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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Dueling Build Log: DML & Trumpeter Sd.Kfz.7/1
TANKER-NEIL
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Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 09:15 AM UTC
Watching with interest
Gorizont
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Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 09:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I hope to show the different ways the two makers tackle this. ...



That´s that, what I wanted to say.
Seeing the difference is interesting.

greetings...
Damraska
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Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 09:28 PM UTC
It's a head to head Sonderkraftfahrzeug S l u g f e s t. Will the mighty Dragon set fire to the competition? With the great Trumpeter blow out the dragon's flames? Will Bill go insane attempting to build two of these beasts at the [b]same time[b]? Do I have enough popcorn to make it through this movie...

Hi Bill,

The horizontal frame members look significantly different from kit to kit. Did the DML frame have any ejector pin marks to fill? I cannot see any in your pictures.

-Doug
Totalize
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 12:26 AM UTC
I am looking forward to this one as well. Just puchased the Trumpter kit for $28 figuring it was a good deal. I liked the fact the Trumpeter kit comes with the ammo trailer which is often seen in photos whereas I don't believe the Dragon kit offers it.
raivo74
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 01:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I am looking forward to this one as well. Just puchased the Trumpter kit for $28 figuring it was a good deal. I liked the fact the Trumpeter kit comes with the ammo trailer which is often seen in photos whereas I don't believe the Dragon kit offers it.



I was also sure to be the winner with the Trump kit (trailer, cheaper, etc. ). But the trailer is probably wrong (usually it was be Sd.Ah.56, not Sd.Ah.52, which is prowided with the kit) and many more details do not correspond the real thing. But no problem is unsolvable, I hope.
mikey
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 04:21 AM UTC
Looks like your hands will be full for awhile Bill. Have to keep an eye on this build.
alanmac
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 04:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

It's a head to head Sonderkraftfahrzeug S l u g f e s t. Will the mighty Dragon set fire to the competition? With the great Trumpeter blow out the dragon's flames? Will Bill go insane attempting to build two of these beasts at the [b]same time[b]? Do I have enough popcorn to make it through this movie...-Doug



Will the respective Dragon and Trumpeter fanboys crawl out to have to add little digs rather than just take this as an objective comparison build showing the different approach, level of detail in particular areas, taken by each manufacturer and leave it up to the modeller which they prefer.

There are so many variables in making ones modelling choices especially when the same subject is modelled by more than one manufacturer - price, detail, ease of build etc. Hopefully Bill's side by side build will show these and enlighten us without the thing deteriorating into a p*ssing contest for the fanboys, and by that I don't imply that's you in any way Doug, by quoting your post.

Alan
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 07:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Frank, You can find a review at PMMS and comparison.
Here is the link: http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/8ton_flak/8ton_flak_01.html
Me to are watching this.....


Thanks very much Nenad. Appreciate the link. I hadn´t read any of the reviews and this was a real eye opener. If I had paid full price for the Trumpeter kit (eventhough it may be cheaper, its still a lot schackles) I would be really annoyed right now.
bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 09:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Did the DML frame have any ejector pin marks to fill? I cannot see any in your pictures.


Yes, but most of them are hidden.

The overall quality of the molding is supperior with the Dragon, but at usually $20+ more in price. The only REALLY VEXING knock-out marks I've run across on the Trumpeter are the ones in the photo above that are inside the recessed rear support beam.

Quoted Text

I was also sure to be the winner with the Trump kit (trailer, cheaper, etc.). But the trailer is probably wrong (usually it was be Sd.Ah.56, not Sd.Ah.52, which is prowided with the kit) and many more details do not correspond the real thing. But no problem is unsolvable, I hope.


The Sd.Ah.52 provided in this kit is definitely wrong, the 52 was the trailer for the single-barrle FlaK 38, not the quad. But given the significant price difference, I would recommend putting that cash into getting this trailer by Wiener Modelbau Manufaktur that I reviewed on Armorama here :



While the 7/1 generally towed the Sd.Ah.56, the differences between it and the 57 are probably small enough to make it a trivial substitution (and you will note the manufacturer lists it for both the 7/1 and the 7/2). There are few surviving photos of the 56 and the best site on Wehrmacht trailers shows identical photos for the 56 and 57.

bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 11:07 AM UTC
OK, as has been intuited by several of you, the purpose of this build log isn't to push or bash either kit, but to lay out the different ways the two companies render this vehicle.

One difference is the number of parts used and the level of detail. DML uses apprx. 16 parts to build the Maybach HL62 6-cylinder engine. Trumpeter uses 27, almost 2x as many.

