login   |    register
Dragon Models [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
135
Sd.Kfz. 7/2 Flak 37 Armor Cab
Sd.Kfz 7/2 3.7cm Flak 37 w/Armor Cab (2-in-1 & Smart Kit)
  • move

by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

First Impressions

This kit of some 580 pieces is not going to be for the meek. And with individual magic-trac links for the vehicles tracks this figure may actually be much higher. At least to me there looks to be more than 500 sprue-pieces alone in the box. However I am not going to count them all, suffice to say this kit is going to be a decent mid to long-term project for most builders.

This kit obviously shares sprues with the recent Sd.Kfz 7 and 7/1 variant that was just released. I believe we should have a full review of the 7/1 posted soon so keep an eye out for that one as well as it will likely have some useful insights on the parts this kit shares.

The Kit

There are 8 primary sprue sets for this kit. All unused pieces are marked in blue on the instruction set making it easy to see which items can be set aside. The obvious differences of this kit vs. the standard Sd.Kfz. 7 are the armored cab components and the Flak 37 gun and rear deck. While a crew is not included in this kit it would certainly be a nice addition as a separate figure kit. The kit does include a full engine and engine compartment detail however. The diorama possibilities are certainly intriguing with this kit and Ron Volstad's box art depicting the crew firing on Allied gliders on (assuming) D-day would in itself make a great scene. Who's up for scratch building a glider?

The chassis is a nice one-piece unit that will save the builder a lot of time and effort. The rear track assembly looks to be proper and includes excellently molded components. The detail on these Smart-Kits is certainly consistent and well done. There is little I could find in terms of mold quality to criticize on this kit.

The 3.7cm gun has a one-piece plastic barrel and the flash suppressor, which comes on it's own sprue in a nice little bag of it's own, is they typical advanced slide-mold quality we have come to expect from Dragon. The gun body itself has some truly amazing details including grab handles molded right into the main side frames. The instructions detail how to build the gun in either a combat position or in travel mode.

The rear deck has three sides which can be dropped down for combat or locked upright for transport. The grating for the rear deck sides is either a brass photo-etch in a typical screen pattern or wooden sides. This in effect is what makes the kit a 2-in-1 build. You can either build the kit as a 'Museum/Mesh-type' version or a 'Wooden' version. Step plates are also provided in brass P/E as well as some other details. There is a rack for weapons on the rear deck and the kit includes two K98 rifles which are high-detail Gen2 items I believe.

The instructions are well laid out and obviously a lot of time has been taken trying to make them correct for an international multi-lingual audience. I have seen a lot of critical comments about Dragon (or other makers) instructions in the past and I have to say I don't get it. What some people seem to want is a 300 page book on how to build a 500 piece kit. It's not going to happen folks unless we want to pay about 3 times as much as we do now for a kit. While confusion about where parts go is bound to occur I would go as far to say these are some of the best instructions I have seen from any manufacturer for such a complex kit. They include 6 different paint and camo schemes ranging from an unidentified Luftwaffe Flak unit (Germany 1945), Russia 1944, Greece 1943, a Herman Gorring division unit in Rome 1944, another Italy 1943 and finally an Eastern Front 1943 scheme. There are 11 pages of instructions in all.

The decals that are included are pictured below and allow for a wide range of vehicle ID numbers. The clear sprue items are nicely done as well (although I did note a spider line in the windshield which is thankfully not used in this kit). There are 3 tires in soft beige vinyl which have very good detail and tread characteristics as well.

Conclusions

I won't try to make any grand claims about this kit as I am no subject matter expert on the Sd.Kfz 7, however I think Dragon has produced another winner here and this kit is certainly a worthy challenge to any modeler who wants to build a highly detailed kit without the need for a lot of after-market parts and pieces. With the addition of a crew this will make for some great builds and dioramas and I certainly look forward to seeing what the modeling community at-large is going to think about these new Sd.Kfz 7's.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent mold quality and detailing. Magic Track inclusion. A beautiful 3.7cm gun.
Lows: Some confusion on 2-in-1 versioning with instructions. Lack of driver figure.
Verdict: Overall this is a great kit and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality high-detail kit.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6542
  Suggested Retail: $59.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 07, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  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.
View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright 2017 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. 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.


Reader Reviews
Do you own this item and want to review it? You can add your review of the item here. Please read the reader review instructions before posting.


