of stiff paper). Are you lacking a fitting tube, so make one by wrapping cardboard around the barrel end and glue it with whiteglue. After it set strip it off and ready.

    Through the gap in the bottom of the lock, which takes part B26 later on, the pellets and glue/ resin can be poured in. Do it alternating to make sure all pellets stick together and don't rattle later. This way the weight of the lock can be lifted 200g. This will not be enough to balance the barrel, but it helps to lower the needed forces. The whole barrel now has a weight of almost 680g.

    So the lower cradle support structure is only glued on with less strength, it needs some support to prevent it from breaking. The supportbox which will be glued to the cradle later on, should be assembled beforehand. So the connecting surfaces are small, it is necessary to give them more strength by glueing on 0,3mm thick plastic sheets to the front couplers at the inside. Also the lower backside one needs to get a 0,5mm thick sheet all over its inside surface too. This increases the strength a lot.

    Into the boxlike space underneath the barrel fulcrum, right between the fake hydraulic cylinders, a plate can be placed. It locks into the gap on the left and the right side of this box and gives the possibility to screw it onto the barrel.

    I made a plate of 30x42mm from 3mm styrene, which can be placed into this boxlike space. Below it a block of Ureol (a modelmaking material from resin) or wood was fitted in. Both parts where held in place temporaryly by doublesided tape and drilled through with two centred 4mm holes. The parts where positioned and glued in place afterwards. The lower cradle support structure was then glued to the cradle. Next the lock and barrel where put in place dry, adjusted and the centerholes for two M4 screw where drilled through. After the thread was cut all parts can be screwed together easy. A glueing of the lock and cradle isn't realy necessary at all anymore, but can be done. Now the forces can be transfered to the support structure without problems. A break away is almost impossible.

    Now leading the forces becomes more delicate, because the hydralic lifting cylinder is fake and nonfunctional. To build the barrel movable needs careful preparation. Will it be build in the lowered position this is not necessary.
    To prevent a constant load on the moving parts, it is necessary to block them or scratch build additional parts. More information can be found at The Carriage.

    Only so much on that. It is possible to do!

    Also to the carriage ballast should be added. Therfore at the far ends, before they are closed, lead pellets should be filled in.
    Before final assembly the stability and movability of the barrel should be checked, because they can't be changed afterwards anymore.

    The lock block lacks a little in dimensions and fit. Inbetween the barrel end and the block is a gap of minimum 0,5mm. In original this means desaster! Also the lower guide slot is visible in the lock it is missing on the block and needs to be added. I changed this by glueing on to strips of polystyrene and sanded them to fit. I didn't mind if the dimensions are true to the original in this case at all, but now it works perfect.

    The far end of the lock needs to be filled with lead pellets and sealed with 
    resin or glue. 
    The position of part B26 
    isn't shown in the instruction !
    To the lock a cardboard tube is glued, 
    to seal it.
     The position of the barrel without 
    the cradle.
      The position of the barrel with 
    the cradle.
    And showing the position 
    of the support structure.
     The parts before assembly.
     A 0,3mm plastic sheet supports the strength of the frame.
    The same thing in frontview.
     The inside at the front also gets a 0,5mm plate for support. This strengthens the cementing edges a lot.
    These parts are build in to bring 
    the forces from the barrel to 
    the lower structures. 
    A 3mm polystyrene plate is fitted into
    the gap.
     A block of Ureol or wood is 
    fitted in as a spacer.
     The M4 screws fit through the holes which have been drilled beforehand and go to the barrel.
    The sections. To the barrel M4 
    threads where drilled. 
    With the centrehole the lock section 
    also was drilled through. 
    This makes all parts fit tight.
     Two screws M4x20 hold the sections together. Glueing isn't necessary, 
    but can be done. 
    This design helps support the barrel.
     The lock block is filled with 0,5mm sheet and gets the missing glide notch, made from 0,3mm sheet, too.
    Now it fits to the lock perfect.
     Installing the cables is a hard one. I drilled 0,6mm holes through the centerpiece to stick in the cables. The black clamps are made from Special Wrap.
    The cables at the back didn't exsist on all of the guns, as I saw on pictures. Also the included wire wasn't enough. So I had to add aluminum wire.
    Continued at: The Carriage