|Stock Number and Description||Special Armour SA 7202 Sd.Kfz.11|
|Media and Contents:||98 mid-grey plastic parts on two sprues, 2 soft black plastic “Rubber Band” tracks, 31 PE parts on one fret, 1 small (2cmx2cm) clear plastic sheet with wind-screen and instrument panel marked out, decals for three vehicles plus a 5 page instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 17 build drawings and 1 page of paint/decal diagrams.|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Highly detailed inside and out, excellent decals.|
|Disadvantages:||“Rubber Band” tracks, no engine detail.|
Those of us who have been on the
“Aircraft” side of this hobby have known about and respected Special
Hobby, a part of the MPM Organization from the Czech Republic, for
their ability to deliver not only highly detailed and accurate
models but subjects that the mainstream manufacturers would not
touch. They are now getting into the Braille Armour side of things
under the banner of Special Armour and this FirstLook would suggest
that they've done most of their home-work well.
The Sd.Kfz. 11 was the second to smallest (3 tonne category) of the German WWII half tracks. While design began in the early thirties, the final model was not produced until 1939. It was mostly used as an artillery tractor although other models were produced including a cargo carrier and its chassis was the basis for the well-known 251 series of armoured troop carriers which were used through-out the war. Most were built by the Hansa-Lloyd Co of Bremen.
As far as I know, there have only been two Sd.Kfz 11s done in Braille - the 1/76 scale Matchbox kit and the 1/72nd Esci. The smaller Matchbox kit was not bad and came with a Pak 40 anti-tank gun. It was let down only by its tracks. The Esci kit is also quite good and has the advantage of L&L tracks but is a bit light-on for detail. Both have recently been re-released, Matchbox by Revell and the Esci by Italeri but neither are as good as this new kit by Special Armour.
Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:
sprue, with 76 parts, covers the complete chassis, suspension,
wheels, front guards, radiator/bonnet and driving compartment less
doors and back. There is a small amount of flash, some seams to be
removed and sink marks on the inside of the front tyres but the
level of detail is very high. The “B” sprue, with 22 parts, is the
complete rear section of the vehicle plus driver's compartment doors
and back panel. This means that later variants can be produced while
still using the main sprue. Nifty!
One thing that I've noticed with this kit that's been missed by the other two, if you view the vehicle from above, the sides of the body are straight and parallel from the rear to the front of the rear body, they then angle in through the divers compartment to the wind-screen and then steeper to the radiator. Now, if you view it farther down, where the body sits on the chassis, there is no sharp angle change at the back of the driving compartment or the wind-screen, but a gentle curve from the bonnet sides to the rear body. This means the body is wider at the top than at the bottom below the wind-screen. It also means you can't accidentally put the doors on upside-down or on the wrong side, they simply won't fit and the same goes for the bonnet sides.
There is only one area where this kit disappoints - the “Rubber Band” tracks.
have thought that any-one researching Braille Armour would have
realized right from the start that the modellers want Link & Length
tracks. The question has been asked over and over again on braille
web-sites and the answer keeps coming up the same, some people like
rubber tracks but the majority want L&L. What Special Armour have
supplied is not unusable in fact they look quite good for what they
are but it's still disappointing.
Decals! I have no idea who they are printed by, there is a Logo there but I can't work out a name from it. However, it's the same mob who have done most of Special Hobby's recent kit decals and they are excellent in the extreme and there-fore I can't see any reason why these shouldn't be equally as good here. The first vehicle is White Wash over Panzer Grey from the 3rd SS Artillery Regiment “Totenkopf”, Kharkov, March 1943. For the second one, they say Dark Yellow over Panzer Grey but I think it should be Mud over Panzer Grey as it's a DAK vehicle, November 1941. The third offering is very tasty in the three colour scheme from East Prussia, end of 1944.
It is good to see a new player in the Braille Arena and although their first effort is not perfect it's still pretty bloody good, better than most other manufacturers would get at their beginnings. Welcome Special Armour. It will be interesting to see what you come up with next.
Sample purchased by reviewer
Text by Glen Porter
Page Created 26 November, 2006
Page Last Updated 28 November, 2006