Let's start by looking at some photos of the real engine, courtesy of Chris "Toadman" Hughes' superb CD on the Sd.Kfz.7 prime mover which I reviewed on Armorama here. I can't recommend this resource highly enough.





bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 11:20 AM UTC
Here is how Trumpeter renders the engine:


Now Dragon:



From the Rear:
First Trumpeter:


Now Dragon:

From the Left Side:
Trumpeter:

DML:


From the Front:
Trumpeter:


DML:



The Trumpeter engine is2 definitely more-detailed, though you will have to add your own fan belts. In terms of accuracy, I find both engines conform well to the photos above of the real thing. While there are some differences, I presume these could be due to variations in the two Maybach engine prototypes used in the base Sd.Kfz.7, but that's just speculation.
bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 11:54 AM UTC

The other difference between the two versions is the handling of the chassis. As was pointed out earlier, DML uses a single-piece chassis with many of the supporting components in 1-piece assemblies. Trumpeter, for whatever reason, has chosen to use multiple parts to assemble the chassis with three major sub-assembly stages.

Several differences become apparent when comparing the results side-by-side. One is lesser detail from the DML build. This is likely a decision that, since the undercarriage will be hidden from view once the rear deck and FlaK gun are mounted, why waste resources on rendering ultra detailing? But there are also some key differences in things like the size of components. Below are the compressed air tanks:


Based on Chris's photos of the real thing, the DML tanks are too small and are placed too far rearward of the transmission assembly. Additionally, DML has eliminated any of the tubing connecting the air tanks (the vehicle's brakes were powered by compressed air as with many trucks).

Another difference in detailing is the side of the gas tank. The DML version is plain, the Trumpeter version has some ribbing:

The version of the Sd.Kfz.7 Prime Mover Chris photographed has a plain-sided gas tank, but this might be a matter of the simplification of the construction process that overtook German armaments production as the war went on. Not knowing when the vehicle photographed at Portola, CA was built, it's difficult to know if DML or Trumpeter is correct, or if they both are right.

Below are the bogey assembly housings:


Because I have not seen these in any photos, I can't comment on their accuracy.

The rear ends are similar but with some differences:

The return roller for the winch cable is much fatter in the DML kit (on the right). The Trumpeter has less detailing (including the winch release handle on the left side), but the DML doesn't include any provision for the winch cable that I can see (though the hook is included in the kit). There is no hole for the cable to come through, nor is the winch housing properly rendered (that's one of Trumpeter's real gems and you'll see that shortly).

Below is the real rear end:

You can see the winch release lever which is not present in the Trumpeter kit.



Finally, a side-by-side comparison of the two undercarriages, including the gear box assemblies and the rear of the engine block. Chris's CD doesn't include photos of the rear of the engine, so I can't comment on whether one manufacturer's engine is more accurate than the other. The Mayback engine, as I pointed out, went through several iterations as the Sd.Kfz.7 was manufactured, so it's possible the two companies are working from different relics.


Some of you may be wondering why the winch cable housings are red oxide primer. The assembly has to be put in-place prior to finishing the model, so I'm experimenting with different ways to handle this problem. The winch cable should be included (Trumpeter provides a string that I've colored with Vallejos "Oily Silver");
GALILEO1
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 12:39 PM UTC
Well, I've got to say that Im pretty impressed with the Trumpeter kit so far, particlarly where the engine is concerned.. Really nice detailing overall. Weird that DML did not pay attention to the winch housing but made a nice-enough looking roller (minus the hole that is).

Nice job so far Bill. I'm learning quite a bit.

Rob
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 03:13 PM UTC
Doing great so far Bill, Interesting to see how both companies come up with different ways of rendering parts, so far the trumpy kit seems to be more detailed but the fit dosent look as good as the dml, cheers Bob.
yeahwiggie
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 10:14 PM UTC
I am enjoying this dual-build a lot!
Big thanks for sharing it with us! It will make it easier for us what to do with each one.

One thing I did notice was the difference in size for the same parts between both manufacturers. It makes me wonder how they measure the real things. Isn't an inch in the Dragonfactory the same as an inch in the Trumpeterfactory??
thomokiwi
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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 10:15 PM UTC
I am very interested in this duel, awesome vehicle but shelling out a bit of cash for one I am interested in both builds
Gorizont
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Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 01:13 AM UTC
The comparison pictures are really good and show the differences in "how was it made" perfect!
Great work and patience to do this build (and taking photos)!

greetings...
Soeren
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Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 08:08 PM UTC

Hi Bill, I've built both kits and enjoyed both,but the trumpeter was the better kit.....I'm enjoying what you are doing with both...........................Monty
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 03:42 AM UTC
[quote]Weird that DML did not pay attention to the winch housing but made a nice-enough looking roller (minus the hole that is).[quote]
Rob, they simply decided to show detailing on the bottom but simplify the detailing where it won't show. Trumpeter gives you all the detailing, but missed some important details like the winch lever.

