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In-Box Review
135
SdKfz 10/4
SdKfz 10/4 (1939 production)
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by: Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Sd.Kfz. 10 started life as a troop transport (up to 7 soldiers plus the driver) and a prime mover for towed artillery. The vehicle was powered by an inline 3.8L, 90HP 6-cylinder gasoline engine. This allowed it to tow the 20 mm AA gun, the short-barreled 75 mm infantry support gun, the 37 mm anti-tank gun, or a trailer of similar weight. With the prototype first running in 1934, it took Demag (the producing company) until 1938 to perfect the design. By 1944 over 14,000 Sd.Kfz. 10s were produced in 5 official modifications. They served from the first to the last day of the hostilities anywhere German soldiers fought.

As time went by the light tractor not only pulled, but also mounted artillery, one of the options being the 2 cm FlaK 30, the subject of the kit. The seats in the tub were replaced by a flat bed, with the dismounted gun fixed to it via three brackets. Boxes of ammunition can be carried on the outside of the platform sides, as well in an ammo trailer the vehicle is able to tow.

Before the current kit was made available by Dragon you could build the Sd.Kfz. 10/4 using the ESCI kit (also available in ERTL and US Revell boxes) or the Italeri one (also sold by Revell of Germany). The subject kit uses parts from Dragon’s own Sd Kfz 10 and 10/5 kits. The 10/5 used the same basic vehicle, but was armed with the more modern FlaK 38 20mm AA gun which had almost twice the rate of fire.

The Kit

In the box there are 10 sprues, a slide molded hull-tub, three etched frets and 96 two-part Magic Tracks. According to the parts layout all 798 parts in the box are used in this kit.

The decal sheet measures approximately 45 x 62 mm, and includes ready markings for three vehicles, all from unidentified units. All vehicles in the instructions are painted in standard German Grey, two of them are Luftwaffe-operated, and the third is a Wehrmacht machine.

If you find none of the kit provided examples interesting you can use the generic numbers and plates in the sheet, which provides Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and SS registration codes.

Of note is the inclusion of pre-cut self-adhesive paper masks for the windshield.

Kit Review - Sprues

Sprue A – 90 parts. Most of them are for the front end of the vehicle. Suspension, engine covers and firewall, front lights, instrument panel, etc. You can actually see through the cooling louvers of the engine covers, which is a big plus especially if you leave the covers open. The grid on the radiator can be seen through the slats of the radiator guard grille in the front.

Sprue A (blue) – 114 parts for the 2cm FlaK 30. The shield of the gun is constructed from a number of photo etched parts. As it was fixed to the gun using bolts and wing nuts – there are 26 of them molded on the sprue.

Sprue B – 71 parts for the engine, transmission, front wheels, torsion bares, seat frames and cushions. To me personally the engine looks overly simplified, with a lot of details molded integrally with the block halves.

Sprue D – the 58 parts from this sprue (directly taken from the 10/5 kit) form the fenders, the rear of the hull tub and tool complement.

Sprue D (blue) – 49 parts for the fenders and cargo bed. Study the support frame carefully to avoid cutting the wrong piece of plastic. The part is a real maze of sprue gates connecting the actual spars, which are a pretty good match for the structure on the real vehicle. The platform sides are also on this sprue – well molded, but rather delicate and will require careful separation.

Sprue E – two such sprues are included (one each side), taken directly from the 10/5 kit. Each holds 12 road wheels and the hub of the driving sprocket for a total of 26 parts.

Sprue H – 6 parts for the drive sprocket axles, and the 2-part crowns of the sprockets with useful locating pins. The ejector pin marks you may notice will be all hidden once the sprockets are assembled.

Sprue N – not actually sprue per se, because there are 96 Magic Track links, and 96 separate rubber pads (a total of 192 parts). While the separate pads are fine by me, the size of the ejector pin marks on the inside of the links themselves (2 marks per link) leaves a lot to be desired, especially considering how small the links are. I also noticed the guiding teeth on the tracks are asymmetrical (slanted/curved front, and almost vertical rear ridge), which is not the case on the actual vehicle.

Sprue V – Transparent plastic (6 parts). The Windshield and two options for the headlight glass covers.

Sprue X – Hull Tub. As opposed to most prime movers that have an open chassis the Sd Kfz 10 has an enclosed hull tub. In this kit it is a single casting (sans the aft wall) with all the strengthening ribs and plates, as well as draining holes and bolt heads present.

Sprue Z – ammo containers. 10 are provided, each of them a single part with a locking latch molded on the side. There is a mold parting line around the perimeter of each part that will require cleanup.

MA fret – Photo etch fret with mesh screens for the platform sides, ammo boxes mounting brackets and more – 89 parts total.

MB fret – Photo etch fret with an optional part for the ammo magazine receiver and 4 attachment strips (5 parts).

MD fret – Photo etch fret with 81 parts for the gun shield. About half of them are rivet/bolt heads to improve the shallow detail on the shield plates.


Instructions & Painting Guide

The instruction sheet details 23 construction steps, of which 15 deal with the basic vehicle and the platform, 7 show the gun building sequence, and one is for the final assembly.

There are left, front and rear profiles for each of the three grey vehicles you can build. The decaling guide for the instrument panel is also shown here, despite it being present in step 7 of the instructions. The guide for using the windshield masks is also in this section.

Conclusion

The kit packs a lot of finely detailed parts – and that’s especially true for DML’s signature slide-molded ones, e.g. the single piece gun barrel with open flash suppressor. The panels around the engine have see-through louvers, the running gear and the driving compartment are well detailed, and the gun is a little gem of a kit in itself. And all of this is flash-free, with add-on PE and Magic Track links. What more could a modeler want? I’ll tell you – an accurate engine compartment and track teeth shape, and minimal (if any) ejector pin marks on the track link insides. Also, I’d much rather welcome the option of a Razor Edge™ molded gun shield to get a better detail without having to glue some 40 PE dots to it.
SUMMARY
Highs: Highly detailed, excellent flash-free molding, optional open engine compartment, accurate outline.
Lows: Wrong track teeth shape, ejector pin marks on the track links, simplified engine, PE gun shield too flat.
Verdict: A high value kit that will build into a nice replica and offer many diorama options.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6739
  Suggested Retail: $48.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 10, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.77%
  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 Peter Ganchev (pgp000)
FROM: GRAD SOFIYA, BULGARIA

I bought and built my first kit in 1989. Since then it's been on and off until about 4 years ago, when modelling became the main stress-relief technique. Starting with 1/72 aviation I've diversified into armor, trucks, artillery and figures, as well as a number of other scales.

Copyright ©2017 text by Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]. 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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