by: Russ Amott [ ]
The Krupp built 3 axle light truck was a light, highly mobile vehicle designed in 1929. With a maximum of 60hp from a 4 cylinder engine, the vehicle was a reliable, dependable and well liked utility truck used to transport troops, as a radio platform, and frequently to tow the PaK 35/36 3.7cm anti tank gun. Designated the Kfz. 69, Krupp Protzkraftwagen (Krupp Protze was its nickname) ended production in 1942, due mainly to its low towing weight and better available vehicles. With over 7,000 units produced, it served on all fronts until the end of the war.
Dragon have now released a 1/72 scale variant of the Kfz. 69 with a 3.7cm PaK 35/36 in tow in their Armor Pro series. For a diminutive kit, it packs a lot of detail in a very few parts.
The kit is provided in a standard small size top opening box with art by Auletta (? I hope I got that right) showing the unoccupied vehicle with the gun in tow, somewhere in Russia. The sprues are carefully packaged inside to prevent breakage.
All three of the sprues with vehicle parts are labeled A. The first has the chassis, front end and small details. The second has the wheels and rear box suspension. The third has the rear body containing the ammo storage boxes and crew seats.
The G sprue, in two parts, comprises the PaK 35/36 carriage and a small part with the gun barrel, which is hollowed on the end.
There is one clear part, C, for the windshield.
Decals are provided for one vehicle, from the famous Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1941. It consists of front and rear plate numbers and, nicely, two decals for the instrument panel, something that has been lacking in many 1/35 scale kits. The color scheme depicted for the one vehicle is overall dark gray. There is a standard paint chart provided at the beginning of the instructions with colors identified for GSI Creos aqueous color, Mr. color and Model Master paints.
The instructions are printed in a small fold out booklet printed on glossy paper. Assembly instructions are carried out clearly in 10 steps.
The parts appeared to be well molded, with only a tiny bit of flash in some of the small detail areas, such as the box springs and mirrors and was easily removed. There were no ejector marks left on any plainly visible surface. Detail was very clear.
I assembled the kit exactly as the instructions directed. There are four rear tires, two front tires and two side mounted spare tires. So, as to avoid mixing them up, you may want to find a way to mark them. On step 3, placing the rear towing hooks, there was a minor mold seam that needed cleaning to set the hooks properly.
I completed assembly of the three primary body sections; engine compartment, cab and rear platform with the ammo boxes and crew seats. I should note here that the seats all have fabric like texture and appearance and the two wooden plank sections have nice wood texture. All dials are present on the dash. I accidentally got a little glue on the windshield piece, but after careful sanding with 2000 grit paper and a little Future, it fairly disappeared.
Once all three body sections are ready, it is a simple matter to place them on the chassis and assembly is essentially complete.
Assembly of the 3.7cm PaK 35/36 is all done in step 10. If done carefully, you can set the arms of the gun limber to remain moveable. You are provided the option of replacing the elevation and rotation control wheels on the gun with a separately molded part, but on my sample, one of the extra wheels was slightly off center from molding. As I tried to fix it, I dropped it on the floor and promptly lost it.
Placing the controls and gun shield braces was a little tricky, mainly due to my poor hand/eye coordination, but the gun is still nicely detailed. The only fault here was that the gun itself cannot move and there is no tow ring on the ends of the braces. They just sort of sit on the rear towing pintle on the truck.
This is the first 1/72 scale kit I have built from Dragon. I was surprised at the amount of detail provided and how complete the kit was. The tire tread pattern, front grille, treadplate texturing provided on step surfaces, three levers in the cab, texturing on the seats, details of the gun and the decals on the detailed dash were all quite impressive to me. For those who would want the challenge, it will provide a good base for some super detailing.
The kit was easy to build, and there was not a single error in the instructions that I could find. It was a nice, relaxing build. I liked the kit, liked the build, and I'll be getting more in this scale. I recommend it.