Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 6731; Sd.Kfz. 10 Ausf. B 1942 Production - Smart Kit; 561 parts (351 in grey s tyrene, 192 ?Magic Track? two-part links, 24 etched brass, 4 clear styr ene); pre-order price US$48.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: second later production release of the cargo version of this ve hicle in this scale in styrene; 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 fans
As noted when I reviewed the previous cyber-hobby.com Ausf. A version of t his vehicle, the Demag D7 was the smallest of the pre-war German halftracks , rated at one metric ton cargo capacity and able to carry eight personnel and their basic kit. But as it was quite flexible, over the course of the w ar it was adapted to carry out many different tasks. The basic vehicle came in two versions ? 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 heavier 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.
This kit is identical to the previous Ausf. A kit (contrary to the splash panels on the box which indicate it is totally new) with the exception of r eplacing the road wheels and idlers with the set from DML?s Sd.Kfz. 250 l ight armored halftrack kits. As before, all of the base parts are labeled ?Sd.Kfz. 10/5" which they are NOT.
This kit uses many of the previous Sd.Kfz. 10/5 sprues with the noted addi tions of Sd.Kfz. 250 parts for the running gear. The kit retains the new hu ll pan with individual torsion bars for the suspension and a complete engin e and transmission assembly. The modeler now does once more have a choice o f the ?street? tires (two part types or the five slice ones from the la ter 250 kits) in this kit. The first eight steps of construction cover the chassis 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. No top or any bows are provided w ith this kit.
As before cyber-hobby/DML have stuck with the tiny Magic Track links of tw o parts each. While they are nicely done and accurate, they are smaller tha n many 1/72 scale kits and very tedious to assemble.
Technical consultants on this kit were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Three different finishing options are included: Unidentified Unit, 337th I nfantry Division, Eastern Front 1944 (tri-color spray with plate WH-149775) ; 1st SS Panzer Division ?LAH?, Kharkov, 1943 (grey, no plate numbers, white markings); and Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (grey with white trim, plate WH-520332). A ?number jungle? with plates is provided from Cartograf, but the masks for the windshield are oddly missing.
Overall this kit ?completes the record? on the 1-ton family and should be popular as a prime mover for the lighter artillery pieces.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample