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In-Box Review
135
3.7cm FlaK 43 aus S.Kfz. 7/2
German 3.7cm FlaK 43 aus S.Kfz. 7/2
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by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The German armed forces used a large number of halftracks, and as the war progressed, these were constantly developed into different variants as the demand for more mobile weapons increased. The Sd.Kfz. 7 was in production from 1938 to 1944, and was designed as an artillery tractor for the 88mm FlaK gun and the FH 18 150mm field howitzer. It was later mounted with the 20mm Flak “Vierling” (7/1) and with the 37mm FlaK (7/2) for close protection against low flying aircrafts. They also proved to be quite effective against ground targets as well. These vehicles were produced both with and without the armored cab, and were used on all fronts by both the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. Around 123 Sd.Kfz. 7/2 were ever produced.

Kit contents

The kit comes in the usual Dragon Models size box, with a nice box art from Ron Volstad. The sprues are molded in light grey styrene, which are sealed in clear plastic bags. The kit contains over 550 parts, which come as follows:
  • 11 sprues molded styrene2 small sprues molded in clear styrene
  • 1 slide molded chassis frame
  • 1 set of Magic Tracks
  • 3 tires in DS Plastic
  • 4 frets of PE
  • 1 small decal sheet (license plates only)
  • 1 instruction booklet

The review

Dragon Models has released this kit as a Smart Kit, which mean that there’s not too many small detail parts to glue, but still features plenty of crisp molded on detail to make a great model. As usual there’s a bunch of reused sprues in this kit. Apart from some parts from their “Ostwind” kit, Dragon Models provides us with almost two complete front ends of the Sd.Kfz. 7 for the spare box.

Undercarriage
As on a real life truck or halftrack everything is based on the large undercarriage frame, which supports the entire vehicle. Dragon Models has done a beatify job providing us with a very detailed slide molded part. The only thing I think is missing, is some weld lines around the larger parts of the frame work, but when the kit is assembled, not much of that can be seen anyway.
The build is pretty much straight forward, with a couple of sub-assemblies for the exhaust and steering system.

Engine, transmission, etc.
The engine looks very nice; especially the cooling fan and the exhaust manifold are well detailed. If one would like to leave the engine room open, some wiring would be needed, but it’s a great little piece, with lots of detail. The transmission isn’t that much of a show piece, but most of it will not be visible when the kit is assembled.

The winch is a great part, with nice looking details, but Dragon Models has not provided the wire for this. I suggest one uses a length of nylon string or such, because the wire will be visible after assembly, and it will show off as a nice detail.

The rear plate is a very busy place, with no less than 12 parts to be glued on. Do remember to let the end of the wire come out at the right place. You have to drill a hole for it yourself.

Wheels and tracks
The front wheels and the spare wheel comes with Dragon Models own DS tires. These tires require no clean up what so ever, and look absolutely perfect. They can be painted before assembling the wheel, which can make painting of the wheels a bit easier.

Drive sprockets and road wheels are well detailed, with lots of tiny bolts and such, and the assembly of these shouldn’t cause any problems.

Dragon Models provide us with a set of Magic Tracks, which I personally really love. Thank you Dragon Models. These tracks are basically the same as the ones used on the Sd.Kfz. 251 series, only bigger, so they won’t be that fiddly to assemble, and if you’re very careful when gluing, they can be made workable!

Front end and armored cab
The front end is built up around the fender part, where the radiator piece is the most beautiful one. It has some very fine and easy to break molded bars, and even a tiny, but very clear “Krauss-Maffai” sign molded on the top of the part. Great detail. The Notek light can be positioned in two locations.
There’s two options of frontal armor plating.
The armored cab has some very nice rivet detail, and all the doors and hatches can be built either open or closed. Dragon Models provides us with a very detailed dashboard, but no decals! Decals would have been nice to have, since the instruments are clearly visible, when the cab doors and hatches are left open. The firewall is well detailed with a horn, some sort of liquid container and some wiring.

Gun platform
Dragon Models gives you two different options for the gun platform; one with mesh wire sides, and one with sides in wood. For the mesh type, Dragon Models provide us with some really nice PE mesh, which adds to the reality in the build.

The wooden version looks just like the ordinary cargo version, and come with some well tooled wooden sides, which holds no sink or punch marks at all.

Both versions can be made in combat mode or travel mode.

The Flak gun
This is by far the most challenging part of the build. It contains a lot of very small parts and the instructions can be a bit confusing. The gun sight itself contains of 5 parts, and that’s without the mounting!

