DRAGON MODELS LIMITED
6739, Sd.Kfz.10/4 für 2cm FlaK30 1939 Production Smart Kit. 1/35th-scale styrene/multimedia construction kit. Contains 442 injection-molded styrene parts (including four clear), two bags of Magic Tracks, one sheet of pre-cut, self-adhesive masking material; three etched brass frets, three decal/markings schemes and eight pages of instructions in 23 steps.
The leichter Zugkraftwagen 1-ton Sd.Kfz.10 was designed to be a basis for several tactical vehicles, including a troop carrier, tractor for light artillery, self-propelled weapons carrier and specialized chemical warfare applications. This highly versatile vehicle was produced in two main models, the Ausf.A and Ausf.B. DMLs most recent variation represents the Sd.Kfz.10/4 für 2cm FlaK30, with features matching the type as produced in 1939.
The hull is properly-represented in having no reinforcing strips along its flanks, and no reinforced trailer hitch. The suspension system is characterized by the early road-wheels. The gun is the 2cm FlaK30 (with a significant up-grade), accompanied by newly-added etched brass splinter shields. The load-bed and track-guards are the proper width for this variation. Finally, three rather non-descript decal options complete the package.
The kit provides semi-workable individual links of the Magic Track type; these come in two parts (rubber pad and steel shoe); when sandwiched together they will remain flexible. Each steel shoe part of the link has two very subtle ejector pin marks on the inner face; the fastidious modeler will wish to clean them up and since they are subtle and not below the surface, this should be a relatively easy, if time-consuming operation. Assembling the parts will be a bit of work (its a small vehicle, so thankfully we are not talking too many links on either side), but will result in very well-detailed tracks that also exhibit the proper sag. The instructions specify 42 links per side. On the negative side, the track links are improperly sized, as we shall learn below.
The re-tooled three-part drive sprockets first introduced in DMLs Sd.Kfz.250 series of kits are present here. They feature well-done small detail, including roller bearings that are subtly off-set. The parts numbers are improperly called-out in the instructions; mount H1 to H2 and H4 to H5. This glitch exists on all of the instruction sheets for every Sd.Kfz.10 kit I have seen. Unfortunately, the outer diameter of the drive sprockets is too small, which also throws off the tracks. I have opted for the addition of Friulmodel tracks and drive sprockets, as can be seen in their product labeled ATL-50, Sd.Kfz.250. If the modeler chooses to build the kit out-of-the-box, or with Fruilmodel tracks, it is strongly suggested that he refer to reference source number 10.
The road-wheel and idler wheel pairs are all conventionally-molded in inner and outer halves. They represent the original type smooth, dished RS 2298 and RS 2192 outer and inner types, respectively. Each inner pair of road-wheels as well as the idler wheels is embellished by an etched brass part. Very finely-rendered data can be seen on the rubber tires. The kits road-wheels match dimensions in drawings quite well; photos confirm the details.
The conventional front wheels are molded as two halves that trap a wheel hub between them. Drawings show the tires to be undersized, although the kit manufacturer has told me that the measurements are accurate. The kicker here is that every other kit and after-market manufacturer has their wheels sized the same as DML.
Separate torsion bar/swing arm parts are provided. They fit into keyways that are part of the road-wheel mounting plates. The keyways are not all that obvious and the torsion bars do not fit them in a particularly positive manner. Therefore much care will be required to ensure that the road-wheels, once mounted, sit level. Separate mounting plates for the idler wheel axles are provided. Be sure to line up the notches in these parts with those on the hull molding. The idler wheel axle is also separate, as is a tiny grease fitting and an adjustment rod. Removing the tab on the idler wheel axle that fits the previously-mentioned keyway will allow the axle to be adjusted in order to ensure proper fit of the tracks. Once you have the proper track sag, lock it in with super glue. The final drive housings are also separate parts and care must also be exercised when fitting them in place.
