ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz. 7/1 Flakfvierling w/Armor Cab

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6533; Sd.Kfz. 7/1 Flakvierling 38 w/Armor Cab; 628 parts (388 in grey
styrene, 216 =93Magic Track=94 two-piece links, 15 etched brass, 6 clear
styrene, 3 DS plastic tires); retail price US$59.95 via Dragon USA
Advantages: combination of armored 7/2 and unarmored 7/1 kits into a
new model of this specific vehicle; nicely done use of =93slide molding=94
and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine
and underside details; lots of options for finishing - two cabs, two
bodies
Disadvantages: as a =93Smart Kit=94 probably not enough brass for some; DS
single tracks advertised on the box but only =93Magic Track=94 links
provided
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German halftrack fans and =93Duck Hunters=94
F I R S T L O O K
DML continues its release of Sd.Kfz.7 8 ton halftrack kits with the
armored cab version of the Sd.Kfz. 7/1 with the Flakvierling 38 quad
mount. This kit joins the unarmored 7/1 kit, the armored and unarmored
7/2 kits, three prime mover variants, and the cyber-hobby.com cargo
variant converted to carry the Flakvierling mount.
As with all earlier Sd.Kfz. 7 releases 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.
One major change is that while this kit promised relief to those
large of digit and lacking dexterity some relief by including DS
single piece plastic track runs, the actual kit still provides the the
two-piece =93Magic Track=94 halftrack tracks. As often noted these are
very small and DML should have made included the other tracks. At
least as a =93Smart Kit=94 it makes use of slide molding and other tricks
to avoid needless small parts assemblies and minimize the use of
brass.
As before the kit comes with a complete engine there is a 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 remains solid; this is odd as other later kits such as the
Opel Blitz show DML can mold such parts with =93see-through=94 bars.
However, since this one requires an armored cover it becomes a moot
point. The hood comes with separate side panels which can be left of
as per the originals.
The kit offers only one body with recommended solid wood sides, but
mesh grating sides from etched brass are included as well. Oddly
enough DML does not list them as parts!
The 2 cm Flakvierling 38 is by now an =93old friend=94 and like other
antiaircraft gun offerings, the gun may be displayed in =93combat=94 or
=93movement order=94 depending on some of the parts options and fittings
as selected by the modeler. Either empty or full ammo racks and clips
of rounds are provided. While DML indicates the weapons may be posed
in any position, the gun sight connector arm (part A4) MUST be
cemented in place which means only a fixed elevation may be chosen if
the arm is used.
Unlike other kits, since this kit has an armored cab the windshield
is not used and thus no painting masks are included. The cabs are
quite different and both require their own hood, fenders, and
fittings. One is =93lap=94 type construction with overlapping sides and
the other is =93bent=94 in which one piece of armor was bent to shape. The
directions indicate the =93lap=94 type goes with the open mesh body and
the =93bent=94 type goes with the wooden body. The sprue is marked for the
Sd.Kfz. 7/1 even though it seems remarkably similar to that from the
Sd.Kfz. 7/2 kit.
Research and technical assistance were provided by Dan Graves, Tom
Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Six different finishing options are offered with a small sheet of
Cartograf decals, but it also provides a license plate =93number
jungle=94. The variants which can be modeled are: Unidentified Unit,
Eastern Front 1943(tricolor, no plates); Unidentified Unit, Eastern
Front 1943 (tricolor stripes, WL-529954); Unidentified Unit, Eastern
Front 1943 (unknown sides - sand; no plates); Unidentified Unit,
Eastern Front 1943 (whitewash over sand - no plates); 2nd Panzer
Division, France 1944 (tricolor - unknown sides; no plates)
Unidentified Unit, Normandy 1944 (brown over sand, unreadable plates;
unknown sides).
Overall this continues the family of =93eight-tonners=94.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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