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Sd.Kfz.7 8t Half-Track Early Production w/Crew

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7 8t Half-Track Early Production w/Crew - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2010 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.7 8t Half-Track Early Production w/Crew - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6545 Primary Media 257 in grey styrene, 256 “Magic Track” two-piece track links. 9 etched brass, 6 clear styrene, 2 film masks, 1 length of twisted steel wire
Pros The basic prime mover version of this vehicle gets a matching crew; nicely done rear compartment with all hatches optional position and interior bulkheads; well done lower frame details and fender section; DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details Cons As a “Smart Kit” probably not enough brass for some; small links perhaps better as DS tracks; no “kit” nor ammunition provided
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

DML has now enhanced their basic artillery prime mover version of the famous eight ton halftrack with the addition of a crew. This kit “tweaks” the previous version (No. 6466) by adding a sprue of modified parts - new sides with a new rear deck and the luggage rails – and six figures.

The box art by Ron Volstad is dated 2009, but this kit follows in the order of things. But the vehicle shown on the box lid is one with a full crew of 11 men and a 15 cm sFH 18 in tow, so unfortunately anyone wanting to have such a machine will have to get a second set of figures as only six are provided. (They will be released separately as DML Kit No. 6671, but no idea when.)

Happily, unlike the Tamiya “zombie clones” from 1974 the figures here each have distinct poses and personalities. Each is a “Gen1" figure of six basic parts but as they are in travel mode all come with sidecaps and not helmets. Also no rifles are included, which is a bit of a shame as most photos of the vehicles in transit show Kar 98K rifles clipped to their mounts in the crew sections.

As before DML has provided a very thorough kit with a complete engine and undercarriage to include the winch and all associated parts, as well as passenger body with its three rows of seats and stowage compartments at the rear of the hull. Once more two-piece “Magic Track” halftrack tracks are included – this time apparently with an earlier version of the track – but as often noted are very small and DML could have made many modelers happy by molding them as one-piece runs in DS plastic. Also, as the kits are “Smart Kits” they make use of slide molding and other tricks to avoid needless small parts assemblies and minimize the use of brass.

It still comes with complete engine, 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 again DS plastic outers and treads combined with a styrene inner section. As fit is reported as good and the joint 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, and here it is provided with a partial stowage bin of its own.

Once again, the grille is solid, and perhaps could have been molded differently to give it some “airiness” with the radiator behind it. The hood comes with separate side panels which can be left off as per the originals.

The passenger body is nicely done with rifle clips on the backs of the preceding seats and a very finely molded rail assembly for the cargo stowage on the top of the stowage compartments at the rear of the body.

While the compartments come with all interior dividers in place – a one piece base unit accomplishes that – the doors are molded in one piece with a thin center joint, so anyone who wants to show them open can open them up with a simple knife cut and snap. But as the vehicle comes with no kit or accessories, the modeler will have to provide his own ammo cases or kit. (Given the fact it could tow either 8.8 cm Flak guns or 10 cm/15 cm artillery this is actually understandable.)

This kit again provides masks for the windshield sections so that the model may assembled and then painted, and which is a nice touch.

Research and technical assistance were provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Nine different finishing options are offered with a“number jungle” set of Cartograf decals but no unit markings. The variants which can be modeled are: Unidentified Artillery Unit, Operation “Barbarossa” 1941 (panzer grey with license plates); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1941 (panzer grey with license plates); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (panzer grey with sand stripes); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1942 (panzer grey with whitewash mottle); 21st Panzer Division, North Africa 1942 (sand with markings); “Herman Goering” Division, Tunisia 1942 (sand with green stripes and WL license plates); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand with license plates and white trim); 256th Infantry Division, Eastern Front 1943 (sand with no markings); and, Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (tricolor with no markings).

Overall the addition of a new mold crew makes a nice model even better.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • 6671 54 Six seated figures
  • A 1 8 ton - chassis
  • B 55 8 ton - Underframe details - winch, drivers, front axle, subframe, muffler
  • C 42x2 8 ton - road wheels, front wheel backs, body details
  • D 72 8 ton - engine, hood, radiator, standard passenger body components less sides
  • E 38 8 ton - crew body, seats, rear stowage compartments, frame mounts
  • G 1 8 ton - rear fender assembly
  • H 7 8 ton - body sides and rear deck plate with rails
  • H 6 8 ton - clear styrene
  • W 3 DS plastic tires
  • Y 1 Twisted steel wire
  • Z1 128 “Magic Track” track pads
  • Z2 128 “Magic Track” track links
  • MA 9 Etched brass