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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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REVIEW
Sd.Kfz. 7/2 Flak 37 w/ Armor Cab
staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 08:20 AM UTC
I reviewed the new Sd.Kfz 7 variant from Dragon which includes a 3.7cm gun and armored cab setup.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 08:34 AM UTC
Great Review Jim

This will be defo on my to buy list,as i have just built the Trumpeter Sdkfz 7 in need to get back on the Dragon trail

Cheers

Karl
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 10:13 AM UTC
Whew, that was FAST! I will try to get the 7/1 review up soon (review written, but photos awaiting tomorrow's promised sunshine).
dispatcher
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 10:30 AM UTC
that is an impressive pile of plastic parts. Looks like a nice kit.
Joe
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 01:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I won't try to make any grand claims about this kit as I am no subject matter expert on the Sd.Kfz 7, however I think Dragon has produced another winner here and this kit is certainly a worthy challenge to any modeler who wants to build a highly detailed kit without the need for a lot of after-market parts and pieces.



With all due respect to Jim S. as the site owner and publisher, this (along with the most recent Panzerschreck review where the reviewer in a thread admitted to making something up!) review seems to signal a return to the old days of cheer-leading any new DML kit as the greatest thing since sliced-bread...especially when I read the above section. What happened to not being in such a rush and insuring that kits ended up in the hands of a qualified reviewer so that it could get a fair evaluation to insure maximum benefit to the site users? Has that practice now ended in the interest of expediency and the need to get a review done as quickly as possible because it's a new release? I ask this in a sincere way and not as a bomb-throwing radical looking to stir up trouble. I just honestly would like to know if the Reviews here on Armorama aren't going to be any different than the well-known cheerleaders elsewhere on the net so I can avoid duplication of effort in trying to find honest assessments of the kit in question. The purpose of the announcement threads is to make comments about the kit/review, so I thought long and hard about posting this before deciding this was the correct place to make my comments.


Quoted Text

The instructions are well laid out and obviously a lot of time has been taken trying to make them correct for an international multi-lingual audience. I have seen a lot of critical comments about Dragon (or other makers) instructions in the past and I have to say I don't get it. What some people seem to want is a 300 page book on how to build a 500 piece kit. It's not going to happen folks unless we want to pay about 3 times as much as we do now for a kit. While confusion about where parts go is bound to occur I would go as far to say these are some of the best instructions I have seen from any manufacturer for such a complex kit.



Seriously? When did gratuitous shots at the general public become the norm in what is supposed to be an impartial Review? It's confusing and especially ironic considering the following:


Quoted Text

Lows: Some confusion on 2-in-1 versioning with instructions.



So which one is it? Either the instructions are perfectly designed for a multi-lingual audience and you don't get the reasons for the complaints or you rate one of the "lows" as being confusing instructions when it comes to the 2-in-1 versioning.

Having built many, many DML kits (44 as of today) I can tell you that their reputation for poor instruction quality is richly deserved. I have yet to build a single kit that didn't contain at least one error in the instructions in one place or another and I'm not alone. I still recall vividly the Sdkfz 251/17 Luftwaffe version that had an error in every single step and some steps had more errors than they had correct elements. Being told by the site publisher via this review that I must be missing something and am therefore fair game for open ridicule makes me wonder if there isn't some "special" kool-aid out there that I'm not aware of.
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c5flies
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 04:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I just honestly would like to know if the Reviews here on Armorama aren't going to be any different than the well-known cheerleaders elsewhere on the net so I can avoid duplication of effort in trying to find honest assessments of the kit in question.



Bill,
I'm going to answer this in a 'general' way, regarding all reviews and not one or two specifically. We have strived to publish reviews on this site to be fair and honest assessments, to the best of our abilities. I'll be the last person to admit I'm anywhere near perfect and that my knowledge of everything that crosses our desk is unlimited, so a few...and I'd like to believe just a few, may have gotten published that have not been up to our high standards.

As you well know, the majority of the contributors on Armorama work very hard, to supply content for all the readers, and are a very dedicated crew...which I have the utmost respect for. Which is one of the reasons I become very defensive when it comes to reviews.

To give the short answer to your question...the reviews on Armorama will continue to be honest reviews, have no fear of that, and will continue to give a wide range of views.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 08:05 PM UTC
Sorry Bill. I gave my honest impressions. Yours may differ.

