Hasegawa Leopold K5(E) Railway Gun
Gallery Article by Jeff & Evan Brundt
on Oct 23 2012
The K5 was the
result of a crash program launched in the 1930s to develop a force of railway
guns to support the Wehrmacht by 1939. K5 development began in 1934 with first
testing following in 1936. Initial tests were done with a 150 mm barrel under
the designation K5M.
Production led to eight guns being in service for the Invasion of France,
although problems were encountered with barrel splitting and rectified with
changes to the rifling. The guns were then reliable until the end of the war,
under the designation K5 Tiefzug 7 mm.
Towards the end of the war, development was done to allow the K5 to fire
rocket-assisted projectiles to increase range. Successful implementation was
done for firing these from the K5Vz.
A final experiment was to bore out two of the weapons to 310 mm smoothbore to
allow firing of the Peenemünder Pfeilgeschosse arrow shells. The two modified
weapons were designated K5 Glatt.
Several other proposals were made to modify or create new models of the K5 which
never saw production. In particular, there were a number of plans for a model
which could leave the railway by use of specially modified Tiger II tank chassis
which would support the mounting box in much the same manner as the railway
weapon's two bogies. This project was finally ended by the capitulation of
"Anzio Annie" was the name used by the Allies for a pair of German
K5(E) railroad guns that shelled the Anzio beachhead during World War II. The
Germans named them "Robert" and "Leopold".
The guns were captured on 7 June 1944. Robert was partially destroyed by the gun
crew before they surrendered and Leopold was also damaged but not as badly. Both
guns were shipped to the U.S. to the Aberdeen Proving Ground where they
underwent tests. One complete K5 was made from the two damaged ones, and
"Leopold" remains on display to this day.
* Calibre: 283 mm (11 in)
o Barrel length: 76.1
calibres; 21.539 m (848 in)
o Carriage length: 30 m
(travel mode); 32 m (firing mode)
o Action weight: 218 t
o Barrel weight: 85 t
* Elevation: +50°
* Muzzle velocity: 1120 m/s (3675 ft/s)
* Range: 61 km (38 mi)
* Rate of fire: 1 round per 3-5 min.
* Barrel life: 540 rounds
The Hasegawa kit of the Leopold has been around for many years. My son saw one at
the local VLS Warehouse open house and had to have it. We worked on it together
for about two weeks. The kit really does assemble quickly and since the over all
color is panzer grey you don't spend a lot of time painting.
The model was painted with Tamiya XF-66 (which is a dead ringer for panzer grey
or gunship grey). I applied a wash with black enamel and burnt seinna to show
rust stains that usaully are found on armour like this. There was no need for mud
since the gun was always on the rails and would never get a chance to get dirty
like that. The base was probably the most complex part to paint. The rails were
done first by airbrush with MM steel. The ballast was painted with Tamiya buff
and the ties were done with Tamiya dark brown. A wash was then given to grime
and rust the road bed and rails.
Evan is quite proud of his Leopold. I recently picked up the 1/35 Trumpeter K5
and that model will be H U G E when completed. However, for that one we're
going to do it in the multi-colored desert scheme favored in southern Europe and
the Eastern Front.
Jeff & Evan Brundt
Photos and text © by Jeff & Evan Brundt