The conventional suspension for the front wheels is a multi-part assembly. Note that step 2, part A72 is not shown drawn in place, and is not called out in the instructions. It is meant to be fixed up forward, on part X. It provides a socket for part A35 to fit into and should be placed in the spot where the arrow indicates A35 should go. This issue has plagued these instructions since the first iteration of the Sd.Kfz.10. The assembly cannot be posed with the wheels being steered and is missing any parts to link the steering mechanism with the steering column.
The chassis is based on a slide-molded core part, which contains the belly plate and side-walls. The former is detailed with various rivets and stamped strengthening ribs, while the latter has more rivet detail as well as the mounting plates for the road-wheel torsion bar/swing-arms. The riveted reinforcing strips seen on the upper side panels of the SP version are properly omitted, which is a nice touch. Properly-configured separate rear plate is then fitted; this receives a four-part trailer hitch and mount. Up front a multi-part nose section is capped-off by a registration plate holder.
The front fenders are both separate parts; the port-side is also fitted with a multi-part housing and exhaust muffler, while the starboard side gets a three-part stowage locker. Each fender mounts a styrene rod-and-ball width indicator stem. The port-side fender mounts a shovel and wire cutter; the starboard fender mounts a pick and a small hatchet. The head-lamps have clear lenses but no alternative black-out covers. The Tarnscheinwerfer-Notek black-out lamp is provided, but should not be fitted on a factory-new vehicle; the instructions correctly have this part marked as not-for-use. This item was not commonly seen until the 1941 campaigns, and would have been mounted on earlier vehicles that survived. If the modeler wishes to fit the Notek to his vehicle, hell need a mounting bracket; dont forget the associated tail-lamp.
Note that the main chassis part has four injection stubs around the rim. These should be removed in step one, but the instructions show this being done in step eight.
Body and Cab.
The nose of the model comes as many separate parts, to include the radiator grill with open slats and a separate water filler cap; no manufacturers name plate is given. A pair of tow hooks is fitted to the lower edges of the radiator grill. Two side panels cover the lower section of the engine compartment, while a pair of access lids encloses it from the top. These can be posed opened or closed and have separate locking latches, which can also be placed in an opened or closed position. Wherever necessary, the cooling slots that are depicted are opened through the access lids and body panels, while the access lid on the port side receives a separate air intake scoop.
An engine is provided as a multi-part affair. Although fairly nicely detailed, it falls short in the accuracy department, according to reference 10. Curiously, no fan blades are provided for the multi-part fan-belt/pulley assembly. For more details follow the link in the reference list, below; or, the engine can be sealed in its compartment and forgotten.
Further back, a four-part assembly that includes small body panels on either side as well as the dashboard, encloses the area between the engine compartment and the drivers cockpit. This caps a separate engine compartment firewall part. Separate parts to hold the clear windshield and frame are added; care with the glue will ensure the wind-shield can be folded down or extended up. Separate wind-shield wiper blades (etched brass or styrene), separate wiper motors and a styrene/etched brass sun visor complete the area.
There are turn signal assemblies fitted to either side of the cockpit; that on the port side also has a two-part side-view mirror attached to it. Working further back, there are new track-guards for each side; these are the proper configuration for this version; they are narrow, with parallel sides.
The drivers cockpit is extremely well detailed. Each seat comes in three parts, while multi-part transmission and final drive units, as well as a multi-part fuel tank make for a busy interior. There are separate foot pedals and hand controls, as well as a steering wheel, while the dash-board receives a separate hand grip. The decal sheet contains dial faces and various placards, all of which will add a fine finishing touch to the area. Overall, this entire assembly appears to match photos very well.
The load-bed consists of a platform with a separate part for the framework below. The latter is rather delicate and has a large number of knock-out pin nodes that will need removal; patience and a great deal of care will be required from the modeler. The load-bed deck hinge and panel line details, as well as some of the various fittings used to mount the FlaK30, are molded in place. It appears that some of the molded on detail is not appropriate for this version. See reference 1, page 22-1-49 & 22-1-52 and do not use etched brass parts MA19 and MA20 shown in step 12. Some photos indicate that some of these vehicles had a non-skid pattern on the deck plates; this feature is absent here.
