Trumpeter 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7 Mittlere Zugkraftwagen 8t Early Version Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2008||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||1514||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$64.95|
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, so they've got a release scheduled soon. Whenever DML and Trumpeter go head-to-head on these subjects, it becomes an interesting race to see who gets to market first. In this race, Trumpeter is the winner.
The kit consists of 848 parts (according to the specs) molded in light gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees. The track is composed of individual track links molded in brown styrene and presented on eight parts trees. One tree of clear parts, also in styrene, provide windshields and lenses. 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 848 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!
The interior of the vehicle is equally as detailed with the cab and each of the crew sections laid out with pioneering tools, weapons stowage, and of course, seats. Each of the storage lockers at the rear of the vehicle have shelving and positionable doors. Even the storage racks atop the rear lockers are nicely rendered.
Among the wealth of details and features in this kit:
- Detailed engine and compartment
- Detailed cab
- Detailed storage compartments
- Removable hood
- Positionable windshield
- Choice of soft top up or stowed
- Movable front wheels
- Individual track links
- Photo-etch details
For the first time, Trumpeter has provided the paint colors using equivalent colors from Gunze Sangyo, Testor Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. Nice job guys!
Four different vehicles are portrayed with these markings:
- Two early war (gray) Sd.Kfz.7s with Luftwaffe (FlaK) markings
- One DAK (Afrika Korps) Sd.Kfz.7 in desert sand also with Luftwaffe (FlaK) markings
- One Wehrmacht Sd.Kfz.7 in later war tri-color camouflage
This is one very impressive model. We've published some of the test build photos released by Stevens International and many of you have seen just how nice Trumpeter did with this kit. I can hardly wait to see if they render some of the FlaK variants. Can you imagine a Trumpeter quad 20mm FlaK gun? And mounted on this detailed chassis?
Given the MSRP of roughly $65, the kit is around twice the price of the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7. Is it worth twice the price? With the details in this kit, plus the photo-etch parts and individual track links, this kit would be worth three times the Tamiya price. This kit is a masterpiece!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!