Halftrack Sd.Kfz.7/2 auf 3.7cm Flak 43
This kit represents a Sd Kfz 7/2 Halftrack to mount the 3.7cm Flak 43 in the bed. The AA gun basically was just picked up and placed in the bed of the truck. The truck bed was slightly modified to add mounting points and for the sides to be lowered into a fighting condition. This gave the crew more space to maneuver the gun as it was firing. These sides did not provide any protection for the crew. The halftrack has an armored cab and armored radiator shield.
There are Magic Tracks for the tracks and if you are careful they will moveable and will allow for a good representation of the track sag. There is one sprue of clear plastic, one small fret of photo etched parts and one large fret of Photo etched parts that make up the Flak gun shield. Be warned, there are no plastic equivalent parts for the gun shield.
- Steps 1 & 2. These steps build the frame and suspension. When adding frame part B57 (includes the muffler and the muffler connecting pipes) make sure the pointy end is under the rear crossbeam and the pipe connection to the engine goes on the outside of the frame.
- Step 3, 4 & 5. This is the build of the engine, transmission, drive sprockets and the wench. Part D56 connects to part D46 in step 9. I suggest that you wait on part D56 till step 9 which will allow you to adjust after the engine has been installed.
- Step 6. This step mounts the transmission, fuel tank, drive sprockets and the front wheels. The transmission is easier to mount from the bottom rather than from the top of the frame. I left off the idler wheel mounting arm as mounting the tracks later will be easier if you attach the mounting arm to the wheel just before add the tracks to the body. There are two plastic nodes that need to be removed at this time. They are shown in the instructions, but are easily overlooked.
- Step 7. This step adds the winch and the back of the rear frame. I left off parts B34, B37 and B38 as these are delicate parts and are sure to be broken off during assembly. These were added just before painting.
- Step 8. This step adds the fuel tanks on the inside of the frame. Also the road wheels are added now. I did not mount the road wheels at this time as I find it easier to paint them off the vehicle and mount them after the vehicle has been painted.
- Step 9. This step has the option of either an open hood or closed hood. Either option starts with the build of the radiator and the support rods. I found this step to be very trying. Make sure you have the correct parts and dry fit, dry fit, dry fit until you get it right. I left off the width indicators (C1 x 2) to keep from breaking them off during assembly. The notek light will interfere with the radiator armor if installed where listed as an optional location. You can only place it on the fender as the other option. I attached the mounting bracket, but left the light itself off until the last step. I added the two headlights at this time. However, before I got to the last steps I had broken both of them off. Again I suggest that you wait to install these lights at the last step.
- Step 10. This step builds the basic cab area.
- Step 11. This step finishes the cab and firewall. I suggest that you leave off part J7 (side light) as it is likely to be broken off during the rest of the assembly.
- Step 12 and 13. Theses step requires you to decide which type of sides you want. Either mesh or wooden. I chose the wooden type as it was the most common. I left off part G28 (rear tail reflector) and L20 ( Side latches) These parts are very delicate and extend out making them prime candidates for breakage. You will also need to decide if you want to show the model in combat or travel mode. There is a knob on the lower spare tire frame that holds the spare tire in place. If you add the tire now you will need to spend a lot of effort keeping it from getting overspray when painting the frame. I suggest that you cut off the knob, paint the model, paint the wheel off the model and add it late in the build. This is a tight fit and you won’t have to glue the tire in place.
- Step 14. This step builds the base gun. The muzzle flash suppressor is nicely done, but if you get a pin vise you can drill out each of the dimples for a better looking gun.
- Step 15. This step adds the cab and bed to the frame. It also makes the connections between the engine and the firewall.
- Step 16, 17 and 18. These steps continue the assembly of the gun.
- Step 19 and 20. These steps finish up the assembly of the gun except for the splinter shield. At this point I began to have problems mounting the shell catcher. This is a frame with 3 pieces of photo etch. In retrospect I suggest that you anneal at least photo etch part MC2. This should allow easier bending to match the frame. The frame is very delicate and will not stand much handling.
- Step 21. This step requires you to build a portion of the gun based on your prior decision to model the kit in either combat or travel mode.
- Step 22 and 23. These 2 steps are the build of the splinter shield. This will be made entirely of Photo Etch, as there is no plastic alternative. This tested my ability to fold the photo etch and to mate up parts that only have a very small mating surface. I used solder to hold the parts together. There are some parts that I don’t think superglue would hold. This is the hardest part of the whole kit. You will have to build according to your prior decision to model the kit in either combat or travel mode.
- Step 24. This step mounts the shield to the gun. I used thick slow setting superglue as it gives a little more time to adjust the fit and will hold a little better. After the superglue is set I added the two braces using the same glue.
- Step 25. This step completes the mounting of the gun tracks and all the little parts that were left off in prior steps.
Painting and Markings
There are only two color schemes, overall Dark Yellow and overall Dark Yellow red brown and green wavy camouflage lines. The decals are very well done by Cartograf. Most are for the license plates and shipping marks.
This will build into a nice model if you are patient and have good photo etch skills. This is a kit for intermediate to advanced builders. If you have some skill with the photo etch and some experience with soldering, this will still be a challenge build for you. However, once it is done you will have a very eye catching model.
I can recommend this to the German Halftrack builders and general WWII fans with the above caveat.
- Panzer Tracts 12 Flak Selbstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer Thomas Jentz and Hilary Doyle
- Halftrack Vehicles in the German Army 1935-1945 Schiffer Military History ISBN: 0-//740-758-7 Walter Speilberger
- AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol 9 Halbketten Zugkraftwagen 8t Sd Kfz 7/1/2 by Model Art. English Text by Alan Ranger
- German Light Halftracked Primer Movers 1934-1945 Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Reinhard Frank
- Thanks to Dragon for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the review space