ARM: Review - DML 1/35 Scale Sd.Kfz. 234/3 7.5 cm

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.
6257; Sd.Kfz. 234/3 Schwerer Panzerspaehwagen (7.5 cm); 573 parts (530
in grey styrene, 22 clear styrene, 17 etched brass, 4 turned brass);
estimated price US$40-45
Advantages: new, well detailed and very complete kit of this popular
vehicle completes the series; complex driveline appears to be fully
replicated; includes fighting compartment interior
Disadvantages: side bins and lower hull access doors molded in closed
positions; engine bay will be difficult to open up
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all German armor and wheeled vehicle fans
F I R S T L O O K
After nearly one year since the last release (the Sd.Kfz. 234/2
"Puma", kit No. 6256) Dragon has now completed their totally new
series of Sd.Kfz. 234 heavy armored cars with the "Stroke 3" variant.
As with the first three kits, the Germans continued their prewar
designs throughout the war, and the Sd.Kfz. 231 heavy eight-wheeled
armored car series was replaced by the Sd.Kfz. 234 series beginning in
September 1943. Four different vehicles were produced in this series:
Sd.Kfz. 234/1 (Geraet 95) 200 built 2 cm cannon/7.92mm MG in open
turret
(built Jun 44 - Jan 45)
Sd.Kfz. 234/2 (Geraet 93) 101 built 5 cm gun/7.92mm MG in closed
turret (also called the Puma) (built Sep 43 - Sep 44)
Sd.Kfz. 234/3 (Geraet 94) 88 built 7.5 cm L/24 in open mount
(built Jun 44 - Dec 44)
Sd.Kfz. 234/4 (Geraet 96) 89 built 7.5 cm Pak 40 in open mount
(built Dec 44 - Mar 45)
The "Stroke 3" was designed for use as a heavy armored that would at
least have sufficient firepower to deal with most unfortunate
encounters. But by that stage of the war, and even with the advent of
hollow charge ammunition, it was too light to have much effect on
enemy forces. Ergo it was quickly replaced in production by the very
heavy Sd.Kfz. 234/4 with the long-barreled PaK 40 7.5 cm antitank
gun.
As with all of the 234s the "Stroke 3" was fast (80 kph/48 mph),
moderately well armed, and had a long range (900 km/560 miles). Armor
provided proof against small arms of 7.62mm caliber and shell
fragments. Since its Tatra 103 engine was a 12-cylinder air-cooled
diesel, it had a major advantage over other nations' armored cars.
Dragon has once again played "mix and match" with this kit, offering
some 98 new or replacement parts to convert the kit basic parts to the
"Stroke 3;" they have also tweaked some of the other molds from
earlier kits. The gun here comes from their recent line of Pzkw. IV
tanks (Ausf. B-E) and provides the basics for the gun, with new
moldings adapting the L/24 gun to the 234 chassis. A new sprue of
clear parts from one of the other recent kits (alas, I forget just
which one) provides the periscopic sight as a clear part for the L/24
gun.
Also new to this kit is a set of three "street" tires with sectional
tread, using the now optional DML "sandwich" method of assembly to get
sufficient tread depth. Six sections are used to create each tire, and
these tires can then be used to replace the stock tires that have been
used in the other three kits. These are featured on the box art and
they offer some variety in the model.
The etched brass has been minimized in this kit, and most of the
parts provided are either tie-down fasteners or the centers for the
six "jerry" cans. There are no brass parts for the engine access
vents.
Once again however the fenders are molded "solid" with four stowage
that have their doors closed.
The suspension and interior are beautifully rendered and this version
even includes the "jump" seats for the gun crew which can be built as
folded up or down. Ammo racks with separate rounds are provided for
the interior.
Finishing options are provided for three vehicles: 226. Aufklaerungs
Abt., 116th Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (tricolor patches); "Ulrich
von Hutten" Division, Germany 1945 (tricolor patches); Unidentified
Unit, Normandy 1944 (sand brown overall). Two Cartograf decal sheets
are provided, one targeted and one generic number plates and serial
numbers.
This project was supervised by Hirohisa Takada, with technical
drawings by Shin Okada and technical help from Tom Cockle and Gary
Edmundson.
Overall this is a great series from DML and now the four vehicles are
complete.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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i give up. dragon, afv, etc, how's a po' boy supposed to keep up? never mind the, i'll just skip lunch for a week, where is the time to build all the new stuff. i'm an airplane guy who does the occasional armor kit, meaning i haven't gotten to a plane in months. who's got the immortality pills and a couple of g's to loan me?
Reply to
someone
It depends what you call "new"? I can't help noticing the popular stuff gets reissued over and over again while the less popular subjects are virtually ignored.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
i'm not talking new to me. there is a LOT of really new out there. the reissues could bury me 10 deep.
Reply to
someone

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