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In-Box Review
135
Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad Early
Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad Early Production w/Infanteriekarren
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction


The Kettenkrad was small tracked utility vehicle used by the Germans in World War 2, looking more like a tracked motorcycle. The vehicle was originally designed for use with airborne troops as it was designed to fit inside the Ju52 aircraft. Designed and built by NSU Werke AG, there were over 8,300 built between 1939 and 1944. Most Kettenkrad saw service on the Western front, while some did see service in Africa and on the Western Front.

This is not the first Kettenkrad kit from Dragon Models, but the first to feature the Infanteriekarren. The Infanteriekarren was a small cart/trailer designed for the infantry to provide movement of extra equipment with ease.


Contents


Being not a large vehicle, the kit comes in a medium size box, containing the following:

7 sprues of grey molded plastic
1 very small fret of photo-etched
1 set of DS Track
1 small sheet of decals
Instructions


Review


The Kettenkrad kit is molded in the usual Dragon Models grey plastic and looking over the molding most detail is well done, but I do find some of the detail is a bit soft. This would leave me to believe that the molds have not been updated since the original Kettenkrad was released back in 2001. Looking over the parts I did not find any flash and from my first look most, if not all, ejector marks should be covered up in the build.

Even with some details being a bit soft on the moldings, there are some very fine small detail parts and the kit should build up into a detailed model. Included is the full engine, even though most of it will be unseen once the model is built. Looking at the running gear, it is very fine and some extra care will be needed when removing the parts from the sprues. The same care will be needed for the handle bars and front forks, that being said they look to be well detailed.

The overall exterior detail of the vehicle looks good, with photo-etched screens included for the engine compartment. There is an option in the instructions to remove the plating inside the rails at the back, which would allow the vehicle to resemble the early production. Looking at the parts, this does not look to be an easy job, as the rails are thin and extreme care would be needed not to damage the rails. I would think that the rails should have been separate parts from the body to make this easier.

Also included in the kit is the smallest set of 1/35 scale Dragon Models DS Track I have seen. It does look well detailed for one piece track, and I am thinking what a chore it would have been if this was Magic track.

The new component in this kit, and main reason of the re-release from Dragon Models was the inclusion of the Infanteriekarren. These parts are included on one sprue, and the parts look to be very well done, with some great looking detail. Again, care will be needed to remove some of the fine parts from the sprue. I would suggest in investing in a good razor saw. There are four ejector marks on the floor of this little wagon that will need to be dealt with, but they are to the outside of the part and should not be very difficult at all to fill and sand.

Included in the kit is one figure, the Kettenkrad driver, and unfortunately the female passenger shown on the box art from Dragon Models is not included. The included figure looks to be well done, with good details and posed sitting in the driver seat operating the vehicle.

The kit contains markings for two vehicles, both Unidentified units in 1941. One in a gray scheme, the other in a winter white wash. The decals are a generic plate and numbers, so a little work will be required applying the small numbers to ensure they are lined up correctly.

The instructions are laid out in 13 steps. Being the typical Dragon Models instructions, I strongly suggest dry fitting and double checking parts as you go. There are some options included within the instructions, so keep an eye out for those.


Conclusion


Overall this looks to be a great little kit from Dragon Models, and with the inclusion of the Infanteriekarren it provides some new options for displaying the Kettenkrad. While some of the moldings are a little soft, the kit does include some fine detail and should build into a great little model to display or include in a diorama. I would recommend this kit for anyone looking to build this odd looking, but useful utility vehicle.
SUMMARY
Highs: Some great looking fine detail, and the inclusion of the Infanteriekarren is a great addition
Lows: Some molded detail a little soft, generic decals will take a little work to align.
Verdict: Great little kit, definately recommended
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6341
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 18, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  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 Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright 2017 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. 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

Kevin, just wanted to let you know that the Infanteriekarren is actually a very old Dragon component from the mid '90s. It was included in one kit with a Kubelwagen and kit 6104.
JAN 18, 2014 - 07:55 PM
Now if they only included a picnic basket .
JAN 19, 2014 - 12:16 AM
Even some load for the infanteriekarren ... jerry cans or ammo. Im actually quite dissapointed with this one, to tell the truth. Dont like the one length tracks and both vehicle and trailer appear to be a re-release of previous offereings. Theres not much to jump up and down about?
JAN 19, 2014 - 07:33 AM
allow me for asking this but what is the difference between an early kettenkrad and a late kettenkrad? Thanks
MAR 13, 2014 - 04:44 PM
About ten minutes.
MAR 13, 2014 - 04:55 PM
I'm working from memory -- my book on the Kettenkrad is at home and I'm at work, so I may have this backward -- but my impression from the parts is that this is actually a late Kettenkrad, not an early one. The difference is in the rear handrails and the shape of the rear air intake/taillight frame. The early Kettenkrader had the bar handrails in the rear, and the 'box' at the rear of the vehicle that covered the air intake had a pyramidal upper section; the later Kettenkrader had a sheet-metal plate blocking the lower gaps in the handrails, and the 'box' over the air intake had a rounded top (compare LINK to LINK Of course, to be a really early-production Kettenkrad -- and I don't think there were more than a few made before the design change -- the three spoked road and idler wheels on each side as well as the front wheel were wire-spoked like a motorcycle wheel. The spoked wheels were replaced by a solid front wheel and the six-spoke road/idler wheels that continued through the production run.
MAR 14, 2014 - 12:40 PM
Hmmmm Dragon reboxing their old Kettenkrad #6114 with the addition of some extra bits and DS tracks. @ Sean You are correct. The Early and Mid batches of Kettenkrads all had open armrests in the back. The pyramidical shape of the rearlight box at least went to the second early batch but from my reference I can't really see when it changed to the round version. In addition. Early vehicles had tow hooks mounted high on the front of the body. But as Dragon never included those in their kit it is not really easy to distinguish what version it was exactly. Also all the early variants had the signalling lights on the frontfenders which some batches of the "mid" and late versions did not have. The Dragon vehicle does have the correct wheels for second batch early to final production batch since they did not change in between. Only "Null" serie and 1st early batch did have different wheels as you mentioned. So at best you can make a Mid Kettenkrad out of this kit... And the earliest could be called a third batch early (or "late early" if that makes any sense.) I don't really see how the DS tracks are a big improvement on what the kit already came with. Sure they were fiddly but they were correct in all aspects and looked great already. Also looking at the instruction sheet I see Dragon shows you to cut out the plates between the handrails... good luck with not damaging that during cutting. Quite some intensive surgery for the most delicate part on the whole vehicle. The inclusion of the trailer is nice though.
MAR 14, 2014 - 03:30 PM
Nice review but I give this kit 50% not 85% The build of it is rubbish parts don't fit properly, you have to cut the rails out and the engine mesh to put the PE in. The center engine part tab does not fit in the middle properly. Its really is a pain to build. Shame the Tamiya kit is so old as I really enjoyed building it. Tamiya needs to bring out a new one. I don't recommend this kit not for the price it is now that's for sure.
DEC 12, 2016 - 03:16 PM
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