PZH 2000 Howitzer is considered by many to be the best howitzer in the modern armor world. It is newer than many of its competitors and it is German – which guarantees its quality more or less. PZH 2000 is famous for his very high rate of fire – 10 to 13 rounds per minute and in between those two numbers stays only the heat. Even if it is 10 per minute it is extremely high rate for a howitzer with that caliber – 155mm. It is used by the armed forces of Italy, Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Qatar, Croatia and Germany and it is a main option for the obsolete versions of M109 in many other NATO countries. Panzerhaubitze 2000 is a product of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Again – names that stood over time and scream “quality”.
The kit for this particular project is from Meng Model, who have released two options on the market in 2014 and 2015. The second one is with additional armor and won’t be our point of interest here. The first one is the one that it is used for the build and it is the correct one needed. The scale model kit itself is very accurate, with active suspension, movable tracks, metal gun barrel, photo-etch and many bells and whistles, typical for 21st century scale model kit. There is a substitute for it, in the face of Revell old-ish PZH-2000, which is cheaper and not so up-to-date. It is till usable, but many will pass on that because Meng Model is superior on many different levels. Meng is easy to be build and with great fit and realism. This is what we all aim for after all.
The camo scheme is bright blue with white logos, soccer balls and stars all around it. It is dedicated to F.C. Schalke 04, one of the most famous and oldest German Football /soccer/ clubs. They have won seven German Championships and one UEFA Cup throughout their career, and are one of the most fan-devoted and fan-oriented clubs on the planet. The club has 140,000 members, making it the second-largest sports club in Germany and the sixth-largest sports club in the world in terms of membership. Ain’t that a fan base?!?
No wonder that somebody decided to paint one big gun in the colors of the club. It is fairly easily applicable over a 35th scale Panzerhaubitze 2000, when using DN Models mask set for it. It is designed for both Revell and Meng kits and are relatively easy to use. The only problem that might arise for un-experienced modelers are the thin lines between the ball’s spots which should be made by hand, but nothing un-doable after all. The blue of the FC Schalke 04 is not a color that can easily be found in the color tables of Vallejo, Tamiya or MIG, however you can mix it by yourself using different paints from all of the brands available, or use some of the sci-fi colors. As a reference, the web is full with Schalke pictures, and it won’t be a problem.
Overall the project is relatively easy one, considering the minimal weathering of the tank and the availability of the mask set. The only challenge might be to get the proper shade of the blue, but even that is nothing that cannot be solved. Having in mind that the PZH 2000 is rather big even in 35th scale, it promises to be very attractive kit once finished, especially placed amongst dark, muddy and beaten armored vehicles in the same category and scale. A definite show-stopper!
Thanx to my friend Michael for his pictures and will to build that kit as a test bed for DN Models F.C. Schalke 04 set.
Take a look at the video he made, and take a closer look at his channel, it is definitely worth it!