by: Dave Oliver [ ]
Commissioned as a transport and artillery towing truck, the ‘Krupp-Protze’ was an advanced design that deployed a rear 4x4 drive system powered by a flat four air cooled engine producing 60bhp. The type saw service throughout the second world war. Seeing action in most major Axis campaigns of the conflict. Tamiya have chosen to produce a kit complete with a Pak 3.7cm gun, a common configuration, used in many theatres of opperation.
The kit comprises of six styrene sprues, moulded in dark grey plastic along with a clear sprue, instruction sheet and a small decal sheet. As usual, Tamiya provide a sturdy box complete with evocative box art of the subject to store it all in, complete with profile view of the subject and a brief description of the type.
Looking at the individually wrapped sprues, the casting really is first class with some beautifully detailed mouldings for items such as the trenching tools and seat cushions. There are two sprues of crew figurers, again they are all very well sculpted with distinctive facial expressions, maybe it would have been nice to have had some more variation in poses but this is a minor point. The wheels are very nicely represented with a realistic scale tread pattern and detailed wheel hubs. Some well rendered separate suspension assemblies are provided in the kit to mount the suspension and road wheels on. All the relevant running gear is included, with the driveshaft to the unusual 4x4 system being well moulded.
The supplied PaK 3.7cm is again, very intricately detailed with the breach and recoil mechanism being very nicely rendered, along with other details for the barrel and carriage trails.
The decal sheet provides rudimentary unit markings and vehicle registration plates. Again these are very well presented and in register, with two different variations dependant on the vehicle being built.
The clear parts for the windshield are defect free and cast with a very thin profile to provide a realistic glass effect for the windshield.
All in all, there is very little to fault in terms of detailed supplied with the kit, obviously other details could be scratch built, but this model should look perfectly acceptable built straight out of the box.
After a short but very informative description of the vehicle, the construction of the kit is broken down into 19 clearly presented stages. Many of the smaller assemblies are given separate diagrams to clarify where everything fits which is a useful, especially when it comes to the complex suspension setup. There are two paint schemes detailed, with suggestions for applying winter white wash effects and clear indications of what decals should be used and where they should be placed.
With increasing interest in 1/48 scale armour subjects, its good to see an established company like Tamiya producing well detailed kits in this scale. No detail has been sacrificed and the moulding really is first class, with no flash present on any of the sprues. In short, this kit would make an ideal addition to any other 1/48 armour or even aviation collection due to its compatible scale.