Dragon 1/35 SdKfz7/2 3.7cm Flak with Armored Cab
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sd.Kfz. 7 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 7) was a half-track military vehicle used by the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS during the Second World War.
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 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 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.
In Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, UK there was (1975) a reference to a copy of the half-track made by Vauxhall for evaluation purposes.
The SdKfz 7/2 and subject of this kit, was a variant armed with a 3.7 cm FlaK 37 L/98 gun.
This is another of Dragon's Smart Kits and has a mere 580+ parts, a number of those bits thanks to the Magic Track individual links and the fact that this is not a curbside, so you have a full engine, transmission and chassis to help increase the parts count even more. But you know, that is why people buy Dragon kits in the first place. They know they will be getting the best detail available for the subject. So let me pass on the list of features from the Dragon press release:
- Side frames can be folded down for better crew access
- Gun can traverse 360 degrees
- Two variations of cab armor plates provided
- Two different side frames: mesh and wooden provided
- Front armor plates newly produced
- Sharply reproduced on-vehicle tools
- Front window armor w/photo-etched can be assembled open or closed
- Driver's and radio operator's hatches w/interior detail can be assembled open or closed
- Brand new mounted 3.7cm Flak 37 cannon
- 5-way slide-molded one piece gun barrel w/hollow muzzle
- Two options of flat bed available
- Both variations: the one-piece bended or overhang cab armor plates provided for customization
- Cannon can be freely posed at different angles
- Gun shield realistically rendered w/fine detail
- Triangular base-plate gun platform authentically detailed
- Intricately detailed internal mechanical components: engine, gearbox, fuel tank, compressed-air tank, suspension, exhaust and winch
- 6-cylinder engine represented by multiple parts
- Delicate engine housing
- Finely detailed sub-frame made by slide molds w/muffler and exhaust-pipe assembly
- Slide molds enable one-piece chassis frame w/support-brace detail
- Detailed gearbox has multipart assembly
- Brake drums have detail on both sides
- Winch assembly w/rope, tow hook and actuator realistically reproduced
- Detailed winch spool has bolt and rib detail
- Rear crossbeam w/roller and trailer coupling depicted like the real one
- Rear doors can left up or folded down
- Fully detailed steering mechanism
- Suspension system as per the real vehicle: slide-molded suspension arms and springs w/delicate detail
- Includes clear lenses for headlamps and spotlight
- Front tow hook details courtesy of slide molds
- Refined bolt detail on front fenders
- Photo-etched mount w/bolt detail for Notek light
- New accurately shaped front fenders made from 2-directional slide mold
- Different road wheels rendered w/delicate detail on both sides
- Front wheels w/authentic tread detail made from DS
- Photo-etched flange around sprocket wheel center
- Sprocket w/realistic ribbed detail
- Final-drive housing made from separate parts with bolt and rib detail
- Brand new Magic Tracks for German half-track
- Track links have reinforcing structure
As you guessed, the 2 in 1 label means you can do either mesh or wooden sides to the bed. This is clearly called out in the instructions and you do need to make up your mind as to which you will be doing by the time you get to step 15 of 21. You also need to decide if you'll model the vehicle in the travel or combat mode, but you can make that decision at the very end. There is also a 'museum' option which seems to differ only in the rear plate bracket shape. There are six markings options provided that are either overall, panzer yellow, winter white-wash or with various large green/brown areas on the camo. All but one is listed as 'unidentified unit' and it ranges from Germany, to Russia, to Italy, and to Greece.
So here is yet another cool vehicle that combines a neat half-track with a medium calibre Flak gun. Like other Dragon kits, it should sell well so get yours while the getting is good.
July 2009 My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer. 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
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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