ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz. 10 Ausf. A w/5cm PaK 38

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 7632; S d.Kfz. 10 Ausf. A w/5cm PaK 38; 709 parts (430 in grey styrene, 192 "Magic
Track" links, 83 etched brass, 4 clear styrene); pre-order price US$52.95 v ia Dragon USA Online
Advantages: combines two popular kits in a good set with some extra parts a nd upgrades included
Disadvantages: two-part single link tracks difficult to assemble
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all early war German antitank fans
    The Demag D7 was the smallest of the pre-war German halftracks, rated at o ne metric ton cargo capacity and able to carry eight personnel and their ba sic kit. But as it was quite flexible, over the course of the war it was ad apted to carry out many different tasks. The basic vehicle came in two vers ions - the Ausf. A which was the initial production variant, and the Ausf. B. which differed in that it an air compressor for using air brakes on heav ier towed loads.
    Over 14,000 total chassis were built by seven different factories. The ori ginal version was designed to tow light weapons like the 3.7 cm antitank gu ns or the 7.5 cm infantry howitzer, but the later B model was also used for 5 cm and 7.5 cm antitank guns and even the 10.5 cm howitzers.
    DML has now offered the Ausf. A with their previous 5 cm PaK 38 antitank g un as a proper set, and as a nice touch have added a couple of upgrades to the two older kits. The 1 ton now comes with a larger fret of etched brass and a folded top, and the PaK 38 includes eight four-round ammo cannsters.
    The Ausf. A uses many of the previous Sd.Kfz. 10/5 sprues with the noted a dditions of Sd.Kfz. 250 parts for the running gear. The kit retains the new hull pan with individual torsion bars for the suspension and a complete en gine and transmission assembly. The modeler now does once more have a choic e of the "street" tires (two part types or the five slice ones from the lat er 250 kits) in this kit. The first eight steps of construction cover the c hassis and engine components.
    The hood and grille remain 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 r uin the effect). Racks for eight Kar 98K rifles mount inside the rear body but only four rifles are still included.
    The new body comes in multiple parts with what appear to be working sides/ seat backs (F1/F2) as they snap in to mounts on the sides of the body. The seats are fixed and installed in Step 14.
    As before DML have stuck with 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.
    The PaK 38 is a very nice kit in its own right and comes with a good amoun t of detail, plus the third wheel mount used for castoring the vehicle when being moved by its own crew. But while the 1 ton got new brass, this kit d id not. Modelers who particularly prefer etched brass gun shields will be d isappointed even though the styrene ones are reasonably thin with tapered e dges.
    The directions for assembly have been cleaned up, and now follow a logical order. While the trails are installed in Step 20, they are not fixed to th e lower carriage until Step 23 when parts A45/48 are cemented in place. Als o note in Step 26 that the gun balancer (part A44) and sight assembly (part A43) are actually the trunnions for the gun, and care must therefore be ta ken when cementing them in place.
    There is one component which DML could have left loose, however: the gun a perture shield section of part A37 should be moveable with the gun, and her e DML provides it as fixed in its uppermost movement position to the inner half of the gun shield itself. This will be tedious to remove, but a simple sheet styrene one can be made up and trapped in place with strip styrene i f the modeler wants a more realistic shield.     Technical consultants on this kit were Thomas Anderson, Tom Cockle and Gar y Edmundson.     
    Four finishing options are provided: 19th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1 942 (grey, WH-529365, white markings); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 194 2 (grey, WH-520332); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (sand with green mottle for the vehicle, gun in sand only; no WH numbers provided). A tiny markings set and a number plate number jungle are provided from Cartograf.          Overall, if you have not picked up either kit before - or simply want a ni ce set for a diorama - this is a very nice idea and a good choice.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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