Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale Kit No. 46 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6583); Sd.Kfz. 7 8t Flatbed w/2 cm Flakvierling 38 - Smart Kit; 696 parts (438 in grey styrene,216 =93Magic Track=94 links, 29 etched brass, 6 clear styrene, 4 film masks, 3 DS plastic tires); estimated retail price US$59.95
Advantages: different version of the Sd.Kfz. 7 and 2 cm Flakvierling; nicely done use of =93slide molding=94 and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details
Disadvantages: as a =93Smart Kit=94 probably not enough brass for some; small links perhaps better as DS tracks
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German halftrack fans and =93Duck Hunters=94
Towards the end of the war the Germans were desperately converting anything and everything to self-propelled weapons. This version of the Sd.Kfz. 7 8 ton halftrack is a temporary mating of the effective 2 cm Flakvierling 38 antiaircraft gun on the platform cargo carrying variant of the halftrack.
Basically this kit consists of DML=92s boutique affiliate cyber- hobby.com taking parts from the Sd.Kfz. 7 Late Model, Sd/Kfz. 7/1. and Sd.Kfz. 7/2 kits and combining them to create a new variant.
As with the other variants, the DML molds provided a very thorough kit with a complete engine and undercarriage. As before the two-piece =93Magic Track=94 halftrack tracks are included, but as often noted are very small and DML could have made many modelers happy by molding them as one-piece runs in DS plastic. Also, as the kits are =93Smart Kits=94 they make use of slide molding and other tricks to avoid needless small parts assemblies and minimize the use of brass.
The front tires remain DS plastic outers and treads combined with a styrene inner section. So far these appear to have been a good idea and DML should think about using them with other wheeled vehicles.
Also as before the grille remains solid (there are aftermarket kits now that correct this), and perhaps could have been molded differently to give it some =93airiness=94 with the radiator behind it. The hood comes with separate side panels which can be left of as per the originals.
The bed is nicely done and the fold-down panels appear nicely done. But this is a cargo carrier and pretty stripped down without all of the details of the first two AA gun kits.
The 2 cm Flakvierling 38 is still a nicely done kit with =93Slide Molded=94 barrel muzzles and flash hiders. As with previous DML antiaircraft gun offerings, there are different sight articulation bars provided for setting the guns at either 0 or 60 degrees elevation, but the guns will not move if the bars are used. Two different types of gun shields are provided, as are a number of magazines and ammo racks for the installation. Note that the carriage does not include the wheels so only a platform or in place version of the gun can be modeled.
This is the first DML kit which also provides masks for the windshield sections so that the model may assembled and then painted, and which is a nice touch. They have now corrected for their earlier kits and provide four masks, e.g. to cover BOTH sides of the windshield.
Research and technical assistance were provided by Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Two different finishing options are offered with a sheet of Cartograf decals only providing the license plate =93number jungle=94. Both are for Unidentified Units, Western Front 1945 but only one has the license plates worn on the front (a tricolor version, whereas the other is sand brown).
Overall this provides a different look at the 8 ton with quad 20mm gun mount.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.