by: Peter van Bezu [ ]
The Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkraftrad was designed in 1939 by NSU Motorenwerke AG from Neckarsulm as a light guntractor for airborne troops to replace the unsatisfactory motorcycle/sidecar configuration. It was designed to be small enough to be transported by a Junkers Ju 52 aircraft. Itís lightweight (1560 kg/3444 lb) and good performance (roadspeed: 70 km/h/44mph) made it a popular vehicle, and it saw service on all fronts.
As in all German halftracks, steering was by the front wheel for slight turns. For sharp turns, steering was done by braking the innner track. The manual for the Kettenkraftrad suggested removing the front wheel for rough going.The Kettenkraftrad was produced in 3 versions: the standard Sd.Kfz.2, the Sd.Kfz.2/1 Kleines Kettenkraftrad fur Feldfernkabel, and the Sd.Kfz.2/2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad fur Schwere Feldfernkabel. The Sd.Kfz.2/1 used the infantry-backpack cable system, the Sd.Kfz.2/2 used 2 heavy cabledrums positioned behind the driver. Both normally had the specially designed Sd.Anh.1 attached in order to transport additional cabledrums. This trailer is not included, nor are any spare cabledrums, in this kit.
The kit consists of 9 sprues in the standard Dragon grey plastic, giving you a total of 414 parts. Not bad for a model 8.6cm long. Of these parts, 192 are used for the tracks. The moulding is good to excellent.
The kit is basically Dragonís 6114 Kleines Kettenkrad w/Puppchen, with the Puppchen sprue replaced by a sprue for the cabledrums and the addition of a sprue from kit #6190 "Frozen Battleground Moscow, 1941".
Two kneeling soldier figures are used as communication soldier figures, and the head and torso from one soldier is used for the driver. These are all dressed in winteruniforms, it is also possible to use only the original driver in a summer setting. One soldier is not used.
The kit gives the option for 2 types of roadwheels and 2 versions, both for the Eastern front. No indication is given as which roadwheels are used for which version.
The manual is divided into 14 steps. Strangely, according to the instructions, the hook to hang the cable in trees or poles is in 2 parts on the side of the vehicle, and is one part in the hands of one of the soldiers.
Nice little kit, with lots of parts. With some care itís possible to make the tracks workable.
Clamps are a bit out of scale.
I would have liked a Sd.Anh.1 with some spare cables in the kit. All parts are from DML's í39 Ėí45 range, there is no PE in the kit. If you want to add PE details, finding the Eduard kit (item #35700), which is not available by their website anymore, would be an excellent option.