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In-Box Review
135
Dragon Sd.Kfz. 10/5
Sd.Kfz.10/5 w/Armored cab für 2cm FlaK38
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The Sd.Kfz. 10 1 Ton halftrack was first developed by the Demag firm in 1934 to tow the 3.7cm PAK, the 2cm FlaK gun, and several other loads, including trailers and light infantry artillery. But just as the 3.7cm proved inadequate against most modern tanks, the Sd.Kfz. 10 was deemed by Hitler to be too weak to justify its continued production as a towing platform. So it was subsequently modified to carry a variety of load (including chemical decontamination tanks), usually the 2cm FlaK 30 and later, the FlaK 38 (an improved version of the 30).

Designated first the Sd.Kfz 10/4 and later the 10/5, the vehicle employed a relatively unique hull system instead of a frame. A wide range of manufacturers handled production of the 17,500 that were built by 1945 (including most French car & truck companies), yet the vehicle has become known as the Demag, primarily due to a series of kits released by Italeri. Now Dragon has released a new version of the 10/5 sporting a FlaK 38 from the company’s stable of workhorse kits, and it promises to make the old Italeris surviving on the Internet as outmoded as the old Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 7s.

what you get

The usual fine DML box with a quality illustration on the top from Ron Volstad contains:

12 sprues of gray styrene
1 hull tub
1 sprue of clear styrene windshields and headlight lenses
1 sheet of masks for the windshields
1 pack of Magic Tracks
1 black plastic tub with two PE halves for the ammunition basket
2 frets of PE with mesh and other enhancements to the detailing
10-page “accordion”-style instruction sheet

the review

The inevitable comparison with this kit is the line of Italeri DEMAGs that live on in several versions, including the Sd.Kfz.10/7 armored cab variant and one sporting a 3.7cm PAK AT gun. There’s really no comparison.

The older kit is the product of a simpler time, whereas Dragon is bringing its usual quality and detailing to this workhorse of the Luftwaffe field units, the regular army and the Waffen SS. The molding is Dragon’s usual excellent standard with almost no flash. Seams are minimal, though be careful as always with the small, but obvious knock-out holes on the tiny Magic Tracks track shoes. The quality molding makes even the flash suppressor of the FlaK 38 very nice, though I will replace the barrel with an aluminum one.

Another fine feature is the "slice of tread" tires: thin slices are glued together to form a very realistic tread pattern. For those who want the ne plus ultra in detailing, Quickwheel/Bitskrieg have released three variants for the road wheels reviewed here, here and here.

There is a pleasing, but not overwhelming selection of PE, including a “DEMAG” radiator plate (though interestingly, the cover art shows a diamond-shaped Büssing-NAG radiator logo). It would’ve been nice if Dragon had included other options, since Demag was hardly the only manufacturer, but I didn’t take any points off for that. Modelers who prefer plastic over brass will find most of the PE items have styrene alternatives, though without the crispness and detail.

Unlike the rather simplified rendering in the much-older Italeri kit, Dragon has done its usual excellent job in bringing the complexity of this vehicle to life. The engine is included, and detailing on the gun and mount are very fine indeed. This kit should make a fine OOB build. The engine has the usual simplifications, including what looks to be no steering column extension into the engine bay, but I won't be able to ascertain that for sure until assembly. It will be interesting to see if Voyager or one of the other AM PE suppliers releases an upgrade. If you are comfortable scratch-building some wiring, the results should be quite pleasing.

The one area where mainstream kit manufacturers continue to fall down is in rendering the “mesh” sides of German halftracks. The sides fold down when the gun is deployed to provide the crew with more room, but they are not made of mesh, rather a form of lattice screen closer to a modern Stryker’s slat armor. Obviously it would be a nightmare to render this in styrene, and doing so in photo etch is both costly and only for advanced modelers (see my review here. The other alternative is the laser-cut paper lattice work from Kamizukuri, but they do not have any plans to release a set for this vehicle, and the earthquake in Japan may set manufacturers there back a ways.

Another detracting oversight is the absence of any trailer. These guns needed something to carry their ammunition, and the Sd.Kfz. 10/5 usually pulled the Sd.Ah. 51 single axle trailer (Sonderanhänger or “special trailer”). My spares box has several Sd.Ah. 51s, so it won’t be a problem replacing, but I think Dragon needs to start adding trailers to its anti-aircraft halftracks.

the instructions

The kit is assembled via the usual DML exploded-view instructions. They are relatively-detailed, which would be expected from a vehicle of this complexity.

painting & decals

The decals are printed by Cartograf and feature their usual quality and superb registration. They include one pre-fab license plate, but mostly they allow modelers to build either Heer, SS or Luftwaffe vehicles and apply the numbers themselves. The SS runes are a little tricky to make up from halves, but allow DML to get around laws in Europe that prohibit Nazi graphics. Instrument dials for the dash are included, so I'm glad to see Dragon has corrected that shocking oversight from its Sd.Kfz.7 series.

