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Sd.Kfz.234 with 2 cm Schwebelafette Fgst.Sd.Kfz.234/3

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.234 with 2 cm Schwebelafette Fgst.Sd.Kfz.234/3 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review April 2008 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.234 with 2 cm Schwebelafette Fgst.Sd.Kfz.234/3 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6296 Primary Media 556 parts (510 in grey styrene, 30 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 4 turned brass)
Pros One-off variant of German heavy armored car family; complex driveline appears to be fully replicated Cons Side bins and lower hull access doors molded in closed positions; engine bay will be difficult to open up; some large ejection pin marks in the base of the hull interior; one-off variant
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $41.99 via Dragon USA

First Look

Once more has found a truly obscure variant of a German vehicle and has produced a “boutique” kit of it by mixing and matching standard DML parts sprues, and the provision of twelve new parts specifically for this kit. All of the information I found on it indicated it was a conversion of the Sd.Kfz. 234/3 (7.5 cm L/24) chassis to mount the late-war suspended 2 cm antiaircraft mount but only a single prototype was built.

On examining the parts I was surprised that did not include the modified parts they had developed to permit the fender bins to be opened up; given that this is “their” kit I think that it should have been expected.

As with other DML “234" kits this one also includes some “standard” German sprues, namely the German Tools sprues TF (fender guides and poles) and TJ (jack) and weapons sprue WC (MG34 and MG42 machine guns.)

The undercarriage of this model is amazing in the complexity with which DML has replicated it, and each suspension unit seems to require no less than five parts for each wheel te that a choice in centers to replicate different numbers of cleanout holes is provided), 11 parts for each paired set of axles, and five parts for the tie rods plus six parts for the rocker springs. I always liked the fact that this vehicle had eight wheel progressive steering, and was quite impressive to see when the wheels were cocked at an angle. (But having been the platoon sergeant to the US Army’s biggest rolling headache, the M561 Gama Goat., which had front and rear axle steering, I am happy I never had to do maintenance on this one!)

The vehicle interior is provided and appears quite complete, but again the hull side doors are molded shut as once the turret is in place it will be hard to see all of the details. Both driver’s positions are provided as well as the top of the transfer case/transmission and the ammo bins with covers. Internal bracing is provided along with clear styrene blocks for the vision ports.

There are optional choices for the vents at the rear – open or closed – as well as for the view blocks. The fenders are the later style with four stowage bins per side, and as noted are molded shut. The etched brass provides the inserts for the “jerry” can centers (the crimped seam on the actual cans), tool mounts, and the gun mantelet.

The wheels are two-part moldings with only light tread patterns, but as they are hard plastic many people will be happy as there is no hard-to-remove vinyl seam. This kit also provides a spare wheel carrier mount at the rear of the hull for a ninth wheel.

A single finishing option for the 20th Panzer Division in Czechoslovakia 1945 is included.

Overall this is an interesting concept vehicle but I am not sure how much interest it will inspire from anyone other than kit collectors and diehard “eight wheel” fans.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 3 234/1 upper hull components
  • B 66 x 3 234 series running gear and tires
  • C 19 234/1 interior parts
  • D 42 x 2 234 interior parts
  • E 79 234 engine bay and exterior details
  • F 1 234 Lower hull
  • G 1 Running gear spine
  • H 34 234/3 Upper armor casement and details
  • M 12 234 with Schwebelafetter details
  • J 10 2 cm gun
  • K 45 251/17 2 cm Schwebelafette
  • W 6x2 Clear styrene
  • MA 24 Etched Brass (234 with Schwebelafette)
  • MC 4 Turned brass
  • MD 6 Etched Brass (251/17)
  • TF 10 German Tools (fender poles)
  • TJ 6 German Tools (jack)
  • WC 8 German Weapons - MG-34/MG-42