Dragon 1/35 SdKfz 7/1 w 2cm Flakvierling 38
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Development of the SdKfz 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 150mm howitzer. The vehicle could carry gun crews of up to 12 men in theatre-type seats. The rear of the vehicle was an enclosed compartment for storage of ammunition. The tractor could tow loads up to 8,000 kg (17,600 lb) in weight. Most were fitted with a winch.
The use of half-tracked prime movers for artillery was common in the German forces but not elsewhere. Compared to wheeled vehicles, half-tracks are more difficult to maintain and slower on roads. However, they may have superior off-road mobility.
Some Sdkfz-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.
Often mounted on this chassis was a quad-mounted 2 cm Flak 38 AA guns with collapsing seats, folding handles, and ammunition racks. The tracker traversed and elevated the mount manually using two hand wheels. The gun was fired by a set of two foot pedals—each of which fired two diametrically opposite Flak 38s—and could be operated either automatically or semi-automatically. When raised, the weapon measured 307 cm (10 feet 1 inch) high.
Each of the four mounted guns fired from a 20-round magazine at a maximum combined rate of fire of 1,400 rounds per minute (reduced to 800 rounds per minute for combat use). The guns could be fired in pairs (diagonally opposite) or simultaneously, in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. Its effective vertical range was 2200 meters. It was also used just as effectively against ground targets as it was against low-flying aircraft.
As you can see, the 580 plus parts will make up into a most impressive and detailed kit. Dragon's molding is top rate with many of the parts executed with Dragon's slide molding technology. The DS tires are particularly well done and without that seam that is frequently seen down the centerline of the tread. Having the tires separate from the wheels makes for easier painting as well. I hope that Dragon continues this sort of technology into other wheeled vehicles.
Instructions are well done and get rather complex towards the end of the build. As this is not a curbside, you have to pay particular attention to what goes where when assembling this one. There are a lot of small detail drawings to help out along the way. Markings are for four vehicles. All have a base of Panzer Grey with all but the first one having a scribble pattern of Panzer Yellow over the vehicle and gun. All are from units in Russia during 1942/43 with only the overall Panzer Grey one, from 24 PzDiv at Stalingrad, being identified. The decal sheet provides mostly license plates with a wide variety of numbers and letters so you can make your own.
Another beauty from Dragon. The Local Hobby Shop (LHS) sold out of these almost as soon as they came in and it seems that is the case with many places so if you want one, you need to get it soon.
June 2009 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page