The paint schemes are happily quite specific, with only one “unidentified unit,” and include (in chronological order):

1st SS Brigade (Motorisiert) “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler,” Eastern Front 1942 (Panzer Gray)
3rd SS Panzer-Grenadier Division “Totenkopf,” Eastern Front 1943 (Dunkelgelb)
Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943/44 (Green over Dunkelgelb)
2nd SS Panzer-Grenadier Div. “Das Reich,” Fastov 1943/44 (Green over Dunkelgelb)
1st SS Panzer-Grenadier Division “LSAH,” Kursk 1943/44 (Dunkelgelb)
21st Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (Green & Brown over Dunkelgelb)

These will cover most of the major campaigns except Italy, but this vehicle served everywhere, so consult your references if you need more options.

conclusion

Given that the only other versions of this platform are the ancient Italeri kits, it’s a joy to see that DML has released a modern kit with their usual bells & whistles. This model will likely please both out-of-the-box builders, and those like myself who want extra detailing.

References:
1.) Halftracked Vehicles of the German Army 1909-1945, Walter J. Spielberger (Schiffer Military History);
2.) Sd.Kfz.10 by Toadman’s Tank Pictures CD-ROM

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detailing, accuracy and a welcome replacement for the ancient Italeri kits.
Lows: Mesh on the side panels is incorrect. Some "Smart Kit" simplifications.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6676
  Suggested Retail: $43.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 29, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  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 Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2017 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. 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