Jim

PS: Oh and haven't you heard? We are a cheerleader for Trumpeter these days.
wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2009 - 03:45 AM UTC
James,

I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Contributors and the work that they do as well as the work done by the Reviews editors. Thanks for the reassurance that the Contributor reviews will continue to uphold the high standards that have become the norm for Armorama.
Removed by original poster on 06/07/09 - 16:21:11 (GMT).
bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2009 - 09:15 AM UTC
Wait, I thought I was the cheerleader for Trumpeter?
CMOT
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Posted: Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 05:27 PM UTC
I actually like this review format which may come as a surprise to Jim, because it tells me exactly what is in the box. I donít believe for one minute that the instructions are 100% accurate unless DML supplied a hand written set for Jim, which were then checked during 10 builds of the product. The instruction issues will come to light as the products are built which I donít believe Jim has done, and that is an area I agree with Bill on. What I do believe is that this review highlights perfectly where a whatís in the box review could be accompanied by a review concentrating just on accuracy of the finished product, and that would then keep everyone happy.

Thank you for writing a review that will encourage members to give it a try, as it shows that anyone can provide a review following this format.
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 - 01:57 PM UTC
I like the results from Dragon kits, although the instructions drive me nuts; but I have one question. I have checked out the retail prices of the DML & Trumpeter unarmoured Sdkfz 7/1 Flakvierling, the DML one from Hannants is priced @ a whopping £59.99, while the Trumpeter offering from the same supplier is £39.98 for the same vehicle (the Trumpeter one includes the ammo trailer - the DML doesn't). I'd like to see some justification for the £20 difference from somebody. I've made the Trumpeter Sdkfz 7 prime mover, & I've got to say I was impressed; in fact I would say it pushed some modelling boundaries for my personal skills. I find it difficult to imagine the DML ones being 50% better. What would really make a great review is a side by side build of the two kits (no, I'm not for a moment suggesting myself, you want the review before 2012).
bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 - 02:06 PM UTC
Steve,

A very extensive review by PMMS determined the DML version is more accurate on several points, including the front mudguards, the overall length and the drive sprocket. Pricing is a more a matter of "what the market will bear." There is a market opinion that DML kits are superior to Trumpeter, so they go for more swag. Prices have a way of leveling out as the hoopla surrounding competing kits dies down.

The accuracy of DML instructions leaves something to be desired IMO, though Trumpeter isn't perfect, either. Differences of opinion are why we have horse races.

The differences between the kits are significant on some levels, though I built the Trumpeter Prime Mover as well, and consider it an excellent kit.
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 - 04:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I built the Trumpeter Prime Mover as well, and consider it an excellent kit.



The kit is TOO SHORT!

How can anyone consider a kit that is dimensionally in-accurate an excellent kit?
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 04:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The kit is TOO SHORT!

How can anyone consider a kit that is dimensionally in-accurate an excellent kit?


First of all, Herbert, you should get your details correct: I assume you're referrring to the the PMMS comparison review, which says the Trumpeter kit may be too long by 3mm, though it also says the DML rear bed sides are 1mm too short in height. Yet there is some dispute about the correct length of the chassis, with Spielberger and Panzer Tracts #12 disagreeing about the correct chassis/rear bed dimensions (51mm vs. 48mm reduced to 1/35th scale).

Now to your semi-hysterical challenge: many models I've built have inaccuracies. Some of them still build up well. If we were to wait for perfect models, we'd build damn few of them. I spent many hours and $$$ fixing the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7, so I understand the challenges getting this vehicle right brings to the fore. Same with the BF110 G nightfighter variants I'm struggling to bring into the 21st Century: lots of work, imperfect results.

The Trumpeter kit has extensive detailing, some of which is missing on the DML version: the transmission and engine, for example, are well-done on the DML version but fall short of the Trumpeter one, at least on the variants Dragon has issued so far. Right now, I can only speculate on their Prime Mover, which was promised a year ago, yet shows no sign of appearing anytime soon in stores or on the Internet.

In a few areas, the Trumpeter kit actually "trumps" the DML version (e.g., the winch with its PE).

In evaluating the two competing versions, it seems to me the DML kit is clearly the better choice for accuracy. But the two kits are netting out at $10-$20 different in price. The small shortcomings of the Trumpeter version (or in this case, "longcomings") may be offset by the price, not to mention the addtion of an ammunition trailer with the Trumpeter version.

And at the end of the day, as the Brits say, when finished, the Trumpeter kit looks quite good.

The ultimate solution would be to "kit bash" the various versions, or wait for Griffon or Voyager to come up with the missing bits and pieces (the gun sites for the 7/1 variant, proper "mesh" for the sides, better detailing for the DML engine and winch, etc.). But until then, compromises will need to be made. I look forward to the DML Prime Mover's appearance, and will certainly buy at least one for the two sFH 18s and 1 FLAK 18 I have in my stash, all of which will need pulling. I would not hesitate, however, to purchase another Trumpeter Prime Mover in the interim, since I don't know when DML's version will actually get out.

