by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ ]
The German Sd.Kfz. 10 was a widely-used vehicle. Around 14,000 were produced between 1938-1945 from 7 different companies, and it was used in multiple roles, such as troop carrier, gun tractor, ammo carrier, self-propelled FlaK. and PaK. platform, and even for chemical agents. It saw action in all the battle zones, from North Africa to Norway and from France to Russia, and it was used by the Wehrmacht, Waffen SS and Luftwaffe.
Powered by a 6 cylinder water cooled 90 Hp. gasoline engine, the Sd.Kfz. 10 could reach a top speed of 75 km/h (47 mph) on roads. It had a torsion bar suspension, which made it very suitable in off-road conditions.
The main difference between the Sd.Kfz. 10 Ausf. A and the Ausf. B was that the B version had been upgraded to a heavier towing capacity.
The kit comes in the old familiar Dragon-sized box, with a nice box art painting by regular Ron Volstad. Iím a really big fan of Mr. Volstadís work, though the guy in the rear of the vehicle looks more like and evil elf than a German "Landser"...
On the side and bottom of the box, thereís depicted the numerous special features of the kit. The sprues come in clear sealed plastic bags, and the whole kit contains over 360 parts and includes the following:
ē 14 sprues molded in grey styrene
ē 1 sprue molded in clear styrene
ē 1 separate hull tub
ē 2 bags of MagicTracks
ē 1 small fret of PE
ē 2 decal sheets
ē 1 instruction booklet (not in color)
This is the Ausf. B of the extensive Sd.Kfz. 10 family. Dragon has already produced several of the versions with great success, and this little piece will definitely fill a gap in the Sd.Kfz. 10 styrene family tree.
As usual, everything starts with the wheels: and here Dragon gives us a choice of two different types of front wheels. There is a set of "Continentau(l)" tires from the familiar Sd.Kfz. 250 series, and a "no name" brand set of tires from the more recent release of the Sd.Kfz. 10/5, which in my opinion look crisper than the older ones. The road wheels and drive sprockets are also from the Sd.Kfz. 10 series, and have some nice details.
The front wheel suspension and steering system is simple to construct, but it doesnít seems to be workable, which is a real shame. Personally I think vehicles look more realistic when presented with the front wheels turned a bit to one side.
When building the rear end, Dragon gives you two options: as far as I can see, the option is whether to build the Ausf. A or B, as the Ausf. B have the reinforced towing pintle, while the A does not.
The road wheel arms come separately with the torsion bar molded-on, but these are not workable, unlike on some of Dragon's Panther tanks. The holes they go into have got a flat side, so this should keep the arms in a straight line, but I recommend extra care when installing them. Place the hull on an even surface, and check for "floating" road wheel arms. Itís easy to correct these errors when the glue hasnít settled.
The hull tub is excellent slide molding in action, and has some very nice details, such as the reinforcing ribs on the underside and plenty of small, crisp bolts and rivets. Next is the engine and transmission assembly: these parts are truly great looking, with lots of bits and details. Even the fuel tank is nicely-detailed. Such a shame that most of these details are hidden away.
The dashboard is a gem: itís highly detailed, and when all the decals are in place (there are 15 in all), it will look stunning. The steering wheel is molded very thin, so it keeps the appearance of the right scale. I think we all remember the good old days when steering wheels were cast as thick as the surrounding sprue.
Assembly stage 8 fits the engine, firewall/dashboard, transmission and all wheels together. This stage looks straightforward and shouldnít cause any trouble at all. Iíll suggest that you mount the tracks at this point, because when the fenders are attached, thereís not much space left to work the tracks around the wheels.
Then the seats and engine radiator are mounted. Personally Iíd leave the seats out and paint them separately, and glue them in when everything else is painted. There seems to be a lot of details, which would be hard to reach if the seats were in. Dragon gives you an option to assemble the hood in either open or closed position. The hood parts are molded masterpieces that are really thin, and the ventilation slots are opened all the way through. They each have two small stamp marks on the inside, but these are easy to remove, and are located in the folding area where they will be hard to spot anyway. The only thing that speaks for not leaving the hood open is the lack of detail on the firewall. It would have been nice if there had been at least some wiring and such.
Both the front wheel and the track fenders are molded really thin, and especially the front wheel fenders have some crisp detail.
The windshield is molded in clear styrene and comes with some very fine wipers and motors for them.
Pioneer tools are state-of-the-art, and molded with clasps and holders; this will be a joy for those who donít dig PE. The side-view mirrors are so delicate and fine, I just know Iíll break them off several times, but they sure look nice.
The license plates come in PE only, which I personally find great, but this might not please others.
The final stage is the cargo bay or troop compartment. This is pretty much straightforward. You have the option on letting the sides be open or closed. The seats are neat, and have a very realistic texture on the cushions. Thereís also two gun racks for the crew's Mauser riffles. These come as 2nd generation weapons and are really nice. Itís just a bit of a mystery to me why Dragon only supplied 6 rifles when thereís room for 8? Another thing is the "missing" tarp. I wonder why Dragon skips this vital piece, which could have looked quite good on the finished model.
Dragon offers markings for the following vehicles:
337. Inf.Div., Eastern front 1944 (three tone camouflage)
1./s.Pz.Div. "LAH", Kharkow 1943 (panzer grey)
One unidentified Wehrmacht unit, Eastern front 1942 (panzer grey)
Having only build Esciís ancient Sd.Kfz. 10 ages ago, this is definitely a quantum leap forward in the modeling industry. Dragon has produced a very nice kit, full of crisp details and skillful engineering.