Sd.Kfz. 7/2 3.7 cm Flak 37 w/Armor Cab - 2-in-1 - Smart Kit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6542; Sd.Kfz. 7/2 3.7 cm Flak 37 w/Armor Cab - 2-in-1 - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||690 parts (431 in grey styrene, 216 “Magic Track” two-piece links, 34 etched brass, 6 clear styrene, 3 DS plastic tires)|
|Price:||estimated price about US$59.95|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||First new model of this specific vehicle in 30 years; nicely done use of “slide molding” and DS plastic tires to avoid seams and extra assemblies; full engine and underside details; lots of options for finishing - two cabs, two bodies|
|Disadvantages:||As a “Smart Kit” probably not enough brass for some; small links perhaps better as DS tracks|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all German halftrack fans and “Duck Hunters”|
DML continues with its “kit wars” by countering the imminent release of three variants of the Sd.Kfz.7/2 self-propelled 3.7 cm Flak 37 AA Gun by releasing their own version of this vehicle. While the Trumpeter kits all come with a supplemental ammunition trailer, the DML ones offer a choice of cabs and bodies in one box and at a lower price (in the US at least).
Ass with their earlier Sd.Kfz. 7.1 2 cm Flakvierling DML has provided a very thorough kit with a complete engine and undercarriage to include the winch and all associated parts, as well as the flatbed body with etched brass mesh panels for the fold-out sides. Some things remain the same – for example, the two-piece “Magic Track” halftrack tracks are included, 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.
Most of the bits missing on the Tamiya kit are present here, for as well as the complete engine there is a 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 DS plastic outers and treads combined with a styrene inner section. While presumably the fit will be good since it 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.
The only thing some may complain about for the basic chassis is that 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 of as per the originals.
The kit offers a choice of cargo bodies this time: either all wood or with mesh grating sides from etched brass.
The 3.7 cm Flak 37, like the 2 cm Flakvierling 38 before it, is all new as well and has a new gun with slide molded barrel and flash hider. In a similar fashion to previous DML antiaircraft gun offerings, the gun may be displayed in “combat” or “movement order” depending on some of the parts options and fittings as selected by the modeler. Ammo racks and clips of rounds are provided.
Unlike the first kit, since this kit has an armored cab the windshield is not used and thus no painting masks are included. The cabs are quite different and both require their own hood, fenders, and fittings. One is “lap” type construction with overlapping sides and the other is “bent” in which one piece of armor was bent to shape. The directions indicate the “lap” type goes with the open mesh body and the “bent” type goes with the wooden body. There is also an option for a preserved vehicle, which like many of those in the world today, unfortunately mixes components for a coherent display item.
Research and technical assistance were provided by Dan Graves, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Six different finishing options are offered with a small sheet of Cartograf decals, but it also provides a license plate “number jungle”. The variants which can be modeled are: Unidentified Luftwaffe Flak Unit, Germany 1945 (tricolor); Unidentified Unit, Russia 1944 (white with color bleedthrough); Unidentified Unit, Greece 1943 (mesh sides - sand); Herman Goering Division, Rome 1944 (wood sides - sand); Unidentified Unit, Italy 1943 (wood sides - tricolor patches); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943 (sand - WH-1752866). This is one of the first DML kits to show which vehicles have which options, which is a good idea.
Overall this looks to be another trump card over Trumpeter, as it is both a better chassis and offers two distinct options in one box.
A 87 Flak 37 gun and carriage components
B 55 8 ton - Underframe details - winch, drivers, front axle, subframe, muffler
C 44x2 8 ton - road wheels, front wheel backs, body details
D 72 8 ton - engine, hood, radiator, standard passenger body components less sides
E 20 Flak 37 shield parts and flash hider
G 31 7/2 Armored Cab and Fender components
H 6 8 ton - clear styrene
J 27 7/2 Armored Cab and hood components
K 3 DS plastic tires
L 32 7/2 Floor and Bed Option parts
W 1 8 ton - chassis
Y 108 “Magic Track” track pads
Z 108 “Magic Track” track links
MA 34 Etched brass
WA 18 2 x Kar 98K
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.