by: Russ Amott [ ]
Originally published on:
The Sd.Kfz.10 was a specialized motorized vehicle developed as a light transport and tow vehicle in pre-war Germany. Demag began design of the vehicle in 1934, and in 1938 it was ready for production. The vehicle was unique, using a hull rather than a standard frame, and had a torsion bar suspension for the tracks. Initially powered by the Maybach NL38 TRKM with 90hp, it was later upgraded to the Maybach HL42 TRKM, which increased output to 100hp. The Maybach semi-automatic Variorex SRG 102128H transmission had 7 forward and 3 reverse gears.
As I understand it, operation of the semi automatic transmission allowed the driver to position the gear where he wanted it, depress the clutch and the vehicle would shift into the gear on it's own. Maximum speed was 75kmh (47mph) but limitations on speed were set, initially at 65kmh (40mph) and later, to conserve fuel and tracks, at 30kmh (19mph) for non tactical use.
The vehicle was produced not only by Demag (1,075 units) but by Adlerwerke (3,414), Bussing-Nag (750), MWC (4750), MIAG (324), MNH (600), and Osterreicher Saurerwerke (3,075), with a total production of approx. 14,000 vehicles. This vehicle also formed the base for the Sd.Kfz.250 series of armored halftracks.
The Sd.Kfz.10 was a prime mover for the 3.7cm PaK 36, but it was discovered that uncoupling the vehicle and setting it up in a firing position was not conducive to rapidly changing battlefield conditions, and as a result a field modification was authorized in which the PaK 36 was mounted on the rear frame of the Sd.Kfz.10, either placing the gun on a specialized mount that was bolted to the hull floor with the towing equipment removed, or lifting the entire carriage onto a platform behind the driver, with the trailing arms set on brackets on the hull side. The second mounting option retained the axles so that the gun could (feasibly) be used as a towed weapon again. It is unknown how many vehicles were modified in either form. Photographic evidence is relatively rare.
Cyber-hobby, the extension of Dragon Model that specializes in making unusual and limited production vehicles, has now made the sd.Kfz.10 variant with the 3.7cm PaK mounted on the rear. This is the mounting which uses the full towing carriage with specialized brackets, and should not be confused with the announced Dragon Model offering of this vehicle with what appears to be the hull mount, kit 6686.
The kit comes in a standard top opening box with a single side profile drawing of the vehicle. All parts were carefully packaged for protections and none were damaged in my sample, although two were slightly deformed. The parts do fit in the kit with room left over. Sprue breakdown is as follows:
• Sprue A, mainly body parts, such as panels for the hood(bonnet), radiator grille, dashboard and firewall, as well as front suspension and engine parts.
• Sprue B, engine, transmission and suspension, front wheels.
• Sprue D, Rear hull, track guards and small attachments.
• Sprue E X2, road wheels (early type).
• Sprue G, new axle base for the PaK 35/36 and side mounts for the gun.
• Sprue H, drive sprocket.
• Sprue V, clear parts.
• Sprue X, vehicle hull.
• MA, photoetch parts.
• MagicTrack, 96 shoes and pads.
• Sprue A, PaK 36 trail arms and fittings.
• Sprue B, PaK 36 gun and shield.
All of the vehicle sprues, with the exception of the G sprue, are from the previous Sd.Kfz.10/5. The two sprues for the PaK. 36 are from the previous 6152. Molding in general is excellent, with very fine and crisp details, open vent slots on the engine covers, many small, clean parts for the transmission assembly, no flash visible and very light seam lines. The mold halves were in line, with no notable mismatch visible. The two track guards on the D sprue were both bent towards the forward end. Molding of the kit is in itself a high art form. Except the PaK 36. Detail is still fair, but molding was soft, details somewhat rounded, and mold lines heavy. The plastic itself was shiny and appeared clearly to come from a different generation of modeling technology. That being said, the gun is still superior to the old Tamiya kit I have on hand.
Decals, by Cartograf, for one vehicle from the 13th Pz. Div, Eastern front, 1941.
The instructions are of the foldout type, with line drawings from CAD. This means the part illustrated doesn't always look like the part you are holding. Instructions are generally clear, with multiple sub assemblies shown in boxes surrounding the main assembly detail. There are some areas where the small detail parts are not shown clearly, and will take some careful study. Dragon and Cyberhobby kits, coming from the same source, are notorious for having errors and omissions, some more than others. Careful study of parts, pictures, dry fitting and cautious assembly are required, perhaps a little more than with other manufacturers.
Building the kit
I followed assembly of the kit by the instructions, keeping the build out of box, with as little modification of the parts as possible. For reference I looked at base Sd.kfz.10 walkarounds presented at both PrimePortal and Toadman's Tank pictures websites.
Steps one and two cover assembly of the drive sprockets, road wheels, main wheels and hull suspension. The drive sprockets are very neatly and cleanly molded. The instructions should read H1 to H2 and H4 to H5. Also, attach E12 to H1 and H4 first to get the best and easiest alignment of the parts. The sprockets are not accurate, being significantly more narrow than the actual vehicle part. The front wheels feature two part tires that go over a central wheel. The two parts tire halves left a seam line that will require minor attention. The road wheels look good enough to match photos, but the small bars that held the two wheels together don't line up particularly well.
The front suspension is a multi-part assembly that allows for maximum realism if visible. Part A3 should go to the left hand side, part A2 to the right hand side, when the vehicle is upright. The mounting bracket for the idler, part A42 and A41, is mislabeled B 42/41. The torsion arms should mate into a keyed opening, but they don't fit well, and don't line up. You will have to carefully position them to get them to sit where you want. To attach the rear hull plate you will have to remove the four pour tabs on the hull, which is not shown until step 8.
