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In-Box Review
135
Sd.Kfz.7 Rear Storage Locker
Spare Road Wheel Locker/Rack & Read Storage Locker for WW II German Sd.Kfz.7/1 2cm FlaK-Vierling 38
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]

Introduction

Over the past 18 months, we’ve been treated to the “Half-Track Wars” between Dragon and Trumpeter as each company released multiple versions of the German Sd.Kfz.7 Prime Mover and its variants. This vehicle saw over 12,000 units produced through 1944, and carried at least two major AA guns: the 2cm Flakvierling 38 (“quad”) and two versions of the 3.7cm single barrel AA gun. An entire range of AM photo etch has been released by several manufacturers, including Griffon Models. Their Spare Road Wheel Locker/ Rack & Rear Storage Locker set is a small gem to complete your build of the Dragon version of the Sd.Kfz.7/1 2cm Flakvierling 38 (“quad”).

the kit

The set comes with a fret of PE for making and two strands of copper wire for making hinges (0.2mm and 0.3mm), plus instructions, and is packaged in the usual attractive Griffon plastic bag container with photo illustrations.

the review

Unlike the Prime Mover which had ample storage lockers, the Sd.Kfz.7/1 had only two compartments, one on either side of the spare tire storage area. Dragon’s Smart Kit of the Sd.Kfz.7/1 has a one-piece rear facing with molded-on doors, so if you want to show the lockers in the “open” position, then this set is a must-have. The upgrade allows for the doors, their hinges and also the chain-mounted latches that kept the doors closed. On the styrene part that comes with the kit, the hinges are rendered in acceptable detailing, but the latches are more suggested than actual.

Another nice feature of this set is the handling of the spare tire storage area. Not only are the support bars that hold up the tire under the gun platform rendered in a scale thickness PE, but you also have the choice of using a closed door or an open-work pair of retaining doors over the mouth of the storage compartment. This feature is only suggested with the usual pointing arrows, but is illustrated in the photos on the packaging.

The good news is it appears this set will work for both the Dragon Sd.Kfz.7/1 (reviewed by Jim Starkweather here and 7/2 (reviewed by me here) variants, making it attractive to a wider range of kit builders. One criticism of German armaments procurement was the tendency to approve designs that were both overly-complex and expensive (in terms of manpower and resources) to produce. The Sd.Kfz.7 series was beautifully-crafted, but the exigencies of wartime soon meant it had to be simplified With the FlaK variants, this meant doing away with the door covering the spare tire compartment.

Conclusion

The Dragon Sd.Kfz.7s are already among the more-expensive kits on the market in 1/35th scale, and don’t really cry out for upgrading. This set is probably too expensive even at a modest $8.50 for all but the most-demanding rivet counter such as myself, unless you are building the kit for a situation where you must show the storage locker doors open.
SUMMARY
Highs: Beautifully-rendered like all the Griffon PE sets for the Sd.Kfz.7 and variants. Excellent, crisp molding; adds amazing detail to the kit.
Lows: Expensive for a kit that’s already close to $50. Probably not worth the cost unless you want the rear storage lockers open.
Verdict: For the modeler who has to have the ultimate in accuracy and detailing.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: L34A057
  Suggested Retail: $8.50
  PUBLISHED: Feb 07, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.66%

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 Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2019 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.



   

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