Comments

I think the issue with Dragon's instructions is the occasionally large number of mistakes, and with their photo versions, the imprecision of where to place some small details. I am currently finishing up their BF110C in 1/32nd, and despite TWO sets of errata, I nearly #$%@ed up some of the small panels in the engine nacelles because the instructions weren't clear. I am happy to see reviewers point out the inaccuracies of kits no matter how small or seemingly trivial, since most of them are inaccurate in some way. Short of taking a casting of every part and then reducing it with computer technology, some of these kits look to be approximations of reality. Some manufacturers do a better job. So at the end of the day, we have to weigh the things that matter and decide if a particular kit meets our needs. I just ordered the Revell of Germany Type VII U-boat in 1/72nd scale. The kit cost me $50 and I'll need to spend $100 in PE upgrades, scratch-build a pressure hull, add rivet detail and order paints from the UK. But it looks like it will turn into an awesome model and I can't wait to immerse myself in it. As an Armorama reviewer, I think it should be up to the consumer to make up his or her own mind about a kit, rathr than for us as reviewers to say "this is a piece of #$@% and you shouldn't buy it."
JUN 15, 2009 - 05:05 PM
In my view the opposite is equally true. I also believe that there's a lot of negativity thrown around about things being off by 1 or 2 mm as if it doesn't matter at all to anyone with half a brain or any sense of "fun". It's almost "anti-intellectual" in its tone and approach by labelling it with a sinister purpose as if there's a gang of people out there intent on draining all possible enjoyment out of the hobby by means of a set of calipers. Are there those who don't care? Sure...but the difference of 1mm can make a huge difference depending on where it's at. Take for example in diameter...a 1mm difference is very pronounced. A 1mm gap in parts fit is also huge. A rivet being 1mm too far to the left or right, probably not so much. I would still rather know that going in than discover it on my own. Given the $$$ that kits are commanding these days, those kinds of accuracy issues or A quality but not THE quality IMHO.
JUN 15, 2009 - 08:00 PM
Bill, I assume you're using my argument as something of a straw man for your point, since I in no way am implying that we shouldn't be focused on accuracy. That's not at all what I meant, and I want that to be very clear. As it happens in this particular instance, there is a discrepancy in the historical record about the length of the Sd.Kfz.7 chassis (and in the case of the variants, the rear bed). Depending on whether you believe Spielberger or Panzer Tracts, the Trumpeter and DML kits are BOTH right, though differeing by 3mm. The real inaccuracy issues for the Trumpeter kit are the ammo hoppers, not the chassis length IMO. But in the interest of balance, DML's rear deck railings are 1mm too short in height, and the gunsight is not provided. The PMMS comparison review I cited is quite exhaustive on the various shortcomings of the two kits. What I do feel about reviewing is that I want to make up my own mind about a kit, not be told "you shouldn't buy this." There are ways to present damning information without shoving it down the reader's throat. And I'm not at all implying that's what you meant. I want the same information about a kit's problems as its successes so I can make up my own mind. I can cite instances of kits I would purchase or have purchased knowing their shortcomings, but I won't bore you with the details. The best reviews, to me, are the ones that present the facts about the kit, are even-handed and show the reviewer to have knowledge about the topic, and which are honest about the value for money. I happen to think you, Bill, are one of the better reviewers here because you bring all those qualities to your reviews. Yet you never, to my recollection, have said "you shouldn't buy this kit," even here.
JUN 16, 2009 - 10:33 AM
Up until the 'revival' of the Sd.Kfz 7 as the subject for a modern kit, I was reasonably enthusiastic. Now, unfortunately, the Sd.Kfz 7 seems to be the most controversial subject ever kitted. News of one variant gets posted - we're 'shilling'. A review gets posted and all (virtual) hell seems to be let loose. For the most casual of observers, the 15th Century's most pressing theological question concerned Angels dancing on the heads (or points) of needles (or pins), pales mightily in comparison to this: A (disputable) length difference of between .05 and (depending on how you read it) 3mm? Am I missing some subtle point here? JimS wrote a Review. You can choose to like it, dislike it, have it printed on a T-Shirt or print it out and burn it over a magic fire. To suddenly see this as a challenge to the Natural Order (as some seem to be saying) is, i'm afraid, tilting at windmills. Please can we (try to) maintain something approaching a sense of perspective? Life's REALLY too short...
JUN 16, 2009 - 10:34 AM
Dear all, I have no intention to join in the lengthy discussions on the content of the review or the 1 mm / 3 mm discrepancies. But I happened to see more and more arguments and disagreements under different topics in the forum. Comments are getting more and more non-constructive and sometime abusive against each other. THIS IS WRONG. Some level of mutual respect should prevail. p.s. - I happened to have both kits in front of me and have the opportunity to "compare" the parts in detail. All I can say is that they are both excellent kits with different areas of "long-and-short comings". Bill Cross's comment is very close to what I see in front of me. Paul
JUN 16, 2009 - 11:01 AM
There IS and it clearly DOES. There's no real unpleasantness in this Thread that I can see...
JUN 16, 2009 - 11:12 AM
No misunderstanding on my part Bill. You and I are on the same page in that regard. Even the published sources often held in high regard can disagree with each other. I understood the point here and agree that it may be an issue with the conflicting sources used and not necessarily a deliberate error on the part of the manufacturer. 100% total agreement here as well.
JUN 16, 2009 - 11:24 AM
Just got this kit and after going back to your review Jim. Thanks for posting such a helpful piece which I found invaluable.This is a wonderful kit which deserves a serious and considered approach....it's probably not for the faint hearted though!
JUN 21, 2015 - 03:46 AM
I like this kit.
JUN 21, 2015 - 05:43 AM
Tip: Just hit enter to submit your reply!
   
What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move