Kfz.70 6x4 Personnel Carrier
Krupp’s Kfz.70 light truck was a workhorse for the German army throughout WW II. Initial production started in 1933 and continued through 1942 with a run of around 7000 units. It was often employed towing light artillery, particularly the PaK 35/36, 3.7cm anti-tank weapon. Dragon has released a kit of this ubiquitous vehicle in 1/72 scale and it’s a little gem. Molded in light gray plastic, the kit features highly detailed parts for both the truck and the towed cannon. The wood grain simulation on the side panels of the truck is noteworthy. Dragon provides decals for three versions, all from unknown units on the Eastern Front circa 1943. One is in winter camouflage. The instructions are typical for Dragon with exploded views showing eleven steps to complete the truck and two steps for the cannon. The last page is a painting and decal guide with color references keyed to Gunze Sangyo paints.
As called for in the instructions, I started with the body of the truck, but then deviated a bit from the recommended sequence. Here’s why: you have to get the real wheel assemblies together perfectly square and given the tiny parts in the suspension, I found it easier to attach the two rear axles to the chassis first then attach the springs to each axle. To do this, though, you must assemble the bed of the truck, glue it to the chassis, and then add the rear suspension assemblies and springs. The springs part numbers (A46) are not listed on the instructions but were on the part map. Fit throughout was excellent. This technique worked well for me since all six wheels touched the ground without any additional fiddling. During this part of the build, I left off the tools, mirrors, and wheels until later. I knew I’d knock them off if I attached them so early in the build. The cab of the truck was next, followed by the front fenders and hood. Everything clicked together easily. All the small parts, except the tools, were added and I set the whole thing aside to dry. Two items I didn’t add were the mud flaps behind the rear wheels since the pictures I found on the net didn’t show them. To add a little panache to the model, I glued the front wheels in a slight right turn.
The cannon proved to be the more difficult part of the model for me. I had a little trouble orienting the pieces since the assembly was depicted on the instructions upside down and facing backwards. Got that? I didn’t at first. It helped me to check the box art for placement of some of the pieces. In retrospect, I think I should have deviated from the instructions and built the axle/base of the cannon first. Then I’d add the gun mount (G15) and finally glue the sighting mechanism, the cannon itself, and shield in place. However you do it, several very small pieces have to come together to complete this assembly, so test fit whenever you can and proceed with a little patience.
I didn’t have all the recommended Gunze paints, so I used Tamiya’s instead. According to the guide, everything is German Field Gray except for the tires and tools. Some photos I found showed a different color for the seats, however. So, I painted these with Tamiya XF-79, Brown Linoleum, and weathered them with a couple lighter shades of brown and tan. I did some post-shading with various browns and tans to represent some wear.
Having built mostly 1/72 aircraft models for almost forty years, I have begun to dabble in military vehicles – in 1/72 scale of course. I have about a dozen completed and I’ve been impressed with the level of detail found on current armor models in this scale, particularly the Dragon kits. This little truck is no exception. I built it straight out of the box and it looks great. I highly recommend it to any modeler with a couple of kits to their credit. For a novice, I’d be wary of the many tiny pieces. Good job Dragon. My thanks go to Dragon Models USA for providing the review kit and to John Noack for assigning it to me.