Sd.Kfz.7/1 2cm Flakvierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette
1:35 kit comparison
DragonDragon kit #6525 - Trumpeter kit #01523
Part 1: Chassis/Winch
The Cyberhobby/Dragon main chassis frame is one large moulding that includes five cross members and is quite an impressive moulding with just some mould seams on the insides to be cleaned up, with just the suspension components to be added while the Trumpeter kit has individual chassis frames and all the cross members and suspension components also separate which does take a lot more assembly and care is needed to keep everything straight and level during the assembly to avoid any warping.

There is also more cleanup of minor flash and the mould seam lines required on the Trumpeter parts compared to the overall cleaner parts in the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit with just fine moulding seams to be removed from the parts.

A minor issue with the chassis in my Cyberhobby/Dragon kit in that it was slightly warped at the rear end, this was nothing dramatic and in a second kit purchased this was not evident so I may have just been unlucky with the first, but care will be needed to ensure the chassis is straightened while adding the additional parts if this is an issue with your kit?

Also due to the one piece moulding of the Cyberhobby/Dragon chassis the inner frame lip is not included which it is one the separate chassis frames in the Trumpeter kit but as this can't really be seen after assembly is probably a moot point.

Assembly of the chassis/suspension was a lot easier with the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit due to the minimal cleanup required and overall excellent fit of the parts while those on the Trumpeter kit required some locating holes to be enlarged and a few mating surfaces smoothed out to ensure a proper snug fit which again added to the easier assembly of the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit.

One point is that the Cyberhobby/Dragon front wheels are fixed in the neutral position while the Trumpeter front wheels are fully steerable which again requires additional assembly but easily allows some animation of the front wheel position which will require modifications on the Cyberhobby/Dragon front axle stubs if you want to reposition the front wheels?

Dragon Chassis/Suspension parts
Trumpeter Chassis/Suspension parts

As mentioned there is a difference of 3mm in overall chassis/wheelbase length between the two kits with the wheelbase measurements of each shown in the image below. The wheelbase being from the front axle stub to the rear idler stub.

There is conflicting reference data on the actual length with the Spielberger book Halftrack Vehicles of the German Army 1395-1945 (Schiffer Publications) listing the wheelbase as 2000/1800mm (allowing for the idler wheel movement) with the 1800mm equating to 51.42mm (51mm rounded) in 1:35 scale.

The 1:35 plans in the Panzer Tracts No.12 Flak Selbstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer and Model Art Halbketten Zugkraftwagen 8t Sd.Kfz.7/1/2 (AFV Super Detail Photo Vol.9) show the wheelbase at 48mm (rounded).

Turning to the kits the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit wheelbase is 48mm and the Trumpeter kit wheelbase is 51mm resulting in the 3mm difference between the kits. Given the conflicting information in the available references it is difficult to determine which is correct.

Chassis length as per text

Investigating this further I have fully assembled both the kit suspensions/running gear and compared the resulting wheel spacings to that of the real Sd.Kfz.7 with the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit wheel spacing matching perfectly while those on the Trumpeter kit are spaced out more due to the axle arrangement as shown above.

This would indicate from the visual evidence that the wheelbase of the Cyberhobby/Dragon kit is correctly proportioned while the 3mm longer Trumpeter kit wheelbase isn't.

Image comparing the kit road wheel spacing to the image of the actual Sd.Kfz.7 road wheels

The Cyberhobby/Dragon inner chassis frame is again moulded as a single piece with only minor cleanup of the mould seams and the two part muffler/exhaust pipe fed through the frame while the Trumpeter frame is made up of 24 individual parts with another 3 for the muffler/exhaust pipe which obviously takes a lot more assembly and again some parts needed trimming for the good fit.

Dragon Chassis sub-frame parts
Trumpeter Chassis sub-frame parts

The Cyberhobby/Dragon winch is made up of 5 parts (power takeoff shaft not shown in image) with crisp clean details but you don't get any thread or similar for the actual tow cable and this will have to be found elsewhere.
The Trumpeter winch has just 4 parts and the detail on the lower base is not as well defined as on the Cyberhobby/Dragon parts but both have details missing that would enhance the detail.

On the winch drum the central bolts are not spaced correctly on the Trumpeter drum as they are on the Cyberhobby/Dragon while the ribs are finer on the Trumpeter drum. Note the cutout holes around the edge of the drum are different on both with images showing both the single and double hole configuration. Also included on the Trumpeter winch but not on the Cyberhobby/Dragon are the 5 cable guide brackets around the winch drum, these are provided as small etched parts with copper wire for the pins but attaching the copper wire pins to the brass brackets is not easy and you would be advised to cut up some steel wire for the pins so you can easily solder these to the brackets. You are also supplied a length of thread for the cable in the Trumpeter kit which you should wind onto the drum before adding the guide pins to avoid problems later.

Dragon winch parts
Trumpeter winch parts
Dragon and Trumpeter assembled winch

Fitting the winches to the respective kits is straightforward but the end results are not easy to see once the rear bed is attached so you may choose not to spend too much time detailing the winches?

Page created April 22-25, 2009

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