Dragon 1/6 Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad
|KIT:||Dragon 1/6 SdKfz.2 Kettenkrad|
|DECALS:||Instruments and plates|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sonderkraftwagen (meaning 'Special Vehicle') or abbreviated as SdKfz 2 kleines Kettenkrad (meaning 'half-track') was developed for the German Army and Luftwaffe airborne units as a light utility tractor (Model HK101) for towing the Pak 35/36 anti-aircraft gun.
The HK101 system was designed for one driver, positioned in a well just between the two tracks and the engine placed squarely behind him. Two passengers could be carried on the removable rear seat port or resupply items could be carried instead.
Upon incurring huge losses on the island of Crete, the Luftwaffe troops now found themselves fighting as a regular army, with little use for their light artillery. Thusly, the Kettenkrad lost its primary role of transporting artillery for the paratroopers and was now instead relegated to be used strictly as a supply tractor.
Towing capacity was limited to 992 lbs, but the little system could navigate mud, rock and sand in areas where larger machines could not. Few Kettenkrads were eventually built, and most were held in reserve for the most difficult of resupply missions.
Eventually, the success of the smaller Kettenkrad brought along the proposal of a larger version known as the Model HK102, which would feature a larger engine and the capability to carry 5 men. Unfortunately, the Kettenkrad system as a whole was deemed an inessential part of the German war machine - a luxury it could do without - and thusly the HK102 never went past the design stage.
Kettenkrads, though produced in low numbers, saw action through the end of the war. Several variants were modified including a cable-laying system operated by a driver and cable signaller. Two of these cable-laying variants existed as the SdKfz 2/1 and the SdKfz 2/2.
There are few kit companies out there that are building models to a scale as this, but Dragon is one of them with this very neat kettenkrad, a vehicle that lends itself perfectly to this scale. I'm also thinking that this is probably just right for their line of large military action figures.
First thing one does when opening the huge box is to note that the parts are compartmentalized to try to prevent breakage. Unfortunately, the box was not strong enough to prevent several of the mounting posts for the side fuel tanks that fit atop the main body part from being snapped off. I'm not sure how that will affect the rest of the build, but I could not find them all so one will just have to see.
I had thought that this would be an incredibly complex kit, but in reality, it appears that there are not that many bits (for most of the vehicle, anyway). The large parts are well formed and for the most part, appear to be quite sturdy. There is a large, one piece engine/transmission so no worries about aligning all sorts of block pieces.
The kit also has a nicely molded rubber or vinyl front tire that is already mounted on the rim. Probably the most complex part of the kit will be assembling the tracks. They won't be difficult, but there are a lot of parts. In fact there are so many large parts that rather than show them all, I photographed some of the major bits and have provided the parts layout to give you an idea of the rest. In case you are wondering, the body itself is over 15 inches in length, so this will not be a small model when done!
Instructions are superbly done in a photo-realistic manner that shows exactly where all the various bits go and what colors they are to be painted. As usual, Gunze and Model Master are the paint of choice. The decals look more like dry transfers or perhaps stickers than anything else. The kit provides transfers for the instruments and for the license plates. All the kettenkrads I've seen have been in a panzer yellow base color, sometimes with brown and green splotches.
This is really an impressive model, especially for those who like things big. However, it is not so huge as to overwhelm the rest of your model collection (as would a 1/16 scale tank) and is bound to be a conversation piece.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your local hobby shop or ask them to order one for you.
November 2007 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