Dragon 1/35 SdKfz 234/3
| KIT #: || 6786 |
| PRICE: || $65.50 SRP) |
| DECALS: || Two options |
| REVIEWER: || Scott Van Aken |
| NOTES: || Premium edition |
Germany created a number of successful schwerer Panzerspahwagen (“heavy armored reconnaissance vehicles”). An important family of vehicles in this class was the Sd.Kfz.234, which carried on where the older Sd.Kfz.231 8-Rad (“eight-wheel”) design left off. Design work commenced in August 1940 and the Sd.Kfz.234 had four distinct variants, the third of which was the Sd.Kfz.234/3. This 6m-long reconnaissance vehicle boasted a 7.5cm KwK51 gun of L/24 caliber installed in the open-topped fighting compartment. Only 88 vehicles were produced by Büssing-NAG between June and December 1944, and they were employed in armored reconnaissance companies on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.
Dragon's new Sd.Kfz.234/3 has been upgraded as a Premium Edition kit. Brand new are the side fenders with integral storage bins. These bins have photo-etched covers that can be modeled open should the modeler choose to do so, which gives more versatility. The 7.5cm KwK51 gun is accurately rendered, which is just as well since all its details are visible in the open-topped fighting compartment. The drive-shafts and tie rods are constructed in such a way as to allow all eight wheels to be angled, just like on the original vehicle.
Comprising over 550 parts, Dragon has put a lot of detail into this vehicle. The suspension system alone will take a considerable amount of time to assemble and each of the eight wheels contains its own brake line cast in hard metal. While the kit comes with three identical spures containing tire halves for all nine wheels, there is another sprue that has several wheels made sections. Not sure why these other tires are included, but at least you have some options for some of the tires.
Other options are to have the engine deck cooling vanes open or closed. You can also mold the view ports open or closed. The machine gun can be planed either in with the main gun or separately on a mount to the aft of the fighting compartment. Photo etch is used for all the hull compartment doors as well as for the Jerry cans and for various attachments over the outside of the hull. The main gun itself is very nicely done with full breech detail.
Instructions are the usual Dragon fare and are very busy so one should cross off what has been done to help keep things straight. Markings options are for three similarly painted vehicles. One is with 226. Auflarungs Abt, 116 Pz Div in 1944. Also from 1944 is a vehicle from an unknown unit. The third is from Div. Ulrich von Hutten at the end of the war. The decal sheet contains insignia, unit markings and blank plates with a series of number to attach to it.
If you are a modeler that likes wheeled military vehicles, then this is one you should add to your collection.
DragonUSA web site
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