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Sd.Kfz.7/1 Flakvierling 38 w/Armor Cab

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7/1 Flakvierling 38 w/Armor Cab Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2011 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.7/1 Flakvierling 38 w/Armor Cab - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6533 Primary Media 628 parts (388 in grey styrene, 216 "Magic Track" two-piece links, 15 etched brass, 6 clear styrene, 3 DS plastic tires)
Pros Combination of armored 7/2 and unarmored 7/1 kits into a new model of this specific vehicle; nicely done use of "slide molding" and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details; lots of options for finishing - two cabs, two bodies Cons As a "Smart Kit" probably not enough brass for some; DS single tracks advertised on the box but only "Magic Track" links provided
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $59.99

First Look

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 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 “Magic Track” halftrack tracks. As often noted these are very small and DML should have made included the other tracks. At least as a “Smart Kit” 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 “see-through” 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 “old friend” and like other antiaircraft gun offerings, the gun may be displayed in “combat” or “movement order” 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 “lap” type construction with overlapping sides and the other is “bent” in which one piece of armor was bent to shape. The directions indicate the “lap” type goes with the open mesh body and the “bent” 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 “number jungle”. 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 “eight-tonners”.

Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 52 7/1 Flakvierling carriage and details
  • B 55 8 ton - Underframe details - winch, drivers, front axle, subframe, muffler
  • C 44x2 8 ton - road wheels, front wheel backs, body details
  • D 72 8 ton - engine, hood, radiator, standard passenger body components less sides
  • G 26x2 7/1 Flakvierling - 2 x 2 cm Flak 38 and ammo clips
  • H 4x2 7/1 Flakvierling shields (two different)
  • H 6 8 ton - clear styrene
  • J 28 7/1 Armored Cab and hood components
  • K 3 DS plastic tires
  • L 32 7/1 Floor and bed option parts
  • W 1 8 ton - chassis
  • Y 108 “Magic Track” track pads
  • Z 108 “Magic Track” track links
  • MA 12 Etched brass
  • MB 3 Etched brass