The Sd.Kfz. 10 1 Ton halftrack was first developed by the Demag firm in 1934 to tow the 3.7cm PAK, the 2cm FlaK gun, and several other loads, including trailers and light infantry artillery. But just as the 3.7cm proved inadequate against most modern tanks, the Sd.Kfz. 10 was deemed by Hitler to be too weak to justify its continued production as a towing platform. So it was subsequently modified to carry a variety of load (including chemical decontamination tanks), usually the 2cm FlaK 30 and later, the FlaK 38 (an improved version of the 30).
Designated first the Sd.Kfz 10/4 and later the 10/5, the vehicle employed a relatively unique hull system instead of a frame. A wide range of manufacturers handled production of the 17,500 that were built by 1945 (including most French car & truck companies), yet the vehicle has become known as the Demag, primarily due to a series of kits released by Italeri. Now Dragon has released a new version of the 10/5 sporting a FlaK 38 from the company’s stable of workhorse kits, and it promises to make the old Italeris surviving on the Internet as outmoded as the old Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 7s.
what you get
The usual fine DML box with a quality illustration on the top from Ron Volstad contains:
12 sprues of gray styrene
1 hull tub
1 sprue of clear styrene windshields and headlight lenses
1 sheet of masks for the windshields
1 pack of Magic Tracks
1 black plastic tub with two PE halves for the ammunition basket
2 frets of PE with mesh and other enhancements to the detailing
10-page “accordion”-style instruction sheet
The inevitable comparison with this kit is the line of Italeri DEMAGs that live on in several versions, including the Sd.Kfz.10/7 armored cab variant and one sporting a 3.7cm PAK AT gun. There’s really no comparison.
The older kit is the product of a simpler time, whereas Dragon is bringing its usual quality and detailing to this workhorse of the Luftwaffe field units, the regular army and the Waffen SS. The molding is Dragon’s usual excellent standard with almost no flash. Seams are minimal, though be careful as always with the small, but obvious knock-out holes on the tiny Magic Tracks track shoes. The quality molding makes even the flash suppressor of the FlaK 38 very nice, though I will replace the barrel with an aluminum one.
Another fine feature is the "slice of tread" tires: thin slices are glued together to form a very realistic tread pattern. For those who want the ne plus ultra
in detailing, Quickwheel/Bitskrieg have released three variants for the road wheels reviewed here
There is a pleasing, but not overwhelming selection of PE, including a “DEMAG” radiator plate (though interestingly, the cover art shows a diamond-shaped Büssing-NAG radiator logo). It would’ve been nice if Dragon had included other options, since Demag was hardly the only manufacturer, but I didn’t take any points off for that. Modelers who prefer plastic over brass will find most of the PE items have styrene alternatives, though without the crispness and detail.
Unlike the rather simplified rendering in the much-older Italeri kit, Dragon has done its usual excellent job in bringing the complexity of this vehicle to life. The engine is included, and detailing on the gun and mount are very fine indeed. This kit should make a fine OOB build. The engine has the usual simplifications, including what looks to be no steering column extension into the engine bay, but I won't be able to ascertain that for sure until assembly. It will be interesting to see if Voyager or one of the other AM PE suppliers releases an upgrade. If you are comfortable scratch-building some wiring, the results should be quite pleasing.
The one area where mainstream kit manufacturers continue to fall down is in rendering the “mesh” sides of German halftracks. The sides fold down when the gun is deployed to provide the crew with more room, but they are not made of mesh, rather a form of lattice screen closer to a modern Stryker’s slat armor. Obviously it would be a nightmare to render this in styrene, and doing so in photo etch is both costly and only for advanced modelers (see my review here
. The other alternative is the laser-cut paper lattice work from Kamizukuri, but they do not have any plans to release a set for this vehicle, and the earthquake in Japan may set manufacturers there back a ways.
Another detracting oversight is the absence of any trailer. These guns needed something to carry their ammunition, and the Sd.Kfz. 10/5 usually pulled the Sd.Ah. 51 single axle trailer (Sonderanhänger
or “special trailer”). My spares box has several Sd.Ah. 51s, so it won’t be a problem replacing, but I think Dragon needs to start adding trailers to its anti-aircraft halftracks.
The kit is assembled via the usual DML exploded-view instructions. They are relatively-detailed, which would be expected from a vehicle of this complexity.
painting & decals
The decals are printed by Cartograf and feature their usual quality and superb registration. They include one pre-fab license plate, but mostly they allow modelers to build either Heer, SS or Luftwaffe vehicles and apply the numbers themselves. The SS runes are a little tricky to make up from halves, but allow DML to get around laws in Europe that prohibit Nazi graphics. Instrument dials for the dash are included, so I'm glad to see Dragon has corrected that shocking oversight from its Sd.Kfz.7 series.
The paint schemes are happily quite specific, with only one “unidentified unit,” and include (in chronological order):
1st SS Brigade (Motorisiert) “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler,” Eastern Front 1942 (Panzer Gray)
3rd SS Panzer-Grenadier Division “Totenkopf,” Eastern Front 1943 (Dunkelgelb)
Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943/44 (Green over Dunkelgelb)
2nd SS Panzer-Grenadier Div. “Das Reich,” Fastov 1943/44 (Green over Dunkelgelb)
1st SS Panzer-Grenadier Division “LSAH,” Kursk 1943/44 (Dunkelgelb)
21st Panzer Division, Normandy 1944 (Green & Brown over Dunkelgelb)
These will cover most of the major campaigns except Italy, but this vehicle served everywhere, so consult your references if you need more options.
Given that the only other versions of this platform are the ancient Italeri kits, it’s a joy to see that DML has released a modern kit with their usual bells & whistles. This model will likely please both out-of-the-box builders, and those like myself who want extra detailing.
1.) Halftracked Vehicles of the German Army 1909-1945, Walter J. Spielberger (Schiffer Military History);
2.) Sd.Kfz.10 by Toadman’s Tank Pictures CD-ROM