German Sd.Kfz.7 Mittlere Zugkraftwagen 8t early version
Trumpeter 1:35 Kit #01514
Review by Terry Ashley


The Sd.Kfz.7 8ton half-track was produced from 1933 with the final version Type KM m 11 appearing in 1937 which was powered by the 140HP Maybach HL 62 TUK engine and was produced until the end of the war in different versions with this kit representing the earlier production vehicles.

The Sd.Kfz.7 is probably the most well known of the German half-tracks due it being the towing vehicle for the 8.8cm Flak guns as well as various 2cm and 3.7cm Flak versions produced.

The announcement of this kit certainly caused a few disturbances in the force and as this kit has been on most German armour modellers want lists for some time it may have accounted for the different reactions about the place.

The Kit:

The kit can best be described as a Jekyll and Hyde with some very good features and others that will test your patience as well as some accuracy issues. The standard of moulding is a mixture of good and bad with some finely executed detail on the large and small parts with a minimum of pins marks evident on the parts and those present are in areas that are unavoidable and fairly easy to deal with.

There is also some fine flash on the parts especially the smaller and more intricate parts and a bit of work will be needed to clean this up. There are also some prominent mould seam lines to be removed from many parts and this again requires a bit of effort and care is needed not to compromise the detail in the process.

Added to this there are numerous small fit issues to contend with that sees many small adjustments required to get parts to fit and quite a few of the mating surfaces also need to be smoothed out for a more precise fit as well as some instruction sheet bloopers to contend with. But as mentioned there is some areas with excellent detail such as the lower chassis assemblies with fully detailed gearbox, engine and large winch as well as the driver’s compartment for very impressive sub-assemblies, it’s a pity much of this is all but hidden after final assembly.

Some detail is compromised due to the kit being influenced by museum refurbished vehicles meaning some features are not present on wartime half-tracks and others applicable to later models than the early type depicted in the kit. The kit may be highly detailed in many areas but is not for the faint heated as some work will be needed during assembly and for a truly accurate model, but as they say the devil is in the detail so let’s have a closer look at what we get.

Dimensionally the kit matches available 1:35 plans and data in most instances but there are some issues with the hull length/wheelbase and the contours of the front fenders, otherwise parts such as the running gear are the right sizes.

Some of the main issues which will be addressed more below are the front fenders are too steeply angled on the inside and should be more angled, the rivet detail on the front edges of the fenders are from the restored vehicle and not the wartime vehicle and will have to be removed, on the rear there are two reflectors added to the fenders which again are not wartime features and should not be fitted. The drive sprocket teeth are not offset left and right as they should be and the front vinyl tyre pattern again is not wartime issue and the cabin sidewalls are overly thick as well as a number of smaller issues to contend with.

The kit itself consists of 444 parts in light grey plastic, 12 in clear plastic, 384 individual track link parts, two small etched frets with 106 parts, three vinyl tyres and a length of copper wire and twine. Added to this are the decal and 28 page instruction sheets with separate colour markings guide.

Etched parts
Yinyl Tyres
Copper wire and thread

I have assembled or test fitted most of the major sub-assemblies and will step through the instruction sheet to describe the detail and hopefully give some heads up on potential assembly issues but note there are other smaller parts still to be fitted.

Step 1 Gearbox:

This is made up of multiple parts with some very well done details enhanced by the addition of 3 etched parts. One of these (part PE-A3) has to be bent at right angles and this did pose a few problems as the metal is quite thick and it is very difficult to hold the narrow part in an etched bending tool and I had to anneal the part to aid in bending, a lot of work for a small part that is basically hidden from view and you may choose to just forget it.

The front plate of the main gearbox (part D35) is shown the wrong way around in the instructions and you should rotate this 180° from that shown. The side mounted drum brakes do not fit flush to the sides of the gearbox and the fit is rather loose meaning you have to be careful to ensure these line up square with the gearbox and the front cross member (part A7).

The three gear levers have fine mould seam lines to be removed and you should be careful after assembly as they tend to stick up the air just asking to be damaged.

Step 2 and 3 Chassis frame:

The two full length chassis frames have crisp detail in both sides and no pin marks present but there are substantial mould seams along the top and bottom surfaces to be removed.

There are three small parts added to the sides of the frames and I had to trim the locating pins for a better fit with the assembled gearbox trapped between the two frames, but the fit is very loose and you have to ensued it is aligned perfectly level with the chassis frame, there is a small hole in the chassis that has to line up with the locating pin on the brake drums which you should align by eye.

Alignment of gearbox pin and hole in chassis side

The cross member for the front suspension spring does not fit well at all and as this has repercussions not only for the sit of the vehicle but the fit of the large front hull/fender assembly I deviated from the instruction sequences slightly to ensure this was glued in the right place leaving the cross member off at this stage.

The central rear chassis assembly is very nicely detailed and is made up of over a dozen parts with some needing minor trimming for a better fit and the usual moulding seams and some flash to remove as well as a couple of etched parts for added definition.

After assembling this section I then added this between the chassis frames and again there was some minor trimming needed to fit into the frame cut-outs (see images) and you should ensure the whole chassis assembly is aligned perfectly square before the glue dries as this will make a lot of the later assemblies fit as they should.

After the gearbox and rear chassis assembly were fitted in place and the glue dry the assembly is ready for the front suspension cross member to be added and to ensued this is in the right place I temporally added the front hull/fender part C31 and glued the cross member (part D3) into place being careful not the glue part C31 as well.

Once the cross member is in the correct position the suspension spring unit can be added and this has the springs in two parts with a quite substantial central join seam to be removed which will take a bit of effort but thankfully the spring detail is free of any pin marks.

Step 4 Engine:

The Maybach HL 62 TUK engine provided is a highly detailed assembly made up of 37 plastic parts and a couple of etched parts with the assembled engine matching the photos in the WWP Sd.Kfz.7 book very well and includes most if not all of the smaller engine accessory parts.

Detail on the parts is very good but with the usual mould seams to remove as well as some minor flash with the fit fairly good overall but some trimming is needed to get an even fit on some and there are a few traps to look out for.

You should test fit every part before gluing to ensure no trimming is needed and all went fairly smoothly until fitting the top rocker cover with the half moon bracket on top of part E32 requiring trimming in size for this to fit.

At the front is the engine bearing part E1 and it is very important this is fitted perfectly level so the engine will sit properly in the chassis engine mounts but there is nothing to ensure the correct placement of the part and you have to align this by eye which is not the easiest when the engine is separate from the chassis.

I found it easier to leave off part E1 until you have attached the rear bell housing (part E36) which does have precise locating recesses in the engine block and then align the “legs” on part E1 to the mounting pins on part E36.

When fitting the bell housing (part E36) you will need to trim some plastic off part E21 to ensure the bell housing sits flush with the engine block as it will be at an angle if you don’t compromising the fit of the engine to the chassis.

Also the rear fill plate on the bell housing (part E19) does not fit flush inside the housing and you will need to trim this for a better fit which again effects the overall alignment of the engine/chassis fit.

While the engine is quite detailed and complete there are no pulley belts supplied and you should add these from thin paper or tape to finish off the front fan/pulley assembly and there are two radiator pipes added to the engine which mate to locating holes in the radiator when attached and you may want to leave off these pipes until the radiator is added to align these more easily?

The large air cleaner is attached the front body/fender part later in step 19 and this has to mate to the top of the carburettor and depending on the fit of the engine/chassis join some trimming may be needed to fit the air cleaner pipe to the carburettor. The full exhaust pipe and muffler is also added in step 19 and the pipe mates to the exhaust manifold on the left of the engine and again some minor manoeuvring may be needed depending on the fit of other parts.

Step 5 Winch Assembly:

This step sees numerous smaller fittings added to the chassis and there are no real problems other than removing the mould seam lines and test fitting the parts first. You should watch the fuel tank mounting posts as each is numbered differently and you need to ensure they are fitted the correct way around as per the instructions or the fuel tank will not fit later.