The folding side and rear panels also have a fair amount of knock-out pin nodes, so more care and patience will be the order of the day. All of these parts are fitted with etched brass parts to replicate the grid-like panels fitted within. There are ten ammunition magazine lockers, each of which receives a total of four etched brass mounting brackets. The boxes are nicely done but they will require careful clean-up. Various step rungs are placed as appropriate on the drop sides. The rear panel does not have the reinforcement braces, which is correct for this variation.
The four dismountable crew seat pads are provided; they are only shown in their installed positions in the instructions. Photos on page 22-1-46 show these pads hanging from straps, attached to the various lowered folding panels, when the gun is cleared for action. There is no provision for this configuration in the box, but with the help of his etched brass spares bin, most modelers will be able to reproduce this configuration with very little effort.
The 2cm FlaK30 gun tube is a one-piece slide-molded item. It features a perforated and fluted muzzle brake, which also has a pre-drilled bore end. The textured areas that were used to grip the gun tube when it was changed are not present. The gun tube fits on to a multi part receiver group that has separate bolt, cocking lever and cradle parts. The ammunition magazine is a single styrene part and it includes a molded-on feed tray and a full 2cm round at its open end; this can be seen from the open bolt. Alternately, two more 20-round magazines are given, one of which can be inserted if using the provided etched brass feed tray. Again, each magazine has a shell depicted at its open end. These can also be used as accessories; in fact they are all that is in the box belonging to that category!
The cradle is a multi-part assembly that can be shown in the firing or traveling position; for the latter configuration there is a brace and separate retaining pin. The latter must be easily modified, according to the instructions, to depict the gun in the locked configuration.
Typical of German FlaK weapons, a variety of gunners sights were seen on these pieces of ordnance as time progressed; this is important to modelers who wish to place their replica into a specific time frame. The kit provides all that is needed for two different sighting systems.
Apparently by the beginning of the war, the Flakvisier 35 sight was the most common one in use (see reference 1, below). An optical device, this is one of the kits options. The Linealvisier 21, which was a ring-and-bead apparatus, is also included. I think I see a direct-fire telescope on part A30; this was used in the ground-firing mode. There was also a mechanical computer linked to the traverse and elevation mechanisms. An Em 1 m R one-meter rangefinder, which was to be stowed on-board is not provided.
Regardless, the sight assemblies are intricate multi-part affairs that feature some very, very tiny parts. For the Linealvisier 21, a slide-molded core part is dressed up with 14 more styrene and one etched brass part. The latter is for the ring segment of the sight and it replaces an all-styrene option. The mechanical computer is a three-part assembly and the Flakvisier 35 sight consists of six parts. Furthermore, there is a two-part arm that runs from the sight bracket to the trunnions; this can be set at different elevations.
This is conventionally presented with two separate side plates that held the trunnion point. Various linkages, power conduits and hand-wheels decorate each outer plate. In the original Cyberhobby release, the turntable is molded as part of the triangular base. Therefore the gun could not traverse. This limitation has been overcome with new parts for a separate turntable fitted to a re-tooled base. The rim of the turntable gets some etched brass parts for detail. The gunners pair of foot pedals and foot rests is each made up of three pieces; they are fixed on either side of the mount. His seat is a three-part item and between his legs is a four-part hand-wheel and mount. Interestingly, both hand-wheels feature separate (and tiny!) parts to represent the turned wood handles seen on the wheels rim. This is a very nice touch, indeed.
The tripod base has separate leveling pads, with two out of the three hand-wheels associated with them being separate parts. Note that these items have two vertical handles which were used to help grip them when in use. When not in use, the parts were commonly seen folded down. The modeler can simply shave them off and use styrene rod to show them laid down. A number of separate parts are provided to detail the tripod members.
