German 6x4 Towing Truck Kfz.69 with 3.7cm Pak
Tamiya has issued another kit in their ongoing 1/48th scale military vehicle series, this time a variation on a previous kit, their Krupp Protze 6x4 troop carrier. The new kit is an artillery towing version of the Protze, along with a brand new tool 3.7 cm Pak 35/36 wheeled anti tank gun. As with all the models in this 1/48th series, the new kit is designed for a quick build due to its relatively low parts count, and superb fit of the all-plastic components. Unfortunately there are some ejection pin marks in hard to remove areas, such as the clear windshield, and the backs of the 3.7cm anti tank gun wheels, and the gun’s shield. Tamiya is falling behind their competitor’s in this area, I am afraid.
Originally Tamiya incorporated cast metal chassis detail with their 1/48th military vehicle line of kits, but the most recent kits have been devoid of this feature. Whereas the original Protze kit had seating in the rear of the vehicle for troops sitting on bench seats facing each other, the new kit’s rear consists of two rows of seats, one facing forward, one facing backwards, so the gun crew it is designed to carry sits back to back. There are also four large ammunition containers that dominate the rear sides of the vehicle. As with the original Protze kit, there is a separate driver and co-driver seating arrangement up front.
The kit has a fairly detailed chassis with partially molded engine detail, separate exhaust piping, and nicely detailed spring suspension units. The driver’s compartment has separate hand brake and gear shift parts, and a two part steering column and wheel, but lacks any floor pedals. The seat cushion texture is very well done for this scale, and responds well to a nice “wash” to show the details. While there are two very nice separately molded rifles for the driver/co-driver compartment, and two separate pick axes, the two shovels that are behind the driver/co-driver seat are molded on to the back of the seat part. The rifle rack at the rear of the vehicle which holds two rifles contains parts that aren’t as well defined as the separate rifles in the front of the vehicle. The eight wheels for the Protze are nicely rendered, with decent tire tread detail. Make sure you use some sort of simple jig to allow for the wheels to align properly, and that the six wheels that are supposed to touch the ground, in fact do so!
The 3.7cm anti tank gun is a simple affair, consisting of just under 25 parts in total. Detail is decent for the scale, and the towing arms are moveable once the model is assembled, and the gun pivots up and down. The one tricky bit is making sure part G5, front gun tube, lines up with the two part unit consisting of G7 and G8, the rear of the gun. The kit also contains a crew for the gun, consisting of six figures, but they are all in sitting positions for posing on the Protze truck, not firing the gun. As with all previous Tamiya figures in this range, the detail on the figures is okay, though the men are a tad on the short size, measuring about 5”6”, and all are of a uniform height.
I painted the model in a series of sub assemblies, as with all those truck and gun wheels, I thought this made some sense. Following a coat of Mr Surfacer 1500 to give the paint coats something uniform to attach to, I utilized a brand of paint new to me, Gaianotes, from Japan. This is a brand of lacquer paints, and I must say I was very impressed. The paint thinned very well utilizing Mr Color Self Leveling thinner, and the Panzer Gray I used for the vehicle dried with a semi gloss finish such that I didn’t need to apply my usual Tamiya X-22 Clear Gloss prior to applying the decals. The decals that came with the kit were the usual Tamiya affair, slightly too thick, but perfectly serviceable. The two schemes covered by the decal sheet are for a vehicle and gun in overall Panzer Gray, Option A being from the 293rd Infantry Division, Belarus, Summer 1941, while Option B is for a vehicle from the 1st Mountain Division, Ukraine, June 1941. I hand painted the vehicle seat cushions with a suitable leather color from the Vallejo acrylic range. The wooden handles on the pick axes and rifles were painted with Vallejo New Wood, followed by a light brushed coat of Vallejo “Smoke”. I must admit that this worked a treat, giving a good representation of wood grain.
For anyone interested in 1/48th scale military vehicles Tamiya has provided the modeler with an easy to assemble double kit that builds up into a nicely detailed replica of this interesting WW2 German combo. The low parts count allow the modeler to assemble the whole project in a long weekend, and the simple all gray color scheme means there is no excuse to linger forever building up these two small models! My sincere thanks to TamiyaUSA for allowing IPMS USA to review this kit.