One of the features that I really like about this kit is that it has the correct width bed. The old Italeri 10/5 has a narrow bed similar to the one on the 10/4. On every 10/5 photo I have ever seen, they have the wide bed and you can see the tapered fender from the cab to the bed. If I wanted a trailer...what would be a good source...without breaking the bank or having to buy a sacrificial kit?
APR 01, 2011 - 12:51 PM
I am not completely sure, but possibly the easiest and cheapest way to get one is to buy a 20mm Flak-donor kit, and use the trailer chassis, and scratchbuild the Ammo-box. Unless of course you can find someone who has a trailer spare. Otherwise, Greatmodels lists the Flak crew with Sd. Ah. 51 trailer (used to carry the single 20mm Flak) for $ 8.60. You'll have to build the cargo-box yourself though. Officially the 20mm Vierling (and 37mm) used the Sd. Ah. 52 to carry around the gun as well as the ammo-box. I highly doubth whether there was a strict division between the Sd. Ah. 52 and Sd. Ah. 51 ammo trailers as far as their use went (with 10/4 and 10/5 or the 7/1), as long as they both carried 20mm ammo. http://www.kfzderwehrmacht.de/Homepage_english/Trailers/Special_trailers/special_trailers.html There is/was a resin kit out there, but I highly doubt that you could get it under $ 20. For reference purposes - Sd. Ah. 51 - this thread, which coincidently also seems to show a 10/4 or 105 with ammo trailer hitched (or immediately behind) engaging ground targets. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=46162 Hope this helps, Harm
APR 01, 2011 - 06:14 PM
I picked up Dragon's Flakpanzer I Premium edition which includes the trailer on Amazon for $28 plus free shipping. LINK
APR 01, 2011 - 06:50 PM
Having had a try at the old Esci kit and the more recent Italeri offering I think there are a few more positives that i would have added to the review. Since the drivers compartment is highly visible, Dragon has rendered almost all the most difficult items to near perfection. The multi fingered final drive mounts are lovely and the transmission seems to be a faithful replica. The fuel tank appears to have the correct shape and the option of two types of battery boxes leave one only the dilemma of deciding which to use.(The criteria I've yet to solve). Even the seats have separate frames and padding. Believe me, these accomplishments alone put this kit miles ahead of the previous attempts. As for the mesh for the folding frames, it seems that no manufacturer has these solved so I might not single them out for it. FWIW, I do have an association with DML, but this is written soley from the keyboard of a modeler who loves the "Demag" series. I can hardly wait for the towing version (and I never say things like that).
APR 01, 2011 - 07:33 PM
Wow, nothing pleases me more as a reviewer than to write something that engenders research and discussion. Thanks to all of you for adding to the dialogue. Now, to take some of the points raised. Even for a military organization as hide-bound and ordentlich as the Wehrmacht, the exigencies of war in the last couple of years would have meant that strict rules would have been thrown out the window. If you send a group of any AFV into battle, a certain percentage will be knocked out even if you prevail; imagine how much more chaotic that will be for two-piece rigs like this vehicle. By 1944, the Germans were hardly prevailing anywhere, so I'm sure there are photos and/or accounts out there of oddball vehicle/trailer combos. Does that mean we can slap any trailer on any half-track? For those who don't want to follow documentation, don't want to do research, or just don't care, there's no law that says you can't build your FlaK and PAK half-tracks without the proper or even ANY trailer. As I'm constantly being reminded by my fellow builders, "it's a hobby, don't be so Type-A in personality, Bill." It is also true that the preponderance of SURVIVING photos do not show the half-tracks pulling a trailer. There are various reasons why this is likely so: 1.) many photos are published cropped with the trailers cut off (you can see the traces often at the border of the photo); 2.) a large number of photos are only just now being turned over to historians and publishers. For example, Archer Fine Transfers' new set of Wehrmacht vehicles from the 6th Pz. Division in Czechoslovakia 1945 are based on a book of photos being published in April. 3.) many German soldiers no longer had the time, means or even inclination to take snapshots of the agony their units were going through. Supplies of the raw materials needed in photography were low or non-existent. 4. and finally, the propaganda teams that had been on the battlefield earlier in the war were fewer. The argument that these vehicles didn't take trailers into combat is interesting, but I think incorrect. On the one hand, a load of ammo is an inviting target for the enemy, and when one of them blows, they surely will make a big noise. On the other hand, when you go into battle in the morning, you don't know where you'll lay your head come evening, so detaching your trailer risks having no ammo at some point later on. My own personal theory is that EW the Germans used trucks for re-supply, but that by mid-war they were using so-called "special trailers" (Sonderanhaenger). Hence the designation. Regarding the relative weight and ease-of-transporting 2cm vs. 3.7cm ammo. I don't buy this argument. The 2cm magazines are easier to transport than the 3.7cm ones, but you can't exactly stuff them into your pockets. Does anyone have stats on the relative weights of these containers? The 3.7cm ones look like jerrycans, so of course they're heavier, but the 2cm ones aren't pocket-sized, either. Finally, Ron, thank you for pointing out some of the other delightful features of this kit (as well as for supplying the great artwork that adorns this kit and many other Dragon ones). We have perhaps become too jaded, expecting new halftracks to have engines, transmissions, etc. and other detailing that older kits simply don't have. DML and Trumpeter have done a lot for advancing the state of German half-tracks in styrene, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take note of the many delights of this kit. While you're at it, though, do you think you can convince the powers-that-be at DML to bring out an Sd.Kfz.8 in styrene?
APR 03, 2011 - 11:35 AM