Completely new for this kit is an etched brass fret, which provides parts to create a splinter shield. The main panels are detailed with some fine rivets on the front surface, while indentations are provided on their reverse sides to mount various hinge plates and strut attachment-point plates. Separate side plates for the gun opening are also finely-detailed, while a separate part shields the opening. A styrene part is provided to represent the bar used to help secure the shields, while other styrene parts are mounted to the shields edges to accept some of the etched brass struts. Tiny styrene wing-nuts are provided for that last little bit of detail.
Suffice to say that I will approach this segment of assembly with a great deal of caution!
There are only two extra 20-round ammunition magazines, both of which have dimensional issues.
Molding, Fit and Engineering.
Molding is state-of-the-art and except for the torsion bars, as mentioned above. Based on previous experience with the base kit, I anticipate no major fit problems. I have also built the 2cm FlaK30 from Cyberhobby; it went together well but it is to be remembered that it had no separate rotating base plate or etched brass shields! Stay tuned!
There are no visible ejector pin marks except for the track links and the insides of the two engine hood panels; the latter cleaned-up easily and wont be a seen if the panels are shown opened up. Mold seams are quite fine and easily cleaned, while shrinkage was non-existent.
Accuracy and Details.
Overall, the new parts for the vehicle itself match the drawings in Panzer Tracts 22-1 to well within acceptable tolerances. The small details are very well-rendered and the overall kit captures the look of the prototype extremely well. Modelers should be careful regarding the details of the gun platforms deck plates. In the area of omissions, there is no steering linkage. And, it would be nice to have an Sd.Ah.51 ammunition trailer as well as some spare ammo boxes and magazines. Other issues, such as the track and drive sprocket, as well as the engines shortcomings, are described in great detail in reference 10.
These are clearly-drawn and relatively easy to follow. Parts B42 and B52 have their numbers reversed in the instructions. Part B46 fits the center of the engine block, with B58 fitting where the instructions indicate B46 goes. I have noted other issues in the relevant sections. Modelers should, by now certainly, approach DMLs instructions with caution and should never blindly follow them.
Decals and Markings Information.
Water-slide decals are provided by Italys Cartograf. As we have come to expect, they are crisply-printed with excellent registration and color saturation. Carrier film is clear, matte and cut close to the individual designs.
Three specific vehicles are provided for:
Two vehicles, both unidentified units, 1939.
One vehicle from an unidentified unit in 1942/43
The 1942/43 vehicle should be painted overall in Dunkelgrau, has the registration plate WH-140597. The other two should be painted in the two-tone grey and brown scheme in use prior to late 1940. All three vehicles have their own distinct registration plates; more separate numbers and blank plates are provided for modelers who need specific registration plates. I have not confirmed any of the markings in the cited references.
While some accuracy improvements still must be introduced, this kit is still a worthwhile addition to the display shelf. It is a different enough version of the Sd.Kfz.10/4 and it is made especially attractive (and more complicated to assemble) by the addition of the etched brass gun-shield.
Frank V. De Sisto
References consulted for this report included:
1. Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1 t Sd.Kfz.10; Panzer Tracts No.22-1, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
2. German Army Semi-Tracks 1939-45, Part 1, Prime Movers and Self-Propelled Carriages; Bellona, by Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle.
3. German Half-Tracked Vehicles of World War 2; Hippocrene Books, by J. Milsom.
4. German Half-Tracks of World War Two; Concord 7054, by F. De Sisto & L. Lecocq.
5. German Half-Tracks of World War Two, Vol.2; Concord 7067, by F. De Sisto & L. Lecocq.
6. German Halftracks in Action; Squadron Armor No.3, by U. Feist & K. Reiger.
7. Halbkettenfahrzeuge, German Half-Track Vehicles 1939-1945; Wehrmacht Illustrated No.4, Almark Publications, by J. Williamson & K. Jones.
8. Allied-Axis Issue 9, pages 44-69, article by P. Stansell.
9. Toadmans leichter Zugkraftwagen 1T Sd.Kfz.10 Ausf.B Photo Detail CD, #24, by C. Hughes.
10. Perth Military Modelling Society, review by T. Ashley at:http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/dragon/dr6676.html
Note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reports.
DML kits are available from retail and on-line shops; for details visit their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.
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