The barrel is excellent cast, and has a hollow flame suppressor. Personally I might go for an AM barrel, but that’s only because I tend to screw up the thing, when removing the weld seem.

One of the most tedious parts in this build have to be the spend shell cage. It come in very small and thin styrene parts, which have to be “rapped” in pieces of PE mesh, and has to be able to fit the gun afterwards. Not an easy task, and there will be a lot of swearing during this stage, trust me, I’ve been there!

The gun shields are provided in PE, which again adds to realism, but also demands certain building skills.

Be careful to choose the right configuration during this stage, since the gun also has a combat mode and travel mode.

Dragon Models provides us with 4 clips of 37mm ammo and two ammunition boxes.

Painting and markings
Dragon Models gives us painting guides for two different vehicles; one in three tone camouflage colors, and one in plain dark yellow. They are both from an unidentified unit in Germany 1945, which really gives us nothing at all. It really can’t be that hard to find units for this vehicle.

Conclusion

This kit builds into a fine model of the 3.7cm FlaK 43 aus Sd.Kfz. 7/2, with a lot of great details and options. Dragon Models has gone far in giving us a whole lot of nice PE, especially the gun shield parts, but this might make the kit too difficult for beginners. Compared with the old Tamiya kit, this is far superior in every aspect, especially the running gear and the cab interior. AND it’s got Magic Track;)

SUMMARY
Highs: Lots of fine bolt and rivet deails. 3 frets of PE and Magic Tracks.
Lows: The lack of decal details for the dash board, and no identified versiones in the painting guide.
Verdict: A really nice kit all round. Maybe not a kit for beginners, due to the ammount of PE.
Percentage Rating
89%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6553
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 07, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.11%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse (Hederstierna)
FROM: NORDJYLLAND, DENMARK

Copyright ©2017 text by Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ HEDERSTIERNA ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Does Dragon Model fix PE part on hard paper card for this kit? I noiced there is one PE mesh is bended.
JUN 07, 2014 - 11:14 PM
Tao: No cardboard base in my sample, all 4 PE frets came i plastic bags. Steve: There is a bench for the crew behind the armored cab, but it's actually very hard to see, how its's going to be attached. My best guess is, that it has to be fitted into a small hole on each inner side of the armored sides. Hope this help you out. Jacob
JUN 08, 2014 - 09:42 AM
i got this kit, its wicked.
JUN 08, 2014 - 09:20 PM
While I have little say as to the actual content of Dragon kits,I am often asked to suggest paint schemes and markings for the vehicles for which I provide the box art. My resources are not insubstantial yet I still find myself spending dozens of hours to come up with authentic and accurate information and often fail entirely. It may seem that there are an abundance of photos of a subject until one actually begins to do such a search. Seldom is the unit identified and even when it is, it is frequently incorrect. Markings are commonly obscured, incomplete or absent altogether. typically there is only a view from one side. And still, more times than is comfortable, an "expert" on any particular will step forward (only after a kit is released) with just what was being searched for. Regrettably product confidentiality prevents an open forum request for info. Perhaps some researchers are lazy when it comes to sourcing markings but it isn't this fellow. But until someone publishes that book on the "Color Schemes and Markings of Every military Vehicle Ever Produced", it will be thus. FWIW, Ron Volstad
JUN 09, 2014 - 12:44 AM
Are the wheels turnable (left/right that is)? I have the sd.kfz.10 and was a bit bummed out to see the wheels can't be posed on that one
JUN 09, 2014 - 03:52 AM
In picture 29, of the track segment...are those not sink marks present??
JUN 09, 2014 - 06:04 AM
Hi, Ron, we appreciate the efforts you put into your craft. It's unfortunate that late war German vehicle photos are often lacking (hard to understand how soldiers would place more emphasis on self-preservation than taking snaps of their halftracks). We're in an age when modelers want to be very accurate, and it's frustrating to have so many great marking options in both waterslide and dry transfer decals, yet so little information on the vehicles released in kit form. It would, of course, be helpful when an expert steps forward _ex post release_ and perhaps let us know about his/her contributions. Just a thought, and nothing meant to take away from your fine work.
JUN 09, 2014 - 10:16 AM
You are right vettejack , it will have to be filled in . Hope there's not too many of them .
JUN 09, 2014 - 02:54 PM
Ron, your ace!
JUN 10, 2014 - 06:47 AM
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