Cyber Hobby 1/35 SdKfz 234/3 with 2 cm Schwebelafette
|KIT:||Cyber Hobby 1/35 SdKfz 234/3 with 2 cmSchwebelafette|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Limited production kit with etched brass frets|
The heavy Panzerspähwagen were a large and ungainly but a very fast addition to the German mobile arsenal of the early war years. The original 6-rad (6 wheels) versions were based on a 6x4 truck with armoured body, but by 1937 they were being replaced by the 8-rad versions. During the replacement, the Sd.Kfz numbers were carried directly over; differentiation is made by the addition of 6-Rad or 8-Rad (Ger: "6 wheel" or "8 wheel") in the vehicle name.
These vehicles first saw combat with the campaign against Poland and in the Battle of France. The radio communication cars proved their ability in infantry support, especially during street fighting. Later they saw use in both Russia and North Africa. Extreme climatic conditions in both these areas proved too severe for the vehicle. In Russia, adverse ground conditions immobilized 150 Sd.Kfz 232s during the first wet season of the campaign. In the desert, heat and sand created serious maintenance problems. Still, the eight-wheeled cars turned out to be the best vehicles that Rommel had for long raids in across the wide desert territory.
All Sd.Kfz. 232 were armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon. This cannon was based on the 2 cm FlaK 30 Anti-Aircraft gun, and was capable of firing at a rate of 280 rounds per minute, a very high rate for any armoured vehicle.
The 2 cm cannon proved to be ineffective against many Allied tanks, and experiments were made towards replacing it with a heavier gun which resulted in the Sd Kfz. 234 Puma. Great success was also achieved by replacing the regular armour-piercing explosive ammunition with an early version of APDS, but this ammunition was in chronically short supply.
The Sd.Kfz 234/3, and subject of this kit, was like the Sd.Kfz. 233, and carried the short 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun, in a raised open superstructure. However, that gun was not always available and late in the war there were several of these vehicles that were outfitted with the smaller 20mm cannon.
As many of you know, Cyber Hobby is a part of Dragon, but concentrates on some of the more unusual vehicles, such as this one. These kits are a one time release and have proven quite popular with armor modelers. Most of this kit is the same as what you'd get with the standard Sd.Kfz 234/3, but with the addition of the sprues for the 20mm cannon and its mount. As you can see from the parts layout scan, there are some parts not used, but most are.
Dragon is rightly proud of its slide molding technology and that has been put to good use with the main chassis section and with the Flak 38 gun tat comes with it. The gun position it superbly detailed and one can easily elevate and rotate the main gun. Other new items are a newly tooled fighting compartment, etched armor plating, slide molded ammo magazines, a superbly detailed suspension and, as it is an open vehicle, you get a well detailed fighting compartment.
This is not a model for the 'build in a weekend' group. The detail level is such that rapid construction just is not possible. The suspension itself is enough to keep a modeler busy for quite a while, thanks to a large box crammed with sprues. Yet it is the accuracy of the kits that draw people to buy Dragon/Cyber Hobby products and this one is no exception. You have the ability to mold the view ports open or closed. Brass road guides are included and one can model the engine cooling blinds open or closed as one would wish.
Instructions are quite comprehensive, offering superbly drawn construction steps with detail drawings to be sure you get things right. A set of insignia and instrument faces for the dash are on the small decal sheet. As this was not exactly a mass produced variant, just the box art option is provided, this being assigned to the 20th Panzer division in Czechoslovakia in 1945.
Another superlative kit of an interesting and rarely modeled vehicle from CyberHobby. This one is bound to do well with enthusiasts and will provide hours of modeling pleasure.
My thanks to the fine folks at www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. This is now available at your local hobby shop or have them order one in for you.
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