The winch has 4 main parts with 5 additional etched parts and the thread added for the winch cable. The small etched brackets have the cable guide pins added from the copper wire provided and it’s best to solder these as super glue just won’t hold on a join such as this. Just remember to wind on the thread cable before adding the guide pins as it’s a nightmare if the pins are in place. The assembly is added to the 2 etched brackets on the chassis frame with the power take off shaft inserted into the locating hole on the back of the gearbox and there shouldn’t be any problems here.

Step 6 Rear Chassis plate:

This step is very straightforward with the plate fitting easily to the chassis frame and apart from the usual part cleanup no other problems were encountered.

Note there are some parts added to the inside of the plate and these should obviously be added before fitting the plate to the chassis frame and the winch cable passes through the winch guides with the end tow hook added to the cable.

Step 7 Fuel/Air Tanks:

The large fuel tank has 4 parts that fit together easily and providing you added the mounting posts correctly in step 5 this fitted in place without any problems.

The two air cylinders are in two halves each and again went together easily leaving just a small seam to be removed and these fit easily the chassis mounting brackets with a small join pipe added between the tanks and again there were no real problems encountered here.

The full engine assembly is also shown fitted to the chassis in this step and provided the mounting brackets are aligned correctly as mentioned in step 4 this will fit neatly in place.

Added to the chassis sides are the rear suspension bogie spring units and these have cleanly moulded spring detail but there is substantial mould seams down the middle of the springs that has to be carefully removed to not compromise the spring step detail.

I also had to shorten to locating pins on the rear springs (parts B18) to fit the chassis locating holes better and you should ensure the front springs (parts B36) are aligned evenly with the chassis but no other problems were encountered.

Steps 8 to 9 Suspension bogies:

There is a bit of flash and the mould seam lines to be removed from the suspension parts but assembly went smoothly other than some chassis trimming to ensure the locating surface for the rear suspension units (parts S3/A4) are flush but the locating points are quite large making for robust assembles.

Watch the rear idler mountings as they are numbered incorrectly in the instructions with parts A18/A20 transposed for parts A17/A19 so you should fit these to the opposite sides from those shown in the instructions. There is also substantial mould seams on the idler mountings to be removed and you should not glue the idler mounts in place but leave these free so you can adjust the idler position when fitting the tracks later. 

Adding the twin axle to the bogies is very straightforward without any problems and you also assemble and fit the steering wheel column at this stage. This is made up of 4 parts with the steering wheel having hand grip detail on the underside and precise location of the lower steering box to the chassis.

Step 10 Front Suspension:

The large front suspension arm has separate linkages that allow you to make the wheels steerable and these fit together easily buy I had to open up the pin locating holes a little to allow the retaining pin (part B33) to fit better. This pin is fine plastic so don’t force it into place as it will break and you will have problems from there, a small dab of glue will hole the pin in place but make sure you don’t glue the turning bracket by mistake.

The wheel steering connecting rod fits neatly and is held in place by the rear suspension bracket on the axle so you don’t have to worry about this coming adrift. Also included is the connecting rod to the steering wheel junction box but this raised another issue which I’ll get to in the next step.

Steps 11 Steering brackets:

In this step you add the 4 small steering rods from the steering junction box to the front suspension and fitting the 4 small linkages required the enlarging of all locating holes and trimming of the locating pins to get these to fit properly which was a little tedious.

These 4 small brackets are not designed to move and after attaching the steering linkage arm (part D4) this means the front wheels are no longer steerable which sort of defeats the whole steering thing. You can make the 4 small steering linkages and steering arm workable by adding small pins but there is a lot of additional work involved?

Steps 12 to 14 Road Wheels/Drive Sprockets/Front Wheels:

The road wheels are nicely moulded with excellent stamped rim detail and are a vast improvement over the old Tamiya wheels but there is a little flash in some of the lightening holes which is minor and easily removed.

Note there are different inner wheels for the idlers (parts B25) with longer axle mountings with the outer wheel the same as for the road wheel stations 1, 3 and 5. For stations 2, 4 and 6 you obviously don’t fit the outer wheel until adding the wheels to the axles as they intermesh with the central wheels as is normal for German half-tracks.