Your mileage may vary.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 07:03 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I actually like this review format which may come as a surprise to Jim, because it tells me exactly what is in the box. I donít believe for one minute that the instructions are 100% accurate unless DML supplied a hand written set for Jim, which were then checked during 10 builds of the product. The instruction issues will come to light as the products are built which I donít believe Jim has done, and that is an area I agree with Bill on. What I do believe is that this review highlights perfectly where a whatís in the box review could be accompanied by a review concentrating just on accuracy of the finished product, and that would then keep everyone happy.

Thank you for writing a review that will encourage members to give it a try, as it shows that anyone can provide a review following this format.



Thanks Darren! My comments about the instructions were meant to imply that 'in appearance' that instructions are well-detailed and informative for such a complex kit. As someone who has actually designed printed documents I have a slightly different take on it than some. Also I would never in a million years expect any instructions to be 100% accurate and especially in this situation where it's illustrating the assembly of a 600 piece kit. That was what the gist of my comments was suppose to convey.

Cheers,
Jim

PS: 1mm? Your kidding right?? Would we even mention if it was .05mm off?

And yes I realize 1mm is a few inches in scale, still...
lespauljames
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 08:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text



The kit is TOO SHORT!

How can anyone consider a kit that is dimensionally in-accurate an excellent kit?



i take this out of context a tad, this comment Herbert, is a little narrow minded using Your word

anyone i am someone, and i have built a fair few kits with dimention problems, and i would call them excellent, because i value the enjoyment of the build, and progress of skills over all else, yes okay sometimes i want to add extra details to make the kit "more realistic compared to references" sometimes i will go a bit further and model a specific vehicle. the kit may not be perfect, but it still can be excellent. all in all everyones opinion is there own, thats why i dont think you shoudl say "how can anyone model a kit that is dimentionallt wrong and call it excellent."

and dont be pollitcally incorrect, the term too short, should be replaced with Dwarfism, the kit suffers from dwarfism...
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 08:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

and dont be pollitcally incorrect, the term too short, should be replaced with Dwarfism, the kit suffers from dwarfism...


pretty good line!

C.
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 10:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My comments about the instructions were meant to imply that 'in appearance' that instructions are well-detailed and informative for such a complex kit.


I think the issue with Dragon's instructions is the occasionally large number of mistakes, and with their photo versions, the imprecision of where to place some small details. I am currently finishing up their BF110C in 1/32nd, and despite TWO sets of errata, I nearly #$%@ed up some of the small panels in the engine nacelles because the instructions weren't clear.

Quoted Text

1mm? Your kidding right?? Would we even mention if it was .05mm off?

And yes I realize 1mm is a few inches in scale, still...


I am happy to see reviewers point out the inaccuracies of kits no matter how small or seemingly trivial, since most of them are inaccurate in some way. Short of taking a casting of every part and then reducing it with computer technology, some of these kits look to be approximations of reality. Some manufacturers do a better job. So at the end of the day, we have to weigh the things that matter and decide if a particular kit meets our needs. I just ordered the Revell of Germany Type VII U-boat in 1/72nd scale. The kit cost me $50 and I'll need to spend $100 in PE upgrades, scratch-build a pressure hull, add rivet detail and order paints from the UK. But it looks like it will turn into an awesome model and I can't wait to immerse myself in it.

As an Armorama reviewer, I think it should be up to the consumer to make up his or her own mind about a kit, rathr than for us as reviewers to say "this is a piece of #$@% and you shouldn't buy it."
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 01:00 PM UTC

Quoted Text

As an Armorama reviewer, I think it should be up to the consumer to make up his or her own mind about a kit, rathr than for us as reviewers to say "this is a piece of #$@% and you shouldn't buy it."



In my view the opposite is equally true.

I also believe that there's a lot of negativity thrown around about things being off by 1 or 2 mm as if it doesn't matter at all to anyone with half a brain or any sense of "fun". It's almost "anti-intellectual" in its tone and approach by labelling it with a sinister purpose as if there's a gang of people out there intent on draining all possible enjoyment out of the hobby by means of a set of calipers.

