Kfz.70 6x4 Personnel Carrier
|Kit # 7377||Preview by Rob Haelterman|
Wikipedia teaches me that
L 2 H 43 and L 2 H 143 "Krupp-Protze" (unofficial designation)
was a six-wheeled German truck and artillery tractor used by German
forces in World War II. It was powered by a 55 hp or 60 hp (since
1936) Krupp M 304 4-cylinder petrol engine. Its main purpose was to
tow artillery, especially the PaK 36, and transport motorized infantry.
design, the Krupp-Protze was converted into several variant configurations
anti-tank (36 mm Pak 36) and anti-air (2 cm Flak) guns were mounted
directly on the bed of the truck."
The Protze was
the mainstay of the infantry and towed Panzerjäger units in the
first half of the war. Dragon has released the Kfz.69 and Kfz.70 variants
so far; the main difference being that the Kfz.70 has a cargo bed,
whereas the Kfz.69 has seats. (I guess that this will be the only
difference between the two kits.)
The sides of the box already give you an idea what you could expect to expect, yet I noticed that the drawings didn't match the contents for the full 100%. The wood-texture on the box is much nicer than the one on the actual parts. The latter are somewhat rougher than the other parts, but nothing near the irregular texture seen on the box. The same thing can be said for the "well-detailed driver's floor well": the pattern on the box is far better than the parts, but at least there is a pattern. The pattern on the seats is nicely rendered, looking like real upholstery, but this isn't advertized on the box, however. A very nicely done chassis is given, and as you can see, molding technology limits the use of single-part wheels, even though other companies seem to able to pull that off. Instead of splitting the wheel in half (which would destroy the delicate thread pattern), Dragon has opted for a circular insert on the inside of the wheel, which can be blended in without much risk. (Perhaps they forgot this insert in their LRDG Chevrolet kit, which has hollow wheels ?) The detail on these wheels is very nice, by the way.
The Pak is the same as in the Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf. C kit (7371 or 7352) or their Pak set (7374) and is a little gem.
The parts reveal nothing that might haunt us during construction, although I feel there are few enough of them for that big box (and the MSRP for that matter). It is nice, though, that a clear windscreen is given. The pennant holder is rather "sturdy" for this scale.
The manual teaches us that this will most likely be a quick-build affair and that there are no parts to augment our spares box. I am somewhat puzzled as to why the hand wheels of the Pak need to be replaced. I can understand that you would need to add them, but replace them seems odd. Dragon could have given parts with locating pins instead, which would be far easier and resilient.
For a vehicle that saw widespread use, research into the color schemes is rather, well, minimalistic: two identical vehicles from unidentified units, both in gray, but with different licence plates and another one from an unidentified unit with a whitewash. The latter requires the formation of your own licence plates. This allows you to make any WH or SS licence plate (in case you are building an exact replica of a picture), but is a very fiddly affair, even more so as the SS runes come in halves...
Sample kit bought by author.