Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6676; Sd.Kfz. 10/5 fuer 2 cm Flak 38; 760 parts (448 in grey styrene, 192 Magic Track links, 114 etched brass, 4 clear styrene, 2 preformed etched brass); pre-order price US$43.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: dramatic change in detail and quality over previous ESCI kit; uses proven DML parts from previous kits
Disadvantages: more than past time for a set of DS Plastic tracks for this suspension
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German halftrack and =93duck hunter=94 fans
The Germans were clearly the most adventurous and committed country in working on halftracked vehicles during WWII, and had multiple classes of vehicles covering the 1, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 18 ton classes on softskin platforms and 1 and 3 ton fully armored chassis. The Sd.Kfz.10 chassis =96 and its armored Sd.Kfz. 250 equivalent - were the mainstay of the light end of the range.
Five different variants of the Sd.Kfz. 10 model were produced by DEMAG, and the latter two =96 Sd.Kfz.10/4 and Sd.Kfz. 10/5 - were self- propelled light antiaircraft variants. The differences between them were slight - the /4 mounted the 2 cm Flak 30 and the /5 the 2 cm Flak
- Both were apparently accounted for as one variant as the same chassis was used for both vehicles, and a total of over 600 of both variants was produced.
More than 30 years ago ESCI released its kit no. 5018, which provided their version of the DEMAG 1 tonner with the ESCI 2 cm Flak 30 kit and a crew of five as their version of the Sd.Kfz. 10/4. While popular with modelers it had a number of basic problems (starting with rather spartan molding and mediocre figures) and over the years fell behind the leading edge of the hobby. Now after many years of speculation and heckling by modelers, DML has released a brand-new kit of this vehicle in its similar Sd.Kfz. 10/5 variant.
The new kit essentially combines proven components - good or bad, based on point of view =96 from their 2 cm single-barrel Flak 38 kits with the running gear from their line of Sd.Kfz. 250 light armored halftracks. In this kit 106 parts come from the 2 cm Flak 38 (less the Sd.Anh. 51 trailer chassis) and the complete running gear from the 250
- 90 wheel and tire parts and of course 192 parts for the Magic Track two-part links. All of the rest are brand new.
The kit has a totally new hull pan with individual torsion bars for the suspension and a complete engine and transmission assembly. The modeler has a choice of either new =93street=94 tires (two part types) or the five-piece grooved variants from the later 250 kits. In point of fact the first eight steps of construction cover the chassis and engine components.
The hood and grille are impressive as all vanes and louvers are molded open and clear, with the ones on the hood being very petite and neatly done (be careful as I would bet a thick coat of paint would block them up and ruin the effect). Note that more variants are clearly planned as in Step 8 four locating blocks on the top of the rear of the chassis pan have to be removed before mounting the gun platform. A storage case for three Kar 98K rifles mounts on each fender but only four rifles are included.
The gun platform comes with a one piece and very intricately molded subframe (with many =93tags=94 from molding overflow to be removed, but at least note that usually eliminates =93short shots=94 or incompletely molded parts). The side frames are separate with etched brass grid inserts and ten spare 2 cm ammo magazines to mount on them.
The 2 cm gun is a now familiar DML item and comes with four sets of elevation braces so angles can be preset from 0 to 20, 40 or 60 degrees elevation. Options provide for both early and late mount designs.
There are four seats included for the gun crew which mount on the rear platform.
The one bugaboo with the kit is that it still uses the tiny Magic Track links of two parts each. While they are nicely done and accurate, they are smaller than many 1/72 scale kits and very tedious to assemble.
Technical consultants on this kit were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Six different finishing options are included: 21st Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (sand with green stripes, WH-6042074); 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Division =93Totenkopf=94, Eastern Front 1943 (sand with white markings); 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division LAH, Kursk 1943-44 (sand with white markings); 2nd SS Panzer Division =93Das Reich=94, Fastov 1943-44 (sand with green stripes, white markings); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front1943-44 (sand with green stripes and white kill markings); 1st SS Brigade (Motorisiert), Panzergrenadier Division LAH, Eastern Front 1942 (grey with white markings). All decals are on a Cartograf sheet; also, four masks for the windshield are provided with the kit. The latter is welcome as compared to the 8 ton class halftracks it=92s nice DML realized they have both front and back sides!
Overall this kit should be very popular as it is state of the art and has a number of different possible options.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample