The last zeppelin — a model

By Rob Morgan

I was reminded by a colleague that there’s a decent scale model of a German airship around, one very suitable for conversion into numerous ‘Steam-Punk’ models, and arguably fantasy Third Reich stuff too. The Revell Mini-Kit 06580 is of  LZ129 Hindenburg which met its end a little before WWII. The kit has 10 parts. Discard the stand, it’s useless. Replace it with one of the Games Workshop hexagonal perspex stands,  and the rest is ridiculously easy to assemble. Minimal flash and already coloured silver-grey with black engine nacelles and gondola, and with name and pennant number on the sides. The tail has Third Reich flags, sans swastika.The kit retails at around £2.99p, which is a remarkable value, especially for something requiring so little work and effort to complete.

The original vessel was 814′ long overall, and 135′ in diameter. Placed alongside the slender Navwar WWI Zeppelin model, she looks enormous. The completed Hindenburg being 10cm long and 1.5cm wide, well, she’s not far off 1/3000th scale. The real Hindenburg had a range of 8,000 miles and carried 10 tons of freight and mail at a top speed of 80 knots.

Yes, Hindenburg was a commercial airship, and no, she didn’t see any war service. However, she has some historical wargames potential, I feel, and might have seen service with the Kriegsmarine, or as a transport, even a reconnaissance craft, had she survived into WWII. She might be the target of a propaganda raid in a wargame,and is suitable for numerous ‘what-if’s’, maybe a search for the Grail in Tibet, as in Indiana Jones escapades, but she is of course extremely vulnerable. In the world of ‘Steam-Punk’ conversion possibilities are endless, as are paint jobs.

The Hindenberg model is one of a series of aircraft with some wargames capability.

This is, to say the least, a very simple five-minute job to construct!

The completed airship, substantial in terms of the table top, and very useful for ‘steam-punk’ or 20th century fantasy gaming.

 

This entry was posted in Air gaming, Periods - Fantasy, Periods - Pulp era, Periods - Twentieth century. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The last zeppelin — a model

  1. jimr says:

    Rob- Thank you! I have been searching for something like this.

  2. jimr says:

    Rob,

    Could ground troops shoot down a zeppelin in WWI? I am guessing that cannon fire could be aimed at a zeppelin but the angle would be difficult. Snipers could shoot at the airship but inflicting enough damage to bring it down might take more than the usual number of hits.

    What do you think?

  3. jimr says:

    Regarding Zepplins, a thread on Quora indicates that bringing them down was impossible until fighters had incendiary rounds (https://www.quora.com/How-difficult-was-it-to-shoot-down-a-Zeppelin-during-WWI#:~:text=direct%20their%20raids.-,The%20Zeppelins%20were%20armed%20with%20machine%20guns%20which%20could%20easily,cause%20only%20slow%20gas%20leaks.). However, an interesting autobiographical book was cited (The Spider Web by TD Hallam, who crewed a boat-plane (not to be confused with those things that have float skis). This was his experience in numbers:
    April 13, 1917, to April 12, 1918: 8 average number of boats a month: 190 flying days. 605 patrols carried out. 105,397 nautical miles flown. 47 enemy submarines sighted. 25 enemy submarines bombed. And one Zeppelin.
    This book is free from Project Gutenburg and can be read on Kindle. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/50339

    Anyway, I guess if you introduce a Zeppelin to a wargame, you should also include some Sopwith Camels.

    T. D. Hallam. The Spider Web: The Romance of a Flying-Boat War Flight (Kindle Locations 2135-2138).

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