ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz. 7/2 with 3.7 cm FlaK 43

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 6553; 3 .7 cm FlaK 43 auf Sd.Kfz. 7/2 - Smart Kit; 721 parts (433 in grey styrene,
216 "Magic Track" two-piece links, 59 etched brass, 10 clear styrene, 3 DS Plastic tires); pre-order price US$67.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: final variant of the self-propelled 37mm antiaircraft gun offer s two different cabs and two different body styles; lots of optional choice s with this kit; nicely done use of "slide molding" and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details
Disadvantages: full brass gun shield may frustrate some modelers; small lin ks perhaps better as DS tracks
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German halftrack fans and "Duck Hunters"
F I R S T L O O K     
    Nearly two years after DML released the FlaK 37 armed version of the Sd.Kf z. 7/2 semi-armored halftrack, they have now combined it with the FlaK 43 v ersion of the gun in a new kit with a lot of options - either wooden or mes h side bodies and two different armored cabs, albeit only one is covered in the directions. There are some 267 new or changed parts to this kit as wel l including two new frets of etched brass.
    Ass with their earlier Sd.Kfz. 7/2 kits DML has provided a very thorough k it with a complete engine and undercarriage to include the winch and all as sociated parts, as well as the flatbed body with etched brass mesh panels f or the fold-out sides. Some things remain the same - for example, the two-p iece "Magic Track" halftrack tracks are included, but as often noted are ve ry small and DML could have made many modelers happy by molding them as one -piece runs in DS plastic. Also, as the kits are "Smart Kits" they make use of slide molding and other tricks to avoid needless small parts assemblies and minimize the use of brass.
    As before it comes with the complete engine and transfer case, fuel tank, four-part winch drum, and complete towhook installation that form part of t he 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 i nner section. While presumably the fit will be good since it is on the insi de it should not be a problem, and the result is a nice diamond-pattern tre ad all the way around with no seams. Another complete tire unit is included as the spare for under the cargo bed.
    While DML left the radiator grille solid, as this one has an armored plate oveer the front of the vehicle it becomes a moot point. The hood comes wit h separate side panels which can be left of as per the originals.
    The kit offers either the the standard platform body with fold-down sides fitted with mesh gratings (as based on a museum vehicle) as well as the mor e common wooden fold-down sides. Either one may be installed in either trav el or combat positions.
    The 3.7 cm FlaK 43 is borrowed from the "Ostwind" kit and uses nearly all of those parts complete plus a lower carriage from the separate FlaK 43 kit . Like its predecessors the gun uses a slide molded barrel and flash hider. With care this gun may be assembled to provide both elevation and traverse and may be posed in any position the modeler chooses unlike previous effor ts which only offered fixed options. It comes with four clips of 8 rounds e ach plus ammo boxes on the sides.
    The gun shield is only offered in brass, and will require some "origami" s kills to assemble. There are 29 etched brass and four plastic parts to the shield, and either a "combat" or "travel" position must be chosen.
    As noted two different armored cabs are included, but the kit only proffer s the 7/2 dedicated variant.
    Research and technical assistance were provided by Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    Two different finishing options are offered with a small sheet of Cartogra f decals, but it also provides a license plate "number jungle". The variant s which can be modeled are: Unidentified Unit, Germany 1945 (sand with two- color "ribbon" camouflage; no number plate shown); and Unidentified Unit, G ermany 1945 (sand overall, WL-xxxxxx registration plates).
    Overall, this completes the Sd.Kfz. 7 armed variants from DML and should b e a popular kit.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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