AFV Club 1/35 Leichte Zugkraftwagen 3t Sd.Kfz.11 Late Version Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||April 2007||Manufacturer||AFV Club|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.11 Leichte Zugkraftwagen 3t Late Version||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35047||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interesting subject and well molded||Cons||No engine, figures or canvas roof for rear bed. Cab doors molded solid|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Sd.Kfz.11, light half-track, was originally designed for towing a mid-size howitzer and was widely adapted in all fronts throughout Europe and North Africa during WWII. Due to the lack of materials in the later stages of the war, it’s production procedure went through considerable simplification. The chassis remained unchanged and the later model heavily adopted parts of the Sd.Kfz.251, rendering it a significantly different look.
Due to the crucial need for steel and other war supplies, the upper hull of the late-war Sd.Kfz.11 was assembled largely with wood material. Following the lengthening of it’s engine compartment, the cabin was modified into a tightly enclosed wooden structure. Similar to the Sd.Kfz.251, it’s steering wheel was also changed to a downward-tilting angle. Other than it’s original towing duty for artillery units, the usage of the late-war Sd.Kfz.11 had widely diversified, serving the Third Reich throughout the last days of the war in many roles.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is similar to how Tamiya does their’s. It is an illustration of the vehicle on a all white background. A side panel of the box gives a three view. All illustrations show the Sd.Kfz.11 in overall sand color.
The bottom of the tray has illustrations of the box arts of 15 other armor kits in the AFV Club line. These are in black and white. The sides of the lid, inside, have full color illustrations of the box arts of 12 more AFV Club kits. So the box is a virtual catalog of their kits.
This is the second kit of the Sd.Kfz.11 marketed by AFV. The first one (kit no. 35040) was the early type with the metal body.
Inside the box are six trees of light tan parts, one in olive drab, a tree of clear parts, black vinyl rubber band type treads, a small fret of PE, the decal sheet and the instructions.
The instructions consist of a stapled booklet, eight ½” x 11” format, that has 12 pages to it.
Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the history of the Sd.Kfz.11 in English and Chinese.
Page two begins with the history in Japanese. This is followed by international assembly symbol explanations, decal application instructions and a list of colors recommended to finish the model. Gunze Sangyo, Humbrol, Revell and Life Color brand paints are called out.
Page three has the first three assembly steps shown.
Pages four through the top of page 11 give the balance of a total of 19 assembly steps. The bottom of the page gives two illustrations (a front and rear view) of an Sd.Kfz.11 serving with the 2nd Panzer Division, France 1944. This is the one, and only, marking option in the kit and the one used for the box art.
The top of page 12 gives the parts illustrations, followed by parts replacement forms to mail to AFV Club for any parts damaged or missing.
There are two identical letter A parts trees. These hold: suspension arms, road wheels, front tires etc. (33 parts per tree).
Letter B tree holds: the drive sprockets, notek lamp, control levers, leaf spring, axle etc.
Letter C tree holds: chassis side pieces, transmission parts, frame parts, steering wheel, cabin floor, bench seat cushions, exhaust system, fuel tank etc. (31 parts)
Letter G tree is the small brass PE set. It gives you the radiator grill single piece.
The next tree is letter H. This is the two lengths of black vinyl rubber band type tracks.
These are not of the glueable rubber type. The instructions show us to use super-glue on them. AFV Club markets three kits of workable individual track links: kit no. 35044 which are for the Sd.Kfz.11 and two different sets for Sd.Kfz.11’s and 251’s late models: kit no. 35069 & 35070. It would have been nice if AFV had included one of these sets in the kit, instead of the vinyl ones. The detail on the vinyl ones is quite good however.
Letter I is the decal sheet. The trident mark for the 2nd Panzer Div. is given along with a license plate number and numerous tactical markings.
Lettering now jumps to the letter M parts tree. It holds all the wood panels for the cab and rear bed of the Sd.Kfz.11, along with it’s dash board and cab grill (21 parts).
Letter N tree holds all the clear parts for the cab windows. No clear lenses are provided for the headlights, as you only get the slitted type of those in the kit. The doors on the cab are molded in solid. Too bad these are not separate pieces to show off the detail in the cab.
Lettering now jumps to the letter W parts tree. It holds the cab roof, front fender unit, headlights and their slitted covers, the frame parts that support the canvas cover over the bed (canvas cover not provided in kit) etc. (31 parts).
The last tree in the kit is the olive drab one, tree letter X. It holds weapons: four 98k rifles, a MG 34 machine-gun, a MG 42 machine-gun, ammunition snail drums and ammo link belts and two folded ground bipods (11 parts).
There are no crew figures in the kit, no cargo load, no engine under the hood (only the bottom of the oil pan) and no canvas cover to go over the support frame over the cargo bed. Of course, in the past, I have made these canvas covers from tissue soaked in an Elmer’s white glue solution. Perhaps the cab doors could be cut open with careful surgery too. These would have been very nice to have as they would have turned a very good kit into a great one.
I recommend this kit to all modelers of German WWII soft skin vehicles.