very nice, clean model of the D version of this popular vehicle in “small scale”; unique but effective method of assembling running gear; nicely done and VERY petite rocket launchers
RP parts (as in right puny!); cannot be built as a “Stroke 2"; adds complex bending etched brass to original kit
Highly Recommendedf or all German WWII “Small Scale” fans
There are times I am befuddled by DML marketing strategies and this is one of them. Approximately one year after DML released the D model variant of their “Stuka zum fuss” rocket launcher halftrack (No. 7310) they have re-released the kit with some changes. First off, and for reasons best known to themselves, they had added six 11-part etched brass launcher-shipping crates which are a lesson in origami to assemble. The plastic versions are not included in the kit any longer so if you purchase this one you have to use the brass frames.
The rest of the kit is a verbatim copy of No. 7310. As I said at that time, retaining the misconception that the rockets are mounted on a “Stroke 2" variant of the halftrack, it nevertheless presents a nice kit of the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with the six Wurfrahmen 40 launchers. (The “Stroke 2" is a dedicated mortar carrier for an 8 cm mortar.)
Like the previous ones, this kit is not an actual pantograph of the larger kits, which would make it a nightmare to try and assemble, but still appears based on the same research and drawings used for the 1/35 scale kits. The lower hull is a single piece pan, less the rear area, and the axles are molded on the lower hull. The running gear for each side consists of a rear (inside) wheel section, a center wheel section, three outer road wheels, and drivers. Once installed the connectors between the individual wheels on the inside and the center are not visible, so it helps speed up assembly while making it easier to get things aligned. Tracks are the gluable DS plastic, so you can also get them to settle down on top of the road wheels with some care.
The model comes with simplified (well, compared to the 1/35 version) interior fittings but they are quite tiny as noted and will require a good deal of care. Interior bits include the various control levers, rifles, MP submachine guns, and other items. The hinge mechanisms for the doors are single pieces, but are non-operating types. They cement to the lower rear section, as the upper hull has the rear angular parts of the hull attached to it. The four front viewers are separate parts and can be cemented either open or closed as well, as is the hood assembly with two flaps. No engine or interior is provided for the engine bay.
The fenders are one-piece units, but the stowage bins are only offered as closed parts. The front MG 34 shield is offered as either a single piece of styrene or a three-piece etched brass option. Other RP parts include the “Notek” headlight and mount and the drum magazines for the two MG 34 machine guns. The weapons appear to be very close to scale, something I don’t recall from other manufacturers in the past!
The rockets provided with this kit now include both the 28 cm ones and the 32 cm ones from the previous kit, but only launcher/crates for one set of six rockets. As before they require the use of etched brass plates for the launcher mounts and aiming quadrants so the modeler no longer has a choice between plastic and brass. This is sort of logical, as in this scale they could not make plastic thin enough and seeming did not want to offer two plates of which one would thereby have to be fixed. Fair warning: the controls and levers for the aiming plates are among the smallest etched brass pieces I have ever seen in a kit, with the indicator (MB2) being about .010" wide and .050" long.
Other brass parts are optional according to the directions but would seen to be necessary to provide such features as tool brackets. and come with a choice of either plastic or
New decals from Cartograf and finishing options are provided: SS Pz.Gren.Rgt Liebstandart Adolf Hitler, 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division, Kharkov 1943 (whitewashed); 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitler Juengen”, France 1944 (green mottle over sand); 5th SS Panzer Division “Das Wiking”, Warsaw 1944 (three color mottle); and Pz.Rgt. 13, 5th Panzer Division, East Prussia 1944 (green stripes over sand). A targeted sheet and a generic license plate sheet are included, but no license numbers are given for the specific vehicles presented.
Overall another nice effort, but the forced use of the etched brass may not be appreciated by all modelers.
A 27 D upper hull
B 38 C/D interior and road wheels
C 27 x 2 D front wheels and interior details
D 2 DS plastic tracks
E 24 x 3 C/D Wurfrahmen with rockets
I 1 D lower hull
MA 4 etched brass
MB 24 etched brass
MC 66 etched brass