The drive sprockets are quite detailed being made up of 5 plastic and 1 etched part each but there a number of issues here unfortunately.

There is considerable flash in the sprocket lightening holes and this will take a bit of effort to remove and the central drive roller ring is in two halves that fit together but for some reason the outer roller detail is only included on the rollers that face the inside when attached with the outer roller being just plain plastic devoid of detail?

When gluing the drive roller discs together you have to ensure they are as tight together as possible as this will affect the fit of the track links later if not a snug fit, but more on that in step 15 below.

One roller disc has small brackets included that fit into the corresponding recesses in the outer drive sprocket half but note as one of the brackets is half the size of the others and this must be aligned with the grease point on the sprocket to fit correctly. Unfortunately the instructions don’t tell you this and if you try and fit the roller disc any other way it will not fit properly.

Drive sprocket tooth discs
note smaller bracket and roller detail on one side only

Assembled drive sprockets, note position of smaller bracket
Also note lack of drive roller offset as it should be


The sprockets include the central bolt head detail but this is covered by the outer bracket (part B41) and there is also the circular foot step with tread plate included as an etched part that has the bent to form the circle before adding to the bracket. Annealing this part by running through a candle flame will assist in bending the step and this adds a nice touch to the sprocket hub.

Another issue is the drive rollers are not offset as they should be but are located centrally on the outer sprocket facets which is very noticeable on these larger sprockets and with a bit of work these can be modified to correct the roller offset. See modification guide.

The drive sprockets on all German half tracks feature “teeth” in the form of small rollers that intermesh with the track links, the drive sprockets themselves have flat facets sections around the sprocket that the track links “sit” flush on as the pass around the sprocket. The rollers are not located centrally on the flat section but offset towards the front of the facets to allow them to mesh with the tracks better and this means the sprockets are not interchangeable between left and right. Unfortunately Trumpeter have taken a short cut and given you the same sprockets left and right missing this important feature of German Half-track sprockets.

There should also be bolt heads around the inner sprockets rims but these are very difficult to include with current moulding technology and you may want to add these for greater detail but with the incorrect drive roller position it may be a wasted effort?

Adding to the confusion the large final drive housings on the side of the chassis are both numbered A16 in the instructions but are actually different as they are reversed for left and right sides. You should use part A16 on the left and part A15 on the right sides for correct placement with the drive sprockets fitting directly to these housings.

Also when fitting the final drive housings I had to shorten the shaft on parts B40 slightly to allow the housings to sit flush on the chassis sides so test fit your assemblies before gluing.

Moving to the front wheels the hubs are in two halves and feature very well done rim/spoke detail with a separate central hub cap. Detail on the outer rim includes a moulded on valve stem and the ridges around the rim as well as the correct detail on the inside of the hubs for well done wheels rims.

Unfortunately the vinyl tyres supplied come with incorrect tread pattern for wartime wheels as these appear to have been modelled on the tyres on the refurbished museum 8ton. While the tread pattern has good definition replacements will be needed for the correct wartime wheels and no doubt we will see resin replacements from the usual suspects to correct this oversight?

Steps 15 Tracks:

The tracks are individual working links which assemble in what is now standard for this type of track and follows how the real things are joined with each link fitting into the next and held in place with the rubber track pad.

Dimensionally the real track links are 360mm wide equalling 10.3mm in 1:35 scale and the kit links measure 10.3mm to be spot on and the separate track pads are in two parts, the rubber section and lower attachment plate. This take a little longer to assemble the pads before tackling the track links proper but results in very good detail definition on the pads.

There are three small sprue attachment burs to clean from each track link and two very fine pin marks on the outside of the links which really only show up on a few of the links and are very easy to eliminate where needed. Assembly is straightforward as you simply fit one link into the next and glue the track pad in place, just ensure you don’t use too much glue and they will articulate easily after the glues dries.

Fitting to the drive sprockets will depend on the assembly of the roller teeth discs on step 14 and if done correctly the fit is very snug around the sprocket but if the discs are not joined tightly the links may not fit over the roller teeth and minor trimming will be needed, so take care when assembling the roller discs as mentioned.

There is a problem with the tracks around the sprockets due to the lack of offset drive rollers in that the links do not site flush to the sprocket facets leaving gaps which is noticeable with the larger size of the 8ton sprockets.

Assembled track links around the sprocket
note how they do not sit slush on the sprocket face due to the lack of tooth offset.


Steps 16 to 18 Rear bed assembly:

The large rear bed includes the front and rear fenders with tread plate pattern on the top surfaces and is moulded perfectly flat without any warping and just minor cleanup of edges.

The access hatches are also separate parts that fit snugly into the bed openings but are not really designed to be shown open as there is no underside detail on the hatches. Also included are the two rows of separate rifle butt brackets on the floor and these are provided as plastic parts which are fairly basic or as fine etched parts to add finer definition to the parts depending on your choice.

There is a dimensional issue with the front fenders in that on the real fenders there is a very slight upward angle above the drive sprockets but those on the kit fenders bend a too sharply resulting in a greater angle than it should be. There is another issue with the fenders in that they are too shallow in height, see the Sd.Kfz.7/1 2cm Flakvierling 38 Comparison review for full details.

Unfortunately there is little you can do about this because the engine bulkhead rests on the fenders and if you lower the fender angle this will alter the position of the bulkhead and open up a whole different can of worms with the fit of the engine compartment to the bulkhead and a domino effect through to the forward hull/fender (part C31) and the position/angle of the driver’s entry door being wrong so you really have to live with the incorrect fender angle or basically rebuild the whole front sections.

On the underside of the bed are the 8 mounting posts which rests the bed onto the chassis frame and the fit of these leaves a bit to be desired.

The front 4 posts needed to be trimmed to fit properly into their locating ridges and there is a little sideways movement possible so you need to ensure the post are lined up evenly so they mate okay to the chassis.

The 4 smaller rear posts also have problems in that if fitted to the indicated positions they don’t fit to the chassis frame and you have to trim off the locating tab from the posts and move these just over 1mm inboard on the bed so they mate with the chassis. You should glue the posts in place and test fit before the glue has fully dried to ensure all 8 posts are lined up correctly and fit okay to the chassis.

After sorting out the mounting posts the upper rear bed extension floor is glued in place without any problems and the spare wheel rack is added to the underside of the bed again without any problems other than to shorten the locating pins to better fit into the holes on the underside of the bed.

You can also choose not to fit the spare wheel at this stage as this will make painting easier and this can be slipped into place at any time later.

The instructions show to attach the hull bed and forward hull/fenders to the lower chassis at this stage as well as fitting the track lengths but you may wish to leave these separate until later in the assembly for easier painting of the tracks and road wheels but this is up to you?

Before fitting the forward hull/fender (part C31) these are a couple of issues to address with the first being the three large rivets on the lower front edges which are not wartime fittings but were added to the museum vehicle and you should remove these along with the mould seams round them and replace with three shallow rivet heads as seen on wartime half-tracks. There should also be fender brackets on the inside of the fenders which is what the rivets are for if you wish to add this additional detail.

Another issue is the angle on the inside of the fenders is too upright and should be more angled but this is rather subtle from some angles and very difficult to remedy and some may choose to overlook this on the finished model?

At the front of the part is the forward tow shackle bracket with what seems like a large mould seam along to top above the tow bracket but this is in fact the metal plate edge on the real vehicle and should remain in place.

The lip around the bottom of the fenders is rather rough and requires some sanding to smooth out and this also appears a little too pronounced when looking at actual photographs and you may wish to sand down the lip a little for a more subdued appearance.

The fit of the bed and front hull/fenders is straightforward due to the previous preparations on the bed mountings and front chassis frames.

Steps 19 Final Engine Assembly:

This section sees the addition of the air cleaner assembly to the engine bay as mentioned earlier as well as etched panels added between the right side front and rear fender sections and the full length exhaust pipe which is in two parts added. This will need some care and patience as the front section has to mate with the engine exhaust manifold and feed through the perforated chassis cross member to meet up with the rear section. This has the muffler and fits through the opening in the rear chassis plate as well as mate with the front pipe section and again some care will be needed when fitting this.

