Trumpeter 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7/2 (Late) 3.7cm FlaK 37 Gun and Trailer Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.7/2 (Late) 3.7cm FlaK 37 Gun and Trailer||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||1526||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
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.
The Sd.Kfz.7/2 was a Selbstfarlafette (self-propelled gun carriage) for the 37mm FlaK 37 gun mounted on the rear of the vehicle. This deadly gun system provided the German forces in the field with an air defense umbrella against roving allied straffers and low-level raiders. While this gun system was effective against aircraft that wandered into range, these vehicles had to be deployed around an area to be protected to effectively engage those that would dare to attack the target(s) that these guns were charged with protecting.
Early versions of this vehicle were distinguishable by the standard open cab of the prime mover. The vehicle was later produced with an armored cab to protect the driver from incoming fire from the allied fighters strafing thise guns to silence them. The gun crew had the protection of the armored shield that surrounds the front of the gun.
It is hard to believe that it has been more than a year since Trumpeter first released their 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz.7 half-track kit. This was eventually followed up by the 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz.7/1 w/2cm Flakvierling 38 kit three months ago in a race against DML. Now in a dead heat against DML once again, we have the 1/35 Sd.Kfz.7/2 w/3.7cm FlaK 37 arriving on store shelves. This is simply a great time to be modeling if you're interested in air defense weapons as we now have two different self-propelled gun systems as used by the Germans in World War Two.
The kit consists of 859 parts (according to the specs) molded in light gray styrene and presented on 12 parts trees. The track is composed of individual track links molded in brown styrene and presented on eight parts trees. Four frets of photo-etched details and three rubber tires round out this kit.
So what's different about this release over the previous Sd.Kfz.7/1 kit? Several major points:
- There is a new-tool Flak 37 gun that is mounted on its own base that is in turn bolted to the rear plalform of the prime mover
- The standard driver's cab is replaced with a new-tool armored cab with a bench seat on the rear for member of the gun crew
- The fold-down sides of the platform reflect a stronger design over the original early version
- A new tool ammunition trailer for the 37mm round clips is included
The Maybach engine and transmission/transfer case are the same super-detailed kits of their own right, and these mount into the common chassis frame. The winch system, suspension, fuel tanks, and even front fenders are all in common with the first release.
The flatbed has the stronger mesh-covered siderails that fold down on the sides and rear to extend the flatbed out to a gun platform. The instructions only show you how to assemble the siderails in the stowed position, but these are positionable.
The same is true of the engine hood - the sides of the hood are separately molded, but the top is molded as one piece, so if you want to pose the hood open, you'll have to cut the hood top in half (along the hinge line of course) and then fold the hood open. Or you can use a photo-etched hood replacement to achieve scale thickness as well.
Among the wealth of details and features in this kit:
- Detailed engine and compartment
- Detailed armored cab
- Removable hood
- Movable front wheels
- Individual track links
- New 37mm gun system
- New ammo trailer
- Positionable side rails
- Photo-etch details
Trumpeter provides the paint colors using equivalent colors from Gunze Sangyo, Vallejo, Testor Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. Nice job guys!
The color profiles provide two generic color schemes, the later war desert yellow overall and the tri-color green and brown over desert yellow scheme. Decals are provided for a standard Wehrmacht vehicle.
This is another very impressive model. Trumpeter has created a masterpiece in this box and they must have hit a nerve because DML is responding with their own version of this vehicle. Let the half-track wars begin!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!