ARM: Review - DLM 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz. 7/2 with 3.7 cm Flak 36

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6541; Sd.Kfz. 7/2 3.7 cm Flak 36 - Smart Kit; 635 parts (400 in grey
styrene, 216 “Magic Track” two-piece links, 13 etched brass, 6 clear styrene, 3 DS plastic tires); pre-order price US$59.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: first new model of this specific vehicle in 30 years; nicely done use of “slide molding” and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details
Disadvantages: as a “Smart Kit” probably not enough brass for some; small links perhaps better as DS tracks
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German halftrack fans and “Duck Hunters”
F I R S T L O O K
    Nearly two years ago DML released a kit of the eight ton halftrack with the 37mm AA gun in its armored form. They are now releasing it as the “softskin” version with the earlier 3.7 cm Flak 36 gun and suitable changes to the kit parts; there are 58 new parts to this kit as well as a new fret of etched brass.
    Ass with their earlier Sd.Kfz. 7/1 2 cm Flakvierling and the armored Sd.Kfz. 7/2 DML has provided a very thorough kit with a complete engine and undercarriage to include the winch and all associated parts, as well as the flatbed body with etched brass mesh panels for the fold-out sides. Some things remain the same – for example, the two- piece “Magic Track” 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 “Smart Kits” they make use of slide molding and other tricks to avoid needless small parts assemblies and minimize the use of brass.
    As before it comes with the complete engine and transfer case, fuel tank, four-part winch drum, and complete towhook installation that form part of the chassis. The drivers are two-piece with suitable rollers represented and also add etched brass centers for scale appearance.
    The front tires are DS plastic outers and treads combined with a styrene inner section. While presumably the fit will be good since it is on the inside it should not be a problem, and the result is a nice diamond-pattern tread all the way around with no seams. Another complete tire unit is included as the spare for under the cargo bed.
    The only thing some may complain about for the basic chassis is that the grille is solid, which given recent DML kits such as their Opel Blitz could have been molded differently to give it some “airiness” with the radiator behind it. The hood comes with separate side panels which can be left of as per the originals.
    The kit offers the standard platform body with fold-down sides fitted with mesh gratings from etched brass and a specific gun mount base for the Flak 36.
    The 3.7 cm Flak 36 uses the common parts it shared with the earlier Flak 37 but this kit adds a new sprue of lower carriage replacement parts (I am not sure why as the only reference I have says that the only difference between the two was the sight, with the Flak 37 using a clockwork powered leading sight. The box art states part of the changes in the molds were to provide new gunners’ seats.) Like its predecessors the gun uses a slide molded barrel and flash hider. But unlike the previous DML antiaircraft gun offerings, this gun possesses free elevation and traverse and may be posed in any position the modeler chooses, unlike the others which only offered fixed options. However, it only comes with 12 rounds loaded into its feed tray and no extra ammo racks or clips.
    As it possesses the “softskin” cab it comes with a windshield and painting masks are included. (DML did correct the fact the first one only had two masks, where it needed four for both sides!)
    Research and technical assistance were provided by Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    Three different finishing options are offered with a small sheet of Cartograf decals, but it also provides a license plate “number jungle”. The variants which can be modeled are: “Grossdeutschland” Motorized Infantry Division, Ukraine 1942 (grey with markings, WH-647299); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (green mottle over sand brown); Unidentified Luftwaffe Unit, Western Front 1944 (tri- color with WL plates, no number shown).
    Overall this looks to be another option for German antiaircraft and eight ton fans, and the changes to make the earlier gun are a nice call by DML.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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