Cyber-Hobby 1/35 Sd.Kfz 3a Maultier Half track w 3.7cm Flak 37

KIT #: 6768
PRICE: $69.00 SRP
MARKINGS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  

HISTORY

During 1941 Germans troops discovered that their wheeled transport vehicles were unsuitable for the muddy "Rasputitsa" conditions that marked the beginning and end of the Russian winter. Only halftracks were able to operate in these conditions, but removing them from their operational purposes for supply duties would have been unworkable. Instead, Germany began to build half-tracked versions of their Opel, Daimler-Benz and Ford trucks by removing their rear axles and placing new driveshafts connected to Panzer I track assemblies with Carden Lloyd type suspension assemblies. The Panzer I was out of production at this point, and existing track parts could be used for cost effective conversion of the trucks. The Carden Lloyd suspension was similar to that used by the Universal and Bren-gun carriers.

Most conversions were to Opel trucks, which proved successful in service - although they lacked the overall mobility of purpose-built halftracks. From 1943 the Germans equipped some Maultier trucks with armored bodies, designated SdKfz 4. Some of these were armed with 10 tubed rocket launcher Panzerwerfer 42, and were designated SdKfz. 4/1. Others were armed with 3.7 cm FlaK 27 guns as part of the Army's mobile A-A force, something that became more and more important as the war turned against Germany.

THE KIT

Not that long ago, Dragon released a very nice Opel Blitz truck kit. It is no real surprise that it would be the basis for this equally nice Maultier kit. Like that kit, it has full engine detail and so you will find many of the same sprues as with the earlier one. This time, the rear suspension details are very different as it includes the Panzer I running gear.

As with the earlier kit, the hood can be posed open as can the cab doors. This one has a new bed with separate side panels. Magic Tracks individual track links are included for the rear running gear. The kit also comes with a full set of window masks to help ease the job of painting. Add to it the very nicely molded 3.7cm PaK 37 and you have a pretty full box. A neat feature is the armored windscreen and a strap across the roof of the cab to protect it against gun blasts. The full load of features from the Cyber-Hobby  PR folks is listed below.

  • Newly designed photo-etched parts
  • Intricate fuel tank mounted on newly produced chassis
  • Intricate seat reproduced
  • Fully detailed chassis produced in separate parts
  • Engine delicately represented
  • Sprockets and idler wheels rendered w/accurate detail
  • Realistic road wheels assembled from separate parts
  • Realistic engine hood formed from multiple parts w/louver detail
  • Detailed radiator cover w/filler cap
  • Accurately shaped front fenders
  • Slide-molded engine hood frame
  • Cargo doors can be assembled open/closed
  • Delicately detailed cargo compartment
  • Delicate sides and tailgate w/great detail
  • Realistic engine hood covers can be assembled open/closed
  • 3.7cm Flak 37 realistically presented
  • Gun sight and hand wheels w/well-defined detail
  • Gun cradle offers great detail definition
  • Option for opened or folded gun shield
  • Gun shield w/bolt detail to scale thickness
  • Travel lock realistically presented
  • Triangular base-plate gun platform authentically detailed
  • 3.7cm ammunition included
  • Detailed dashboard and driverís compartment
  • Intricate driverís seat w/realistic cloth pattern
  • Driverís door can be assembled open/closed
  • Finely detailed vehicle tools
  • Includes clear lenses for headlamps and spotlights
  • Delicate wheels w/authentic tire tread pattern
  • Magic Tracks produced
I really like that this kit comes with a send of masks for the windows. I wish more companies included these as it definitely helps to speed up painting. Apparently not a ton of these were built as the camouflage scheme is for a single unknown unit vehicle on the Russian Front in 1942. This is what is shown on the box art. The kit does come with a set of generic plates and a goodly selection of numbers for you to use.
 
CONCLUSIONS

I am sure that we will see other specialty vehicle built on this chassis. The Maultier is a favorite subject of builders and this one is sure to make into a very impressive model.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org

My thanks to www.dragonmodelusa.com for the review kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or ask them to order it in for you.

January 2013

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