Steps 3 through 7 cover assembly of the engine, transmission and firewall. The engine is very detailed but inaccurate. There is, at least to my knowledge, no aftermarket HL42 TRKM. GreatWall does offer the HL42 TURKM, but the engine is different. You would have to combine the kit engine, GreatWall kit and some scratchbuilding to get an accurate engine. However, what is presented does provide a good interest point and with some scratchbuilt plumbing would look the part. The belt and pulley system has all but one pulley as separate parts. I recommend attaching the pulley wheels, parts B46 and B58, to the engine block and then placing the belts around them. Oddly, there is no fan provided, which is a prominent feature on the engine.
The transmission does look accurate, based on photos of the actual vehicle. It has many very tiny parts with minimal contact surfaces. Two types of battery box are included. The gas tank was a little fiddly as the parts didn't match as cleanly as I had hoped. Don't place the filler cap for the gas tank until after the seat is in place or you may not have enough room. The seats themselves are three parts each, with separate cushions featuring very nice details. I would wait to attach the transmission, fuel tank and battery box to A36, the mounting base, until after it is in place on the vehicle so that everything lines up properly. The firewall/dashboard assembly is simple, with separate clutch and brake pedals. I waited to attach the steering wheel until after decals were placed. There is no steering linkage to the engine.
Step 8 puts all of these sub assemblies into the hull. First place the drive axle, B27, into the hull with final drives B20 and B21. A36 goes over this, and then add the firewall, getting it placed properly, and then the fuel tank, transmission and battery box. I followed the instructions as they show assembly and found it more difficult to get things to set properly. If the engine is added last, it will mate to the transmission with less hassle. I did not add the road wheels, opting to place them when the build was closer to completion. There is an etch hub ring that goes on the inner road wheels, with an extra included on the fret in case you lose one. The hoop on the rear of the vehicle, which appears to be to mount barbed wire on, has eight metal etch loop attachments that go in pairs. They should not fit snug to the hoop, but rather sit above the surface. There is an extra provided should you drop one. There is a small mark on the rear showing where to place D38 and 39, the supports for the hoop. Parts D3, the two supports for the barbed wire, are very delicate and will get knocked off very quickly if you are not careful.
Step 9 completes assembly of the engine compartment, places the hood panels, radiator grille, and some internal assembly. There are indicator holes on the underside of the two front fenders that you may drill out at your discretion to place tools and other attachments. The box behind the seats shows only part D16, but includes parts D15 and D17. The end brackets are also mislabeled, being D14. They attach to the track guards. Then the mount for the gun, parts G3 and G4 are added. Fit of these parts was, in my opinion, sloppy. They have a lot of complex shape, but no weld seams, bolt heads, or any other detail showing how they were assembled, and stand out from the rest of the kit. They look crude.
Steps 11 and 12 add the rest of the details to the base vehicle. The brackets, for what I assume are the poles for the canvas cover, are mislabeled. Parts D40 and D42 should go on the left (driver's side) and D41 and D43 the right hand side. The mirrors, D5 and D6, are placed backwards, with D6 going on the driver's side. The windshield will remain positionable. I waited to add details until after painting.
Steps 13, 14 and 15 cover assembly of the basic gun carriage parts. The trail arms have separate lower spade halves, which have a large gap at the joint. The brackets for the marker poles, A14 and A15, are shown in place without calling them out. The handles, A5 and A6, are backwards. The gun barrel is molded in two halves, but they mated up cleanly.
Steps 16-20 complete the assembly of the gun. The parts all fit, but because of heavy mold seams and some mole offset issues, assembly was not as clean as the rest of the kit. When the gun was completed, the trail arms were longer than the bracket. I cut off the spaces, trimmed the leg by about 1mm, and then glued the spades back on. The spades rest by the corner in the bracket. There is nothing to hold the gun in place, like straps or any other linkage that was present on the actual vehicle.
Tracks are called out at 42 links per side. The tracks remain workable enough if assembled with care to allow them to be positioned with appropriate sag. 42 links created too much sag, 41 links allowed no sag. Ideal length would be 41 1/2, but that is not possible.
The painting and markings guide shows the one vehicle from the 13th Pz. div, in overall dark gray. Painting masks are provided for the windshield. I found the inner masks were perfect size, but the outer masks were slightly too small, so I used liquid frisket to mask the outer surface. I painted the vehicle so I could attach the road wheels and track to test fit and place decals. The decals fit well with setting solution and add a lot to the appearance of the kit. There are two of each of the smaller dials, in case you lose or damage one.
Aside from the omission of the fan and steering linkage, larger and more obvious omissions are of the fold down canvas top that is clearly visible in photos I have seen of this vehicle, a mounting base for the Notek lamp (included but marked not for use) and blackout lenses for the headlamps, both features that are also prominent in photographs. A MG38 is commonly featured, usually mounted on the front of the cab, passenger side. I also really do wish a sprue of basic crew items, such as helmets, bread bags and gas mask canisters was included. From the box the kit makes a very nice museum type display. To get the lived in look, you will have to go to the spares box or aftermarket sources. Also, there is only one ammo box on the PaK 36 sprues, market not for use. It would have been nice to have more ammo included as well.
Overall, this was a very nice kit to build, and as stated, the base vehicle kit has outstanding detail. Cyberhobby is now releasing the Sd.Kfz.10 early, which is basically this kit without the gun, and some additional interior detail. It should be excellent. The missing engine details are only notable if you leave the engine exposed. The base for the Notek can be scratched. I even have a spare MG38. The missing canvas cover and poorly represented side brackets for the gun mount are highly visible and do detract from the otherwise beautiful kit. It is still a good kit to build, especially if you like unusual subjects.