Steps 20 Engine Bulkhead:

The main engine bulkhead has detail included on both sides and no pin marks to compromise this with additional perforated braces added on both sides, these needed a little cleanup along the edges and some minor flash from inside the lightening holes. The fit to the bulkhead was good as were the other smaller instrument panel brackets and other items added to the bulkhead.

There are also two etched steering wheel supports to be added but these are all but hidden after assembly but show the level of detail included.

Steps 21 Instrument panel and floor:

In this section the instructions show to fit the driver’s compartment floor after adding the separate driver’s foot pedals to the floor section which includes nice tread plate pattern but some care is needed here. To fit the floor you have to feed the three gear shift levers from the gearbox through the floor openings while at the same time manoeuvring around the steering wheel column with the engine bulkhead restricting movement of the floor which is all quite tricky.

I had to flex the steering column forward to manoeuvre the floor over the gear shift levers which also had to be flexed about using tweezers (taking care not to flex too far and snap them off) to fit into the floor holes and this will need a bit of care and it may be easier to fit the floor before attaching the engine bulkhead to make things a little easier? You should also leave the floor unglued until you fit the bulkhead to ensure proper mating of the parts.

The instrument panel has a separate dial cluster panel with the dial faces provided on the decal sheet as are the small data placards to add good detail to the panels. Added behind the dial cluster is the additional mounting bracket which again is hard to see after assembly but adds to the details provided.

Steps 22 to 30 Rear cabin sets and bulkheads:

The seat cushions for the three rows of seats have fairly heavy texturing which looks quite dramatic but photos of the actual seats show the cushions are quite smooth in texture with few creases or other features and you may want to smooth out the kit cushions to reflect this.

Each bulkhead is cleanly moulded without any pin marks present with various grab handles and the top rifle clips which again are provided in plastic or fine etched parts depending on your preferences.

Providing you smooth out the mating surfaces before hand as mentioned before most of the bulkhead parts fit together without any problems with the same going for the various rear storage locker bulkheads although a few of these also needed the locating pins trimmed a little and again test fitting is the best option.

Added to two of the bulkheads are the pioneer tools (shovels, axe and crank) but these are really undersized and look more like 1:48 scale than 1:35 and will need to be replaced.

After fitting all the bulkheads, seats and associated extras the side and rear panels are then added with the fit of the two side panels being very good with the front of the panels contoured to fit over the incorrect angle of the fenders as mentioned above. This is another reason you can’t do much with the fenders as they is so many other parts needed to be altered as well which is unfortunate.

The fit of the rear panel is not that good though and some additional trimming will be needed to get a good fit with the two side panels but nothing too taxing. The main problem with the side panels is they are horrendously thick and way over scale, the thickness at the crew entrance ‘doors’ actually scales out to 70mm plate which would make main gun tanks of the time quite envious.

Again there is little you can do about this and as this is probably one of the most visible areas of the finished model it is quite distracting from the overall appearance and distracts from the otherwise superb level of detail elsewhere in the kit.

Additional details added to the side and real panels and locker doors are small T handles and the side grab handles and small etched clips on the rear top deck. On the side panels are the cut-outs for the turn indicators but these are just holes with no actual indicators provided and you can add these from small pieces of plastic card to fill the holes.

All the rear storage lockers also have separate doors with detail on both sides without any pin marks present with separate inside latches in plastic and etched parts but these too are a little over scale in thickness but won’t be noticeable if you assemble the doors closed.

Added to the rear panel are the two small taillights applicable to the early version but there are also two reflectors added to the fenders and these again are post war additions and you should leave these out and fill the locating holes in the fenders.

Steps 31 Rear luggage racks:

The luggage racks on the rear deck are in plastic and while the bars are a little on the thick side they look okay but you will have to carefully remove the mould seams before assembling the racks.

Steps 32 to 33 Radiator and Engine Hood:

The front radiator grill has the louvers moulded solid which is a little basic given the size of the radiator on the 8ton but it does have the manufacturer name embossed above the louvers and a separate radiator cap added on top.