Quoted Text

Interesting to see how both companies come up with different ways of rendering parts, so far the trumpy kit seems to be more detailed but the fit dosent look as good as the dml, cheers Bob.


That's my goal, Bob: to show how two good model companies tackle the same problem. The DML fit is, overall, better, though I'm running into some problems with the firewall (more on that later).

Quoted Text

I am enjoying this dual-build a lot!
Big thanks for sharing it with us! It will make it easier for us what to do with each one.
One thing I did notice was the difference in size for the same parts between both manufacturers. It makes me wonder how they measure the real things. Isn't an inch in the Dragonfactory the same as an inch in the Trumpeterfactory??


Thanks, Ron, you guys make it worthwhile.
The two companies render the same vehicle differently, with the Trumpeter a bit "off" according to Terry at PMMS. Remember, in most cases, these companies are working from drawings and photos, not pouring over a relic machine (which in some cases may have been restored with non-standard or even re-created parts).

Quoted Text

I am very interested in this duel, awesome vehicle but shelling out a bit of cash for one I am interested in both builds


Thomo, I'm glad this is helpful. Both kits are worth having in your stash, but for different reasons. I will leave it to the individual to decide which one is right for him or her.

Quoted Text

The comparison pictures are really good and show the differences in "how was it made" perfect!
Great work and patience to do this build (and taking photos)!


Thanks, Soeren! C[]

Quoted Text

Hi Bill, I've built both kits and enjoyed both,but the trumpeter was the better kit.....I'm enjoying what you are doing with both...........................Monty


Thanks, Monty. I figure when this is done, a lot of y'all hanging on the fence can order the right kit for you in confidence.
metooshelah
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Posted: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 03:52 AM UTC
hey BIll, thanks for sharing. I'm really enjoying this one
bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 10:37 AM UTC
Now it's time to build the donuts... oops, I mean the cabs. The kits diverge very radically here, both in how they handle the detailing and the order of the build. DML goes right to the cab, gun platform and fenders, so let's begin with them.

The detailing on the firewall is very good, but is probably wasted if you intend to do anything but a repair dio or a DAK build:



As a Smart Kit, DML uses its mold technology to render the fenders and gun platform in two pieces. The results are a very good fit:


Cab details are very good:



Those of you who think that DML has no faults would be shocked at the amount of knock-out holes, especially the Magic Tracks (more on that below):


Here's how it comes together:


The step ring on the drive sprockets was rendered in flat, feature-less styrene, so I added my own with some Lion Roar sheet anti-skid PE:


bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 10:44 AM UTC
When it comes to the tracks, both kits have workable ones. The DML "Magic Tracks" have the edge in terms of detail and crispness. You also have to cut each of the Trumpter track pieces from the sprues; there are three components (track, "rubber" pad and "metal" pad platform), but the DML tracks have small knock-out holes down each side I didn't notice until I'd painted them.


bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 11:06 AM UTC
Other differences with the two kits are the detailing on things like the gun platform. The DML kit is simple and spare:



The Trumpeter gun platform detailing and supports are closer to the real thing:


The two together:
Damraska
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 04:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

OK, as has been intuited by several of you, the purpose of this build log isn't to push or bash either kit, but to lay out the different ways the two companies render this vehicle.



My jest aside, as it should be. But perhaps they could have a tractor pull competition at the end? I did not mean that. I am a bad man.

Great build log so far, Bill. Dragon and Trumpeter must have worked from different prototypes. The only relevant comparison for each model may be how close it comes to the prototype used. I think DML based theirs on Littlefield's example. I wonder what prototype Trumpeter used. It would be cool to find out that both models are pretty much accurate but represent different production batches.

-Doug
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 - 04:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great build log so far, Bill.


Thanks, Doug. I will be moving forward a little slowly now with the holidays and while I wait for the AM parts to arrive from HK.

Quoted Text

Dragon and Trumpeter must have worked from different prototypes. The only relevant comparison for each model may be how close it comes to the prototype used. I think DML based theirs on Littlefield's example. I wonder what prototype Trumpeter used. It would be cool to find out that both models are pretty much accurate but represent different production batches.


There were 12K+ of the Sd.Kfz.7 manufactured by several firms other than Kraus-Maffei. Each had slight variations. Since only a handful of these babies remain, it's hard to know where each company got its inspiration. The Littlefield version is a plain, vanilla Prime Mover and not a FlaK variant.

The variants are not "discrete," either. For example, the book Sd.Kfz.7 In Detail by Koran, Shoeters et al. shows an "early war" vehicle with armored cab but no radiator armor, a sort of mixed EW and LW version. This vehicle is currently at the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung in Koblenz, Germany.