Trumpeter 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7 Mittlere Zugkraftwagen 8t Late Version Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||1507||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Magnificent detailing!||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$68.95|
The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd.Kfz.) 7 was an eight-ton-class German half-track designed in the mid-1930s to serve as the prime mover for artillery pieces like the 8.8cm FlaK and 15cm sFH.18 howitzer. The vehicle was designed to provide the capability to move its gun, gun crew, and a supply of ammunition wherever needed on the battlefield.
Designed and built by Krauss-Maffei, the Sd.Kfz.7 was powered by a six-cylinder 140 horsepower engine and could move its payload up to 250 kilometers with its 215 liter fuel capacity. In addition to its standard prime mover role, the chassis was adapted to meet a variety of missions. For example:
- Sd.Kfz.7/1 - mobile quad 2cm FlaK gun mount
- Sd.Kfz.7/2 - mobile 3.7cm FlaK gun mount
- Sd.Kfz.7/6 - FlaK survey party motor vehicle
- Sd.Kfz.7/9 - V-2 armored fire control vehicle
This subject has been a favorite with model companies with nice examples in a variety of scales from Tamiya, Italeri, Revell, and more. It was only a matter of time before Trumpeter set its own sights on this interesting subject, but what's interesting is that DML couldn't let this subject go unchallenged. Since the first release of this subject from Trumpeter (reviewed here), DML and Trumpeter have been vying for the lead in this category. Trumpeter is the clear winner with their open cab (early version) Sd.Kfz.7/1 followed by the armored cab (late version) Sd.Kfz.7/2, and then releasing the armored cab Sd.Kfz.7/1 (late) along with the open cab Sd.Kfz.7/2 (early) together with this completely new transport half-track.
What's new about this release over prior Trumpeter releases (or any other Sd.Kfz.7 kit in this scale) is the subject. Where the first release was the standard tow tractor with seating that would accommodate an artillery crew, this version is essentially an 8 ton half-track cargo truck. I don't believe I've seen this variant produced in styrene before.
The kit consists of 758 parts (according to the specs) molded in light gray styrene and presented on 10 parts trees. The track is composed of individual track links molded in brown styrene and presented on eight parts trees. Two frets of photo-etched details and three rubber tires round out this kit.
So what makes this kit superior to the other Sd.Kfz.7 kits on the market? Did I mention 758 parts? This kit comes with a very detailed Maybach engine. Like many of the Trumpeter aircraft kits, the engine in this kit is a complete detailed model in its own right.
The gearbox is also nicely rendered as it installs between the chassis rails and transfers power from the transmission to the drive wheels that lead the tracks. There is also a power takeoff output on the rear of the gearbox to drive the winch.
The chassis is also very detailed in that Trumpeter has replicated the intricate structures as individual parts that the other kits bang out as a single piece. Stand by for details!
The winch is also nicely done and set up within the chassis frame to get a drive shaft connection to the gearbox power takeoff in the rear. To put this into some perspective, the chassis, drivetrain, suspension, and support gear that attach to the chassis make up the first 15 steps of this 37 step kit - and we haven't even added track links yet!
Among the wealth of details and features in this kit:
- Detailed engine and compartment
- Detailed cab
- New road wheels
- Removable hood
- Positionable windshield
- Choice of cab soft top up or stowed
- New wooden cargo bed w/bench seating
- Choice of molded cargo cover or bare cover frame over cargo bed
- Movable front wheels
- Individual track links
- Photo-etch details
Trumpeter has provided the paint colors using equivalent colors from Gunze Sangyo, Testor Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. Nice job guys! One Wehrmacht Sd.Kfz.7 in later war desert tan camouflage is represented with the kit markings.
This is one very impressive model. This variant would still look good towing an artillery piece but it also can be loaded up with supplies and ammunition to support the all-essential resupply mission where standard trucks can't go.
Trumpeter has done a really great job with these half-track variants and these will definitely make for a nice addition to your armor collection.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!