Bill; After some dithering with this fun topic...! quote[The argument that these vehicles didn't take trailers into combat is interesting, but I think incorrect. On the one hand, a load of ammo is an inviting target for the enemy, and when one of them blows, they surely will make a big noise. On the other hand, when you go into battle in the morning, you don't know where you'll lay your head come evening, so detaching your trailer risks having no ammo at some point later on.]quote That's a route-march argument. YES, you NEED to drag as much as you can with you as you relocate from place to place. But maybe this is being confused with the notion of the 'track following infantry into the hamlet and providing local fire-support (no use for a trailer there) - hey much as seen on the box-top of the reviewed kit! Surely that vehicle was already in the area when that glider arrived... I don't think it was being suggested that te glider had plooped down on a passing convoy... And I doubt they would have been dragging their ammo trailer around in the local area just waiting for gliders to arrive-or not! That crew already likely had a place to "lay heads tonite"- and so they didn't need to keep all their goods and chattels and extra ammo with them. This, BTW, was what I meant when I ref'd the "dance and fire" bit. Advancing into a village, pausing to blast away, resuming creeping or motoring along, etc. Dodging into alleys and around trees and outhouses and stuff? Surely nobody thought I was suggesting that they would try to hit an aircraft while motoring around in the weeds! Heck, we have a difficult time with that even today! Related to this is the time-of-war issue... The Germans advanced early-on, and needed to drag stuff along on those road-marches leading forward- "but to where?". Germans stationed behind the front in France or... may well have had camps and bases to operate out of and need not drag stuff. Later-war, they were often retreating- no longer attacking villages and the like, but typically taking the roads out and away- and trailers would probably be a good thing at that point. And if a Jabo attacked your convoy, well... you did the best you could. All different scenarios regarding usefulness or hazard of a trailer, I think! Quote[My own personal theory is that EW the Germans used trucks for re-supply, but that by mid-war they were using so-called "special trailers" (Sonderanhaenger). Hence the designation.]Quote Sonderanhanger simply ref's a "special trailer". The 2cm Flak 30 and later Flak 38 came on sonderanhanger way before WWII. As did 3.7cm Flak 36, 37 guns, Scheinwerfers, ammo boxes, etc. etc. It's sort of like that stock-model German label for all of their military vehicles... Sd.Kfz... (Sonder-KraftFahrZeug, if I have most of my German correct- "special cargo vehicle"...). Sonderanhanger (Sd.Ah...) was applied to all military trailers from about 1930 on through 1945. Quote[Regarding the relative weight and ease-of-transporting 2cm vs. 3.7cm ammo. I don't buy this argument. The 2cm magazines are easier to transport than the 3.7cm ones, but you can't exactly stuff them into your pockets. Does anyone have stats on the relative weights of these containers? The 3.7cm ones look like jerrycans, so of course they're heavier, but the 2cm ones aren't pocket-sized, either.]quote Well... best of the data I can find s that 1) a 2cm projectile weighed around 4 oz, whereas a 3.7cm projectile was around 18+ oz (weights of course differed for types of rounds.) IF the whole cartridge weighed say 2x the projectile weight... one could guess that a 20 round 2cm mag might contain 10 lbs of ammo, whereas a 5-round 3.7cm tray maybe held 12 - 15lbs of ammo. Of course... this means that the 3.7cm ammo was maybe 4x heavier, or there-abouts. For at least some of those 3.7cm gun tracks, on-board load was about 120 rds, and apparently another ton of ammo (say, some 450+ rds) followed the track in one of those Sd.An 52 trailers. In contrast, the 2cm- track maybe held 260+ rounds (at least that SdKfz 10/5 with the side boxes...?). In either case, the gun had maybe a couple of minutes of actual firing time-worth of ammo on-board. No, neither type would fit into the average pocket. But you can sure put 3-4x as many 2cm rounds into the space filled by n number of 3.7 rounds. So a 2cm trailer could be much smaller to carry the same load-out by number. Not sure whether we are all passing around each other like ships in a storm at night... I AM hoping the above is not directed at my chat concerning those full-tracked flak panzers and those 8-rad recon vehicles not towing trailers! IF this is about half-tracks and trailers, I am certes with you! Lots of doc shows half-tracks pulling trailers. And I would hardly want to ney-say any who would insist that the Germans often dragged around ammo trailers behind half-tracks on road marches. Scads of pics attest to this fact! But... my chat was about full-tracked types and tanks and armored cars armed with even the small 2cm gun... I posit that they did not typically pull trailers. Outside of a couple of pics of Flakpanzer 1A early in Russia with trailers... nope. Full-tracked flak-tanks did not seem to get caught by the camera pulling ammo trailers. Flak tanks were invented to gain higher cross-country performance and on-site flak protection for armored formations, not really for road-march convoy protection. All good clean historigraphic fun! And I certes claim no expertise on this. The KIT is the coolest! I just popped the seal on mine last nite. WOW!. At least a couple my club pals are rushing out TODAY to buy it. Cheers! Bob
APR 03, 2011 - 03:57 PM
APR 03, 2011 - 11:40 PM
All nice pics and trailers, too! Top and mid are Flak 30 on SdKfz 10/4 - so pretty early war (advancing). I love the top pic- It's one of those "classic depictions" of this vehicle being used as a ground fire-support weapon - pulled off the road and parked to provide a blast into a near village? I've often wondered whether this one was actually taken on a training site, seeing as the crew all look so clean and un-worn! And clearly the crew are not hunkered down and ducking any return fire (and yeah, neither is the photographer)... in fact, everyone looks way calm and studious and carefully choreographed... "the well-trained crew calmly addressing the enemy"! The mid is clearly a route-march along a wide dusty road. One of Guderian's flock, from the G. As a Flak 30, it could be in France or Russia early-on during the advances. Bottom is a Flak 38 on the armored sdkfz 10/5 in Russia. With that armor and the snow, this will be a 1942+ vehicle. Again, with the photographer standing out in front and snapping his pic, I would bet that there was no incoming... but it does look like a vehicle paused along a road "alert" for a possible ground target. I've often wondered whether this particular vehicle was on behind-the-lines anti-partisan patrol, on account of it clearly being out and about but not actually taking any fire nor under any clear threat thereof, and not apparently part of a convoy (flak vehicles were, when being used as flak guns, generally associated with something needing flak protection, I think- not just pooping about on their lonesome, so to speak- an anti-partisan patrol, or an infantry support role, on the other hand may, I think, have found one of these things out by itself (and its trailer!)? They are the coolest! The kit should have a trailer. Bob
APR 04, 2011 - 09:17 AM
Gents, this is all good discussion, but I like seeing actual photographs and documentation. We all know the saying about opinions and ***holes (everyone has at least one of each).... Bob, thank you for the clarification about Sonderanhaenger. This matter can't be adjudicated in the court of public opinion, so I will finish by saying that Bronco and Trumpy put trailers on their half-tracks. It's time DML did as well.
APR 04, 2011 - 07:51 PM
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