- Published on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 15:49 James Hatch
Please welcome the very first release for Zoukei-mura’s new ‘Super Weapons Series’, the Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad. Well, it’s not exactly a weapon in the strictest sense, and the diminutive size makes it far from ‘super’, but, and this is the crux, it IS the first time we Luftwaffe modellers have been treat to this vehicle in 1/32 scale. A 1/35 option just wouldn’t be the same next to the excellent Ta 152.
This kit, understandably, comes in quite a small box with the front carrying a picture of a finished kit with an unusually applied Photoshop filter to make it look a little more like traditional artwork. Languishing in the ‘out of focus’ portion of the artwork is the Ta 152.
The Kettenkrad is supplied on two sprues of tan plastic which is reminiscent of some AFV Club and Tamiya releases, and contained therein are a total of 51 parts. A simple single folded sheet makes up the instructions for this kit, and lastly, a small decal sheet is included.
Both kit sprues are packaged within the same sealed bag, which although I would have liked to see them individually bagged, there aren’t many parts too small, or surfaces too polished for there to be any damage which could be caused, and the bag is small enough for no real movement between the parts, to take place.
How is the moulding though? As far as I can see, moulding quality is as good as the Ta 152 and Shinden kits, with the only discernible flash being present on the centre leg of the sprue, around the point of injection. All parts are as good as you would wish for. Seams are also extremely ‘slight’ too with very little needing to be done to clean the part before assembly.
Detail is superb too, from the representation of the forward fork suspension springs to the neatly rendered holes in the rear mudguard of the same forward wheel assembly. The front wheel also has its tyre inflation valve neatly set into wheel guard too. This wheel does give me a very small concern though. The outer edge is treaded, yet this is where the 4 sprue gates are connected. You will need to ensure that any detail missing after clean-up is restored using a fine file or similar.
The Kettenkrad also comes with an engine too, which would normally be covered over, but you should be able to display this for a diorama, without too much effort.
As this is a tracked vehicle, you would perhaps expect a separate track to be included, or even individual links, but as aircraft modellers, we are spared this horror. You might like to assemble track links, but with this model, the track is integrally moulded with the wheels, with each side comprising of halves with one layer of running gear on each, which then interlock to produce the full track and wheel assemblies. This really doesn’t look as it sounds, and despite my initial scepticism, the result actually looks quite good when assembled, with no effort needed to tension or make the tracks sag properly!
Kit assembly is straightforward, but with no detail being spared in such a small vehicle. One thing which I know modellers on the Large Scale Planes website were concerned about was the apparent lack of towing bar. Indeed, there is no such bar, and you will need to check your references if you wish to hook the Kettenkrad up to the Ta 152 or any other contemporary Luftwaffe aircraft. Of course, there is a towing point present on the vehicle for you to hook up your own bar ‘solution’ though.
A single, small decal sheet is included with quite a lot of decals for such a small model. Decals are nicely printed and in perfect register.
Instructions are clean and easy to follow, and produced, as I said earlier, on a single folded piece of paper. Printing is also in black and white. Three different paint schemes are also supplied, and although the drawings are quite small, colour notation is good, with paint references being for Vallejo and Mr Color.
So what do we think?
This is a neat little kit which will present no problem to most modellers. Despite some elements of construction being simplistic, such as the track and wheel assemblies, this will easily build into a very good representation of the Kettenkrad and will add that extra dimension to your Luftwaffe diorama, where once you only had a 1/35 choice! Highly recommended.