Kit, Cyberhobby 6396, 7.5cm StuKan auf Pz.Kpfw.38(t)
May 28 2007 at 11:06 AM
(Login zappa93) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 18.104.22.168
6396, 7.5cm StuKan auf Pz.Kpfw.38(t). 1/35th-scale styrene/multimedia kit containing 303 styrene parts (including 10 clear), one bag of Magic Tracks, one photo-etched brass fret, one water-slide decal/marking schemes and eight pages of instructions in 20 steps.
Realizing that certain variations of some of their kits may have only a limited appeal, DML spun-off a subsidiary company, Cyberhobby, which offers modelers the option to create replicas of rare AFV prototypes, very limited production types, and some unique modifications, for those who have an interest in such things. In the case of this particular subject, the manufacturer has chosen a rare pilot vehicle that mounted the 7.5cm StuK40 on a Pz.Kpfw.38(t) chassis, in a typical slab-sided casemate. This “Master Grade” model uses relevant components from DML’s StuG.III and Marder III Smart Kits as well as new parts, markings and instructions, to make the conversion.
These are the usual “Magic Tracks” and therefore come as individual links packed loosely in a bag. Each link has an extremely tiny pour pip between the guide horns as well as two very subtle ejector pin marks on the inner face. The fit is very good, but they will not stay together unless they are glued. The guide horns are properly hollow, and the links have a very delicate cast texture. Furthermore, they all have extremely faint casting numbers where appropriate.
The suspension system is broken down much like most renditions from other manufacturers; this means that the road-wheels can be depicted in an articulated fashion to conform to terrain on a modeler’s display base. Planning will be needed since getting the bogies properly positioned and then getting the tracks to look right will be a bit of a challenge. The road-wheels are completely and properly detailed on both their inner and outer faces, while the return rollers have separate mounts and include manufacturer’s name on the rubber tire rims. The idler wheel can be mounted in various positions due to a separate “cranked” axle; this will ease using individual link tracks and therefore it should not be fixed in place until the modeler is satisfied with the fit of the tracks. The drive sprockets are very nicely-detailed to include the ribs and bolt patterns seen between their inner and outer halves.
The hull is the usual slide-molded pan that includes the side walls molded in place together with the belly plate. There is proper rivet and panel details on the three outer sides, as well as suspension mount details on the side walls. What’s unique here is that there is also molded-on detail on the inner faces of the side walls, in the driver’s and fighting compartment. There is also molded-on detail on the inner surfaces around the area of the drive sprockets. All this makes for a more simplified assembly process with absolutely no compromise in the detail department.
Separate inner and outer bow plates are provided as is a separate rear plate with separate circular access panel. The bow plate receives tow hooks, mounting plates, spare track links and mounting bracket. The rear plate receives more hooks and mounts as well as track tension adjustment housings (in two styles), and other details.
From the bow, the glacis plate features a separate transmission access hatch lid, a Notek lamp with etched brass parts, and a styrene driver’s rough sight. The superstructure front plate features detailed inner and outer faces, with separate view-port lids; both have clear styrene inserts for vision blocks. The standard MG37(t) is mounted behind a separate mantlet, making it movable in its separate armored ball mount. The MG itself is a slide-molded item with pre-bored muzzle and several separate parts for the sight.
The engine deck panel is a separate part that features separate access hatch lids and separate grills. The access hatch lids feature separate end parts with rivet detail as well as etched brass frames and screens for their undersides. The grill gets nicely done etched brass parts for the screens and the blanking plate that slid into place for cold-weather starting or to provide heated air to the fighting compartment.
The fenders are separate and feature stamped rib details on the upper and lower faces. All brackets are separate and are made up of a combination of styrene and etched brass parts. Tools are all separate and also feature etched brass brackets and straps. The perforated grouser box is provided as a styrene or etched brass assembly as is a multi-part vehicle jack that also has etched brass mounting brackets. A jack block and various tools (complimented by etched brass parts) finish the OVM.
