Dragon 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7 Late Production
|NOTES:||Griffon Models P.E. set used|
Development of the Sd.Kfz. 7 can be traced back to a 1934 requirement for an eight-tonne (7.87 tons) half-track. The vehicle first appeared in 1938 and was destined to be used mainly as the tractor for the 8.8 cm FlaK gun and the 15 cm sFH 18 150 mm howitzer. The Sd.Kfz. 7 also became the basis of a number of self-propelled anti-aircraft variants based on 20 mm and 37 mm flak types in use. Further because of its heavy power it often found use as a recovery vehicle.
The running gear consisted of two front wheels with hydro-pneumatic tires for steering and a track each side with 14 road wheels (7 overlapping on each side of the vehicle); a drive sprocket was located at the front of each track system. Minor variations on the track and road wheel design and manufacture took place throughout the course of service, some being combined in the field as repairs took place.
The iconic Sd.Kfz.7 was used throughout the war. Sd.Kfz. 7 were seen during the 1940 Paris victory parade and the Sd.Kfz. 7 features in much German wartime propaganda footage, contributing to the myth of the mechanized Blitzkrieg. In fact while produced in large numbers there were never enough to fully equip the German forces. Typically like many other types, the artillery elements of Panzer and mechanized units (Panzer grenadier) received them, while others continued to rely on horses to draw their guns.
Some Sd.Kfz. 7 were pressed into service by the Allies during and after the Second World War. An Italian-manufactured variant was also built, and is easily recognized by its longer hood and right-hand-drive steering.
a good look in the box, see Scott's preview. The kit is very nicely molded with
a high degree of detail on the various parts. And a
The kit appears to be the standard Dragon Sd.Kfz.7 kit, as there are many parts not used. Some of those parts include a complete armored cabin for a different version. I suppose if one knew enough about the Sd.Kfz.7 family, they could use the extra parts to build a whole different kit!
The instructions are very well done and include a parts layout. A paint chart for Aqueous, Mr. Color and MM paints is also provided. Even though the instructions show 3 paint schemes, enough decals are provided to do most any vehicle desired. A small set of p/e parts is also included.
I used part of the Griffon p/e set for the Dragon Sd.Kfz.7/1 Flak-Vierling. Most of the set cannot be used on this version, but all the engine parts and some of the chassis parts can be. I will use the Flak gun parts on a later build of the Tamiya Sd.Kfz 7/1.
basically followed the instruction steps. The good thing about
In step 3 & 4, the engine goes together. I left off part #D56 (intake tube) and installed it in step 12 with the rest of the air cleaner parts. The instructions call for painting the engine Steel. I don't know much about armor, so I went with the color callouts, but steel just doesn't seem right to me. There are several decals for the engine, make sure you apply them now, as you will have trouble doing so later.
The Griffon p/e parts fit quite nicely. However they are very small and will take patience to apply. Go slowly and take your time. Griffon also gives you wire that will need to be bent for certain details. Bending guides are included on the edges of the p/e frets to bend some of these parts. Griffon also includes a very nice radiator that you assemble out of a half dozen parts. None of this can be seen after assembly, so all I did was attach one of the mesh parts to the inside of the radiator housing. I suppose if the housing louvers were open, then the p/e parts would make sense. While they were a bit of work to install, the p/e parts make a big difference.
Steps 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 bring the chassis, engine and running gear together. In step 6 insert the transmission from the bottom, NOT from the top as shown. The front tire mountings are VERY small and have little area for attachment. Mine ended up coming loose several times and I finally had to attach then with superglue.
In step 7 I could not identify nor install part B1. It has something to do with the winch drive, but I ended up leaving it off.
Step 8 is the road wheels. There are a lot of parts to install at one time and you have to be careful to make sure all the wheels are level. I used slow setting glue and did one side at a time. I still ended up with a couple wheels out of alignment and had to snap them off and reattach them.
In step 9 cut the rear mounting pins off the engine. You will have to spread the chassis to get them in place and it not worth the chance of breaking something. Apply glue to the front mounts and to the drive shaft where it goes into the transmission, insert the shaft first and then set the engine down on its front mounts. The shaft will hold the engine in place without the rear mounting pins. I left off parts D7 and D46 (air cleaner) for installation in step 12.
Steps 10 and 11 are the cab assembly. This is the only part of the kit that has
fit problems. The cab is divided into separate front, side and back walls and
they don't really fit together that well. The dash installation is also bit
tricky. The mounting for the steering column is particularly fragile. Attach
this part good, as you
Step 12 was my least favorite step. The chassis and cab come together, but you also have to assemble the infernal "Magic Track" pieces. They do give a very nice rendition of the tracks, but damn, they are small. And there is a LOT of them do... 54 per side!!! I did them in 3 sets of 18 and I could only do one or two sets a night. In this step I also installed parts D7, D46 and D56, along with D32. I did this to make sure that the air cleaner assembly parts all lined up. I had to remove the mounting pin on the engine for part #56, not sure if that was my fault or what.
Steps 13, 14 and 15 are for the bed. There are optional positions for the bed sides and I chose to leave one side up and the other side and tailgate down. The only parts I had trouble with here were the parts for the upper frame. I suppose on the real thing it was for some kind of canvas cover or something. The parts are very fine and easily broken. Part A1 had a half dozen of those little tiny plastic balls attached to it and I broke one of the parts removing them. In the end, however, I ended up knocking the bed assembly off the workbench and broke the framework. It could not be repaired, so I had to end up leaving it off.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
There are 3 options as far as painting goes. One in Field Gray, one in Dark Yellow and one in Dark Yellow with Khaki Green camo. Not being a big armor builder, I chose the easy way out... all gray. I painted the model MM Panzer Gray. While that may not be the exact color, I couldn't find Field Gray at my LHS.
The engine was painted steel and was installed after the chassis was painted gray. The instructions call for the tracks to be painted Steel, I instead painted them Floquil Grimy Black and did some dry-brushing with steel. The chassis, cab and bed were all painted as assemblies. The assemblies were then glued together and touch up was done. The included painting mask for the windshield is a nice touch. It was at this point that I discovered the MM Panzer Gray in a spray can is not quite the same shade as MM Panzer Gray in the bottle. Live and learn...
Decals are minimal and consist of truck numbers for the front and rear plus a spec decal for the side of the cab. There are no unit decals provided.
As a part-time armor builder, I have to say I did not enjoy this kit. It has great detail and goes together ok, but it just has too many tiny parts and a lot of those could have be molded as a part of a larger whole. A good portion of the detail is lost in building the kit and can't be seen. The Magic Track parts turned me off big time. There are so many and they are so finicky, that it was more like work then a hobby. Plus there is all those darn plastic blobs on everything...
On the other hand the Griffon Models p/e set (even though not made for this particular kit) is a joy to behold. Most of the parts are direct replacements for the kit parts. The parts fit just like they are suppose to and look great. The p/e frets even include bending templates for the various handles.
I have discovered that Voyager Models is releasing some detail sets for this kit. (upgrade set PE 35335 and cargo bay PE 35336) While I have not seen them personally, they look good and should go a long way it making a nice kit even better.
I can say if you are a big armor fan, you will love this kit. It has incredible detail and looks great when done. It was just not my cup 'o tea...
Wikipedia for the history
Some photos off the internet
August 2010 Thanks to
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