Inside is a basic two piece radiator and as you can’t really see this after assembly is adequate enough but mating this to the two radiator pipes from the engine will be quite a challenge but again with the closed engine hood all the engine detail is hidden anyway which is a shame as this is a standout feature of the kit.

The top engine hood is added between the front radiator grill and engine bulkhead and this fitted okay on my kit although you will need to be careful as any miss alignment of the parts along the way could leave a few gaps.

The side engine bay panels have the raised louvers moulded solid which is quite basic and again given the size of these louvers moulding them open wouldn’t have been that much of an issue one would think?

There is the option of leaving these side panels off the model as was occasionally seen and this would allow you to see some of the engine detail that is otherwise completely hidden. The side doors also have separate grab handles and the securing T latches added for additional detail.

Other details added to the front hull are the two large head lights with clear plastic lenses, the two fender mounted width indicator posts which are a little on the thick side and the Notek light with etched mounting as well as a rear view mirror on the left fender.

Steps 34 Windscreen:

The windscreen is provided with clear plastic inserts for the glass with separate inside wiper motors and outer wiper blades but both the blades are the same size and the left driver’s blade should be shorter as the screen is in two sections allowing the driver to swing open the upper screen section for more ventilation if required. It is a simple matter of trimming the wiper blade to fit the driver’s screen but you should shorten the stalk and not the blade section itself which may be a little trickier?

Steps 36 and 37 Canvas Cab cover:

Supplied in the kit is the full extended canvas cover for the cabin but you don’t get the canvas crew entry “door” inserts that are usually fitted along with the full cover as part of the bad weather kit and you will have to fashions these from tissue or similar if using the extended cover.  

There is also the folder cover and folder arms to add to the rear deck as an alternative and this would be the most likely chose to allow the kit to be seen fully and lastly there is a diagram showing fitting the sFH.18 150mmHowitzer to the rear tow hitch if you want to build this combination?


These are the usual exploded view drawings which in most cases are easy to follow but note the few bloopers mentioned throughout the review but other than these there shouldn’t be any problems?

But you should study the sequences carefully and test fit the parts before gluing given the number of parts requiring some form of trimming to get a good fit as mentioned above.


The decal sheet provides markings for 4 vehicles although the painting guide does not give any information on units or locations of the featured schemes.

The other odd thing is the painting guide shows three Luftwaffe and one Wehrmacht number plates while the decal sheet has two Luftwaffe and two Wehrmacht number plates so there is a degree of do it yourself with the markings options.
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D

This kit certainly poses a bit of a conundrum and is very much a Jekyll and Hyde kit with some superb detail such as the full gearbox and engine plus the chassis detail and full driver’s compartment with clear decals for the instruments. But on the other side of the coin are some accuracy issues that are very difficult to overcome such as the fender kink above the drive sprockets being too exaggerated, the drive sprocket teeth not offset as they should be and the post war tyre tread pattern plus the horrendously thick side cab panels. Added to this are those easy to fix like the front fender rivets and rear reflectors and there is also the amount of part cleanup and assembly issues with many parts requiring trimming for a good fit.

But given these issues the kit is certainly an improvement over the ancient Tamiya offering and with some TLC and good old fashioned modelling skills applied an impressive kit will result as the level of detail included is impressive.

Unfortunately at the end of the day the accuracy issues overshadow the impressive detail as much of this is all but hidden after assembly leaving things like the fender kink, thick side panels and drive sprocket teeth to stand out as you first look at the kit.

It all comes down to what you want from the kit but as mentioned whichever way your preference lies it is a vast improvement over what we have had available for the last 30 years.


The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Detail Images
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Sd.Kfz.7 - 8 ton Zugkraftwagen Krauss-Maffei and variants
Nuts & Bolts Volume 34
Dr. Nicolaus Hettler
Sd.Kfz.7 in detail
Special Museum Line No.36

Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-60-7
German Medium Half-track
Prime Movers 1934-1945

Reinhard Frank
Schiffer Military History
Thanks to my credit card for the review kit.

Page created June 2, 2008