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.