Building GDR NVA

I think I start here a new thread to show how to build the other army on German soil.


As an oldfashioned modeller, all starts with references. Luckily several publishing companies have releases good books on the NVA subject.
Motorbuch Verlag

Media Script

Fahrzeug Profile


Found the GMG 2, on Ebay. Just the wrong scale. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

One of my many projects. Sanitäts Schützenpanzerwagen 152

It´s a BTR-152 K with wider rear door to take stretchers.


Well, I’d better pay attention then!

Some - in fact all - of my reference material:

The one on the left really for my Berlin Wall/Grepo projects; the one on the right - obtained when I was at HQ BAOR a million years ago - is not exclusively East German admittedly, but a really useful little ready-reckoner sort of book.

A rather blurry image I’m afraid, but these 2 books are very useful indeed.

The one on the left just for a bit of background; the one on the right is an extensive survey of the NVA’s uniforms, badges etc, and is a really interesting volume:

Despite all this material I’ve only built 2 x NVA models and that’s a T-72 and a BMP. I’ll try and provide some pics soon.

'Hopefully, other NVA enthusiasts will join in, or is it just me and Hermann?


Hi Brian,
great selection of books.Unfortunatly, I missed after 1989 the opportunity to go into DDR. I still live some 30 km away from border with Thuringia/GDR.

1 Like

Some scans from my analogue collection.
Some target vehiles from Bonnland Training Area

NVA Uniforms

Pics from Militärhistorisches Museum Dresden back in 1993.


Some Publications
Militärverlag der DDR 1988. My precious!

DDR Dienstvorschriften


Hi Brian,
will theses help with your Grenzdiorama?

1 Like

One of my ambitious projects.
Führungsfahrzeug 1W15-(1)


They are indeed, fundamental to it! They are so well sculpted my painting-skills may not be up to it.

The plan is to position them outside the Trabant, looking at footprints in the raked strip of sand/earth, as an indication of some poor soul trying to flee the GDR. There’s not actually much to do to finish it all off; I’ve moved it all to a larger base as I felt it was too compressed, although initially I thought it might be too big and the Trabant, being so small, might be a bit lost, but by trial and error feel, when I actually tackle it, that it will work a bit better.

My original small base:

The larger option:


Very nice; we only ever - for ease of reporting - identified this as an “ACRV”. I’m sure that it will look very impressive once completed; I’m assuming you’ve utilized a conversion kit from somewhere, as well as scratch-building?

1 Like

Why fleeing from GDR? :grinning: The Wall and the Grenzzaun where build to keep foreigners out. :slightly_smiling_face: Or to quote a from GDR Staatsratsvorsitzende. “Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu errichten” (No one has the intention to build a wall). Where is the Trabant P601A kit from? The ACRV or 1V15(-1) kit is from SP Designs from Ukraine and a 12 years old shelfqueen. It should have been a Swedish MEDEVAC, but then I decided to give the kit a makeover. The kit has pieces of resin tracks, which are impossible to build. I bought me Trumpeters 2S1 SPH to harvest suspension and tracks. That GDR Technical Manual is extremely helpful with this project. I think the turret shell will and up as SNAR-10 someday.

1 Like

Well, exactly; why would anyone wish to actually leave the Worker’s Paradise? Wasn’t its official name “the anti-fascist rampart” or similar? Anyway, it made a hell of an impression on me as a young soldier when I visited north and south of Helmstedt in 1971 or thereabouts.

The P601A is from Panzershop - long out of production I believe; I’ll try and get some more pics of mine. Being resin it was a fraught build - always the case with me and resin - and at one stage I dropped it and it shattered into two parts(!) However, I soldiered on and filled it with the sort of equipment I thought a Grenztruppen patrol would have during a hard day’s work keeping marauding reactionary NATO forces out of the GDR; in fact, I overdid it and left hardly any room for the dog.

Are SP Designs still in operation? I must have a look, that ACRV is looking very good and with a SNAR would really set the scene.

Anyway, all good stuff perhaps for NVA fans.


Here’s my Grenztrabant from Panzershop:


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a militarized Trabi before, thanks! I wonder if the body behind the A-pillars was made of the same plastic resin as the front end?

I imagine it must have been; I can’t see the factory/working practices using anything notably different - more a question of modifying the moulds/formers or whatever they used.

I’ve only ever seen one in the far distance and sadly, not close up. I wish I had in a way(!)

There’s one depicted in this short film clip at the beginning - though it’s an animation, but it does show it puttering away on its duties. I’ve linked this before somewhere along the line but I hope no one minds too much; it provided much for my planned diorama of the IGB:

Walled in: The inner German border | DW English (

Excellent job Brian! Very unusual looking vehicle. I was in Germany from 85-87 but wasn’t stationed on the border so I wouldn’t have seen those vehicles, but when were they taken out of service?

Wasn’t the real car made out of plastic or something?

Well, thanks very much; it was tricky to build and if you look closely you’ll see(!) - however, that’s because the pics are larger than real life; hopefully, in due course, I’ll be able to get away with it on the display tables. Story of my modelling life(!)

As to its service life, I have no idea; I suspect it was in use up to the end.

There are some good shots kicking around on the www showing it in private collectors’ use, which I accessed for details, coupled with a bit of military interpretation.