by: Mike High [ ]
Krupp's light truck, the L2H43 was introduced in 1932 and earned the nickname "Protze," or "show-off," based on its overwhelming success over other competitive light trucks.
In 1936, Krupp introduced the L2H143; Kraftfahrzeug (Kfz.) 69 artillery prime mover. This version had a slightly longer wheelbase and a slightly more powerful engine. Production of this vehicle ceased in 1942, though the vehicle was used throughout the war. The spare tires, one on each side, were mounted so that they could rotate on the mount and were positioned to avoid the vehicle from bottoming out. The immediately distinguishing feature of the Kfz. 69 are the eight (four to a side) ammunition lockers strapped on the rear fenders.
Krupp's model designation is broken down as such:
• L = Lastkraftwagen
• 2 = two ton cargo capacity
• H = Hochrahmen (high frame)
• 1 = first modification
• 4 = engine cylinders
• 3 = axles
The Panzerabwehrkanone (Pak) 36 was a German anti-tank gun (ATG) that fired a 3.7 cm shell. It was developed in 1936 by Rheinmetall. The Pak 36's gun, the Kw.K. 36 L/45, was the same gun used on some of Germany's earlier tanks such as the Panzer III. The Pak 36's small bore quickly outdated this ATG (the round fired had a penetration depth of 35mm [sloped] at 30 degrees). This poor performance against heavily armored vehicles earned it the unfortunate nickname of "Door Knocker." However, the Pak 36 remained the standard ATG for many units until 1942.
The kit consists of 127 parts molded in light grey styrene, one clear piece for the windshield, and decals for two vehicles.
The instructions for both the prime mover and the Pak 36 are quite simplified; a fair amount of dry-fitting and attention will be needed when assembling the various parts. Additionally, the sprues do not have any part numbers; referring to the instruction's parts layout will be necessary. Paint references are given for the Model Master brand only.
The Prime Mover:
Each wheel assembly consists of two parts; the tire with inner molded hub and a separate outer hub. The outer hub, part number A27, has a very delicate edge with will require great care in removal from the sprue. This will certainly simplify the painting process.
The majority of the small parts are very fragile. Again, because of their size, great care will be needed when removing them from the sprues. The amount of flash present is consistent with ICM kits; some parts are flash-free while others have a small amount that will easily be removed with a sharp #11 blade. The Pak 36 shield has the greatest amount of flash, but is easy enough to remove.
Ejector marks are kept to a minimum, and those present will either be hidden after assembly or easily fixed. Part C2 (rear compartment base) has a large sink mark but will be covered by parts C4 and C5. Parts C27 and C29 also have sink marks, but these will need to be filled.
My sample arrived with the exhaust (part C3) broken just aft of the muffler. I will wind up leaving the two halves attached to the sprue while it's repaired.
The instructions did neglect an important assembly step; somewhere between Step 2 and Step 4, parts C27, C28, and C29 are to be attached to the top of the vehicles frame. By looking carefully at Step 4's diagram, it is apparent that C29 is placed closest to the cab, followed by C28, then C29.
The paint scheme is pretty basic; overall German Dark Gray. I would be hesitant to paint the seats Flat Black as called for in the instructions. Tamiya's 1/35th instructions call for the seats to be painted a Red Brown (leather-like?) which seems more appropriate.
The decals provided are for two vehicles; one for Russia in 1941 and one for the 8th Panzer Division in France, 1940.
Once assembled, this ICM kit will display as a nice representation of a Krupp L2H143 Kfz. 69. Not included, but would have been a very positive addition, is a crew.
The Pak 36:
The instructions for the Pak 36 are separate from the prime mover and are of a poorer print quality. Additional attention will be needed when determining the placement of the parts because of this. A quick internet search for images (using "PAK 36" as the search parameter) resulted in a multitude of photographs and line drawings that can be used to aid in parts placement.
As with the prime mover, the smaller parts are also very delicate. My sample had one trailing arm (C43) broken (same method of repair as the exhaust will be used) and the gun's cradle (C46) is cracked. This part will be removed, straightened, and the crack sealed with a very thin styrene glue.
This kit, though simplified, will build into a decent depiction of a Pak 36. No decals are needed for the Pak.
Aside from the issues of flash and broken parts, this should turn out to be an good build for a Krupp L2H143 with Pak 36 in this scale. As mentioned, a lot of the parts are extremely delicate, so great care will be needed. The instructions leave a fair amount to be desired, but by studying them and using available print or internet resources, assembly/painting should be reasonably straight forward. A crew would have been a nice touch.
Doyle, David. German Military Vehicles. Krause Publications, 2005.