5cm Pak 38 auf Zugkraftwagen 1t – Smart Kit

Published: February 26th, 2014     
5cm Pak 38 auf Zugkraftwagen 1t – Smart Kit
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $52.95
Product / Stock #: 6719
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Introduction

This is another in Dragon's series of Sd.Kfz.10 halftracks and makes an interesting version that is a nice kit to assemble.

Background from Dragon's Website

Germany fielded a wide range of halftracks during WWII. The Sd.Kfz.10, one of the lighter types, was conceived as a prime mover for small, towed anti-tank or antiaircraft guns. Several specialist vehicles were based on this design, with a rather unique conversion appearing in 1941. This saw a 5cm PaK 38 L/60 gun being mounted on the rear of an Sd.Kfz.10 to create a light anti-tank platform. In addition, armor plate was added to the engine compartment and driver's cab. It's thought these unique vehicles were mostly issued to Waffen-SS units.

Dragon originally issued an Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack in 2011 and has reissued several different configurations since then. This version includes additional armor plates for the hood, radiator, and windshield. The 5cm PaK 38 L/60 gun has also been previously issued and is updated in this kit with a new mount for the Sd.Kfz.10.

Kit Contents

The kit comes in six bags of plastic parts, two bags of track links, and one bag containing decals and photoetch. Kit is molded in Dragon's gray plastic on 12 sprues plus the individual hull molding. The kit includes Dragon's magic tracks. Illustrations include diagrams of the sprues showing parts that are not used with the kit. Kit includes approximately 350 parts, 96 track links, and photoetch parts.

Painting instructions include colors in Aqueous Hobby Colour, Mr. Colour, and Model Master colors. The paint colors are for the painting & marking schemes as very few detail paint colors are listed

Sd.Kfz.10 Assembly

Dragon offers two options for the front wheels. One made up of several 'sandwich' layers for the tread and the other being a typical half-wheel assembly with a different tread pattern. I used the sandwich wheels that have better detail for the treads.

In step number two the halftrack tub is nicely molded with crisp detail and very little cleanup. Dragon complicates the assembly of the front axle by molding parts A54 separately. These need to be centered on the leaf springs so use the axle to locate the parts correctly.

Part D59 in step 2 has a large casting lug on the underside that needs to be removed for it to fit correctly. Also part D4 is not installed where shown by the arrow but should be centered between the two ribs on the bottom of the rear bulkhead. I also found it easier to install part D28 to part A60 before installing on the halftrack tub. Step 2 shows two options for the anchoring of the rear trailer hitch without explaining the difference between the two options.

Parts A62 are tiny. I hope they serve some useful purpose because I lost and found one of them three times before getting it glued into place. Parts B24 & B25 don't seem to locate very well so I referred to subsequent illustrations to see how they should be oriented.

The fan belts in step 3 are 6 different parts that form a nice assembly, but are overly complicated for something that may never be seen in the finished model. I found it easier to install the pulleys, parts B46 and B45, to the front of the engine before installing the fan belts.

The transmission in step 5 is a complicated assembly but looks great when completed. The rear of the transmission and the gear selectors will be visible in the completed model.

In step 7, I painted and applied the decals to the dashboard before installing it.

Step number 8 shows holes being drilled out in the gun compartment floor plate part but nothing gets installed in these holes. Don't drill them out, as they will be exposed in the interior of the gun compartment.

In step 9 the radiator and hood are nicely modeled with open louvers. The radiator and hood fit nicely. The attachment of the fenders is a little vague in their location. The holes for the drivers seat did not fit the spacing of the pins on the seat frame and had to be filled in.

Steps 11 and 12 show installation of the rearview mirrors, which are very fragile. No clear lenses are provided for the mirrors or spot light. A Notek light is shown on the box artwork and included with the kit as part A84, but the instructions do not show it to be installed.

Jerry cans are shown on the box top artwork but are not included with the kit.

Tread Assembly

Step 13 finishes the assembly of the halftrack and includes assembling Dragon Magic track treads. The track links are well molded without flash or requiring any cleanup, which helps assembly. The treads are small but assemble well. The tracks will be somewhat flexible if glued carefully. I used Tamiya Extra Thin liquid cement and let it dry for a few minutes before shaping the tread around the drive sprockets and idlers. I painted and weathered the track before inserting the drive sprockets, idlers, and assembling the track to the halftrack.

PaK 38 Assembly

Step 14 through 16 is the assembly of the PaK 38 cannon and attachment to the Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack. This is an old Dragon kit that is a little fiddly to assemble. The blowup for assembly L in step 15 incorrectly labels part A50, which should be A57. The assembly allows some limited movement of the cannon within the truck but it is wobbly.

Painting

Two paint schemes are shown, an unidentified unit Eastern front 1943 and a Pz. Gren. Div. "LAH", Kharkov 1943 in dunkel gelb. I chose to do the unidentified unit in feld grau with a faded whitewash camouflage scheme similar to the artwork on the box cover. The instructions call out Mr. Colour number 40, German gray for feld grau. This seems too dark so I chose to use to Tamiya German Gray XF63. A mixture of German gray and flat white was used to lighten the interior of some of the panels. The whitewash camouflage was flat white mixed with a little bit of the German gray. German Gray was that misted over the white to blend the colors. This marketing scheme does not use any of the decals other than for the instruments on the dashboard. A light wash of MIG Brown Wash was used over the entire vehicle.

Summary

This is a very nice kit that is well engineered and goes together well. The PaK 38 is an old kit that could use improvement, but makes a nice version when combined with the Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack. Dragon's Magic Tracks work well and look good when completed, but are challenging at this small size.

Thanks to Dragon for continuing to produce interesting variations of the Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack. Many thanks to Dragon Models USA for providing the review sample and to IPMS for letting me review this nice kit.

  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Wheels
    Wheels
  • Sprue
    Sprue
  • Engine and transmission
    Engine and transmission
  • Tracks
    Tracks
  • Track assembly
    Track assembly
  • Track assembly
    Track assembly
  • Track assembly
    Track assembly
  • Pak38 Assembly
    Pak38 Assembly
  • Complete
    Complete
  • Complete
    Complete
  • Complete
    Complete
  • Complete
    Complete
  • Complete
    Complete

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