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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
provides us with 4 clips of 37mm ammo and two ammunition boxes.
Painting and markings
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.
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;)