Are there those who don't care? Sure...but the difference of 1mm can make a huge difference depending on where it's at. Take for example in diameter...a 1mm difference is very pronounced. A 1mm gap in parts fit is also huge. A rivet being 1mm too far to the left or right, probably not so much. I would still rather know that going in than discover it on my own. Given the $$$ that kits are commanding these days, those kinds of accuracy issues or A quality but not THE quality IMHO.
bill_c
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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 03:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I also believe that there's a lot of negativity thrown around about things being off by 1 or 2 mm as if it doesn't matter at all to anyone with half a brain or any sense of "fun". It's almost "anti-intellectual" in its tone and approach by labelling it with a sinister purpose as if there's a gang of people out there intent on draining all possible enjoyment out of the hobby by means of a set of calipers.


Bill, I assume you're using my argument as something of a straw man for your point, since I in no way am implying that we shouldn't be focused on accuracy. That's not at all what I meant, and I want that to be very clear.

As it happens in this particular instance, there is a discrepancy in the historical record about the length of the Sd.Kfz.7 chassis (and in the case of the variants, the rear bed). Depending on whether you believe Spielberger or Panzer Tracts, the Trumpeter and DML kits are BOTH right, though differeing by 3mm. The real inaccuracy issues for the Trumpeter kit are the ammo hoppers, not the chassis length IMO. But in the interest of balance, DML's rear deck railings are 1mm too short in height, and the gunsight is not provided. The PMMS comparison review I cited is quite exhaustive on the various shortcomings of the two kits.

What I do feel about reviewing is that I want to make up my own mind about a kit, not be told "you shouldn't buy this." There are ways to present damning information without shoving it down the reader's throat. And I'm not at all implying that's what you meant. I want the same information about a kit's problems as its successes so I can make up my own mind. I can cite instances of kits I would purchase or have purchased knowing their shortcomings, but I won't bore you with the details.

The best reviews, to me, are the ones that present the facts about the kit, are even-handed and show the reviewer to have knowledge about the topic, and which are honest about the value for money. I happen to think you, Bill, are one of the better reviewers here because you bring all those qualities to your reviews. Yet you never, to my recollection, have said "you shouldn't buy this kit," even here.
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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 03:34 AM UTC
Up until the 'revival' of the Sd.Kfz 7 as the subject for a modern kit, I was reasonably enthusiastic. Now, unfortunately, the Sd.Kfz 7 seems to be the most controversial subject ever kitted.

News of one variant gets posted - we're 'shilling'. A review gets posted and all (virtual) hell seems to be let loose. For the most casual of observers, the 15th Century's most pressing theological question concerned Angels dancing on the heads (or points) of needles (or pins), pales mightily in comparison to this:

A (disputable) length difference of between .05 and (depending on how you read it) 3mm?

Am I missing some subtle point here?

JimS wrote a Review. You can choose to like it, dislike it, have it printed on a T-Shirt or print it out and burn it over a magic fire. To suddenly see this as a challenge to the Natural Order (as some seem to be saying) is, i'm afraid, tilting at windmills.

Please can we (try to) maintain something approaching a sense of perspective? Life's REALLY too short...

HK_AFV
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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 04:01 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Up until the 'revival' of the Sd.Kfz 7 as the subject for a modern kit, I was reasonably enthusiastic. Now, unfortunately, the Sd.Kfz 7 seems to be the most controversial subject ever kitted.

News of one variant gets posted - we're 'shilling'. A review gets posted and all (virtual) hell seems to be let loose. For the most casual of observers, the 15th Century's most pressing theological question concerned Angels dancing on the heads (or points) of needles (or pins), pales mightily in comparison to this:

A (disputable) length difference of between .05 and (depending on how you read it) 3mm?

Am I missing some subtle point here?

JimS wrote a Review. You can choose to like it, dislike it, have it printed on a T-Shirt or print it out and burn it over a magic fire. To suddenly see this as a challenge to the Natural Order (as some seem to be saying) is, i'm afraid, tilting at windmills.

Please can we (try to) maintain something approaching a sense of perspective? Life's REALLY too short...




Dear all,

I have no intention to join in the lengthy discussions on the content of the review or the 1 mm / 3 mm discrepancies. But I happened to see more and more arguments and disagreements under different topics in the forum. Comments are getting more and more non-constructive and sometime abusive against each other. THIS IS WRONG. Some level of mutual respect should prevail.

p.s. - I happened to have both kits in front of me and have the opportunity to "compare" the parts in detail. All I can say is that they are both excellent kits with different areas of "long-and-short comings". Bill Cross's comment is very close to what I see in front of me.

Paul
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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 04:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Some level of mutual respect should prevail.



There IS and it clearly DOES. There's no real unpleasantness in this Thread that I can see...