German Sd.Kfz. 11 Light Prime Mover 3 t

Matchbox/Revell 1:76 Scale Vehicle Review

German Sd.Kfz. 11 Light Prime Mover 3 t in 1943 camouflage pattern, 1:76 Model Kit Revell 03150

The picture shows the light prime mover in a 1943 three-colour camouflage pattern used in the European theatres of operation. The tactical sign on the front fender is that of a Panzerjäger tank hunter unit. Panzerjäger were equipped with the more powerful 5 cm PaK 38 or 7.5 cm PaK 40 anti-tank guns, they were an important element of the infantry anti-tank fire plan. In attack and defense, Panzerjäger sections would cover the most likely approaches of enemy armoured vehicles, particularly against the flank of their parent formation. Their task was important, because attached Panzer units might not be immediately available when first contact with enemy armour was made.

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Evaluation

Good choice of subject, the Sd.Kfz. 11 is a dedicated prime mover used by German field artillery and tank hunter units.

Scale model with excellent detail.

Intermediate level of difficulty: 75 parts.

The kit includes decals of the 15. and 21. Panzerdivision in North Africa, but the vehicle crew figures are actually more suitable for the European theater of operations. Panzerjäger tactical signs and license plates are generic, they may be used in any theatre of war.

The driver and six passengers add a lot of interest to the vehicle. The Sd.Kfz. 11 may be modelled with the top down to show its detailed interior. The crew figures are equally suitable as motorized infantry, they would look very good in the Sd.Kfz. 69 light truck available from Matchbox.

Compatible with Airfix, Fujimi, Nitto, and VAC-U-CAST.

Modellers should not be mislead about the fact that the vehicles in this boxed set are actually 1:76 scale Matchbox re-releases.

Parts are not numbered consecutively on the sprues, requiring constant checking of all three sprues to locate a certain part. Even within a sprue, there is no consistent numbering system, Part No. 6 is next to 29, 48 and 72. Parts will have to be found by locating the proper shape first, only then can the number be cross-checked to confirm that it is the correct part. A needlessly time-consuming process.

The assembly instruction for the rear compartment wall (Part No. 44) may be incorrect, they show the wall section mounted with the detailed side facing into the ammunition compartment. Most likely, the raised panel of the compartment wall should face into the crew compartment where it will be visible. Another inconsistancy with this part is that the railing is filled in, whereas the other three railings are modelled correctly.

The front axle (Part No. 8) was bent backwards, it required straightening to align the wheels correctly. Noticeable seems between the wheel hubs and the tires needed to be filled prior to painting.

There is too much tension on the tracks, pulling them apart at the seems. We tried to superglue the tracks down on the road wheels, pushing them together while the glue dried. Unfortunately, the superglue dissolved the soft rubber enough to break the tracks. A second attempt to glue the track on in separate sections was more successful. Hard plastic track sections like those used in the more recent ESCI kits would be better.

The crew figures are dressed in the early war temperate uniform instead of the tropical uniform worn by the Afrikakorps. The difference is hardly noticeable if the vehicle is modelled with the canvas roof in place.

The Sd.Kfz. 11 is a great model, relatively easy to build and fun to paint. Half-Tracked vehicles played an important role as artillery tractors, they had excellent traction across difficult ground, and they provided enough space for gun crews and ready ammuntion. The Revell re-release of the popular Matchbox kit is unique in this scale, it will be popular with simulation gamers and diorama builders.

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