This is where the new parts enter the picture; sprue “M” contains a new casemate assembly that is created with multiple parts for the front, side and roof, and is typically open to the rear. A radio and an ammunition rack are the only things that get installed on the inner panels; the modeler is cautioned to follow the extra leaflet that is included in the box during this phase of construction. Although a radio is provided and called out for use in the instructions, there is no rod antenna, mount or flexible base to complete the unit.
The new gun mantlet is a welded affair similar in appearance to that of a StuG.III mounting a StuK40; the gun tube is a single part with a slight seam that will need to be cleaned up; for this I recommend the classic “Flex-I-File”. The slide-molded muzzle brake is a three-part affair and includes the internal lug and external locking nut. There is also an inverted “V”-shaped travel lock mounted on the glacis to cradle the StuK40 gun tube during movement.
Internally, the 7.5cm StuK40 main gun is complimented by an almost totally complete mount. This includes cradle, recoil cylinders, mount, traverse and elevation hand-wheels, gunner’s seat, multi-part breech block, sight mounts and clear Sfl.Z.F.1a gun sight. A box for eight rounds of StuK40 ammunition is provided to mount on the hull floor; it is open-topped and shows one empty and seven filled cells.
Since this chassis is the basis of many other kits, some that are open-topped, there is considerable interior detail provided for all of DMLs Pz.Kpfw.38(t)-based kits. This includes a very nice transmission (including driver’s controls and drive shaft), driver’s and radio operator’s seats, instrument panel (in etched brass), floor panel and bulkhead/engine compartment firewall.
Molding, Fit and Engineering.
Based on past experience with the base parts of this conversion, I don’t believe the modeler will encounter any problems with the fit of any major components. Of course since this kit is made from the basis for two others, there are many more separate parts than might be usual, as well as loads of spare stuff (particularly for the StuG.III interior). As always, the modeler is urged to clean parts properly and check the fit as he proceeds. No sink marks were found; in every case except for the above-mentioned individual link tracks, there were no visible ejector pin marks.
Within my reference library, there are no drawings of this vehicle whatsoever; I have only one side-view photograph, as seen in reference 5. So, unless the manufacturer found additional new information on it, it is probable that areas in this kit are “conjectural”. One thing to be said with certainty is that this kit looks like the vehicle in the photo; the components from the StuG.III and Pz.Kpfw.38(t) are quite accurate in their own respects as well.
These are in the typical, and busy, line drawing style. Note the small addendum sheet to be used during step 18.
Decals and Markings Information.
DML’s usual sub-contractor, Italy’s Cartograf, has provided water-slide decals; they are in excellent register, have sharp detail and fine color saturation. The markings are quite generic in nature and only include variations of the Balkenkreuz national insignia. Colors are keyed to Gunze and Testors paints.
This “conversion” kit will allow the modeler to produce a rare German AFV variant in a very detailed and relatively refined form. This is a limited edition kit, so if interested, the modeler should get hold of one while still possible.
Frank V. “Curley the Stooge” De Sisto
References consulted for this review included, but were not limited to:
References consulted for this review included, but were not limited to:
1. “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Revised Edition”, by P. Chamberlain, H. Doyle & T. Jentz.
2. “Praga, LT vz.38 Pz.Kpfw.38(t)”, MBI Publications, by C. Kliment & V. Francev.
3. “Pz.Kpfw.38(t)”, Squadron in Action 19, by C. Kliment and H. Doyle.
4. “Czechoslovak Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1918-1945”, Bellona, by H. Doyle & C. Kliment.
5. “Czechoslovak Armored Fighting Vehicles 1918-1948”, Schiffer Publications, by V. Francev & C. Kliment.
6. “Panzekampfwagen 38(t)”, Panzer Tracts No.18, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
7. “Pz.Kpfw.38(t), Ausf.A-D in Detail”, Wings & Wheel Publications Special Museum Line No.38, by F. Koran & V. Francev.
Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML and Cyberhobby. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.
Cyberhobby kits are available exclusively from them at their web site: www.cyber-hobby.com.