SdKfz. 2 Kettenkrad
Zoukei-Mura is a name recognizable to many aircraft modelers, mostly for their incredibly detailed 1/32 and 1/48 scale planes. Their first offering in the armor genre, or Super Weapons Series, was the 1/32 scale Kleines Kettenkraftrad (typically shortened to just Kettenkrad). This kit includes markings for use of the vehicle by the Luftwaffe to tow planes in the later stages of WWII and will look great alongside any of the 1/32 scale German aircraft offerings from Zoukei-Mura.
The idea of a tracked motorcycle was conceived by Heinrich Kniep in 1939 as a vehicle that could move small loads over rugged landscapes and first entered service in 1941. Produced by NSU Werke initially, Stӧwer Werke would later add to the construction of over 8,000 of these vehicles by 1945. While one of the most recognized vehicles from the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, the Kettenkrad was used by the German army and air force in various roles until the end of the war. Production of the Kettenkrad ran until 1948 by NSU with many of the war survivors and new vehicles being used on farms.
Even though introduced in 2010, this kit holds up great to any current model kits and there are aftermarket items such as three different Luftwaffe figure sets (SWPS01-F01, F02, and F03), a photo-etched parts set (SWPS01-M03), a trailer (SWPS01-M01), a power supply cart (SWPS01-M02), and a paint set of Vallejo colors (SWPS01-C01) all being available. For this review I am looking at the Kettenkrad kit on its own, which arrived with two tan plastic sprues holding 50 parts in total, a decal sheet, and a single sheet of paper folded in half for the instructions and painting suggestions.
Construction was straight forward and logical in its sequence starting with the engine, transmission, and exhaust then ending with the attachment of the front wheel assembly, driver’s seat, and brackets (used to install a cover over the driver’s compartment). I will eventually build another one of these kits (that should be a testimonial in itself) and will open the engine cover when I do as the engine is obscured once everything is in place. I painted my vehicle using Model Master Acryl Dunkel Gelb, Ammo by Mig Track Color, Stynylrez Black, and Vallejo Dark Rubber. I used Vallejo products to add some weathering once the construction was complete. I also tried out some UV resin to create the “glass” over the vehicle instruments.
My hits for this kit were the minimal mold lines and lack of flash on the parts. I liked the tracks being split in half (sort of) down the center with the track pads all being on one side, which eliminated a seam when joining the halves together. The decals are great as there are markings for three vehicles included (two army and one air force) with individual numerical decals available to replicate any vehicle tags. The completed kit looks great on its own, but I may consider adding the photoetched set when I build a second Kettenkrad. I had no misses to mention for this kit. There was a slight gap on the sides of the front plate (part A9) when it was installed, but this was easily fixed with some Vallejo putty.
In conclusion, this is really a wonderful kit, and I highly recommend it to modelers with some experience (due to some small parts) wanting to add a 1/32 scale Kettenkrad to their collection. The detail is all very good, and the kit allows you to produce a nice-looking model out of the box. My thanks to the people at Volks USA for providing this kit to IPMS USA for review, and to Phil Peterson for allowing me to perform this evaluation! As always, I sincerely appreciate the folks behind the scenes at the IPMS Review Corps and those who read this review!