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Zoukei-Mura

1/32 Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad model kit from the Super Weapons Series

Product # 01  from HobbyLink Japan

Product Article by Dave Johnson on Feb 11 2011

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Product # 01  (http://www.hlj.com/product/VOL50312) from HobbyLink Japan

History –
The SdKfz 2, better known as the Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 or Kettenkrad for short (Ketten = tracks, krad = military abbreviation of the German word Kraftrad, the administrative German term for motorcycle), started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Junkers Ju52, though not by parachute. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52.

The SdKfz 2 was designed and built by the NSU Motorenwerke AG at Neckarsulm, Germany. First designed and patented in June 1939, it was first used during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and production of the vehicle was stopped in 1944, at which time 8,345 had been constructed. After the war the production went on until 1949 for agricultural use.

Most Kettenkrad’s saw service on the Eastern Front, where they were used to lay communication cables, pull heavy loads and carry soldiers through the deep Russian mud. Late in the war, Kettenkrads were used as runway tugs for aircraft, including jets such as the Me 262. In order to conserve fuel, the aircraft would be towed rather than running their engines while taxiing.

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The Kit –
In the past there have been a few Ketternrad’s released in 35th scale, by the likes of Tamiya and Dragon to name a couple. But the main problem has been the scale difference sitting next to a 32nd scale aircraft for us aircraft guys. New comers Zoukei-Mura has come to the rescue, by releasing their first subject in the Super Weapons Series! Two tan sprues containing 46 parts are packed into the box. Also included are the instructions and a small decal sheet for 3 options of painting schemes.

Sprue A, contains pretty much all of the body panels and the engine and transmission parts. The body detail is nicely captured by featuring side molding on a couple of the components. The engine and transmission detail is a bit bare, but with some reference shots that are easily found on the internet, the modeller may wish to add that extra detail.

Sprue B, contains the tracks, wheels and the smaller components. The tracks are molded onto the wheels and are one piece, and the detail is a tad soft. These could easily be molded as separate tracks, but then again it would surely increase the price of this already reasonable priced kit.

The instructions are printed on a fold out A5 sized piece of paper , printed in Black and White graphics and text and all the text is in Japanese... but the build process is easy to follow in its 6 steps. Callouts for the colours are also in Japanese, so you have to be smart and match up the characters to the correct colour. The paint codes are supplied for Tamiya, Mr Color Lacquer range and of course Vallejo, which seem to be Zouki-Mura’s preferred paint brand.

The decals are nicely printed in good colour and perfect register. There is a small amount of clear carrier film that will need to be trimmed away before the decal placement. The 3 paint schemes that are included are overall German Grey (1942), overall Desert Yellow (1945) and overall Desert Yellow with Grey and Green patches (1944).

Overall the kit will build into a nice addition to any late war Luftwaffe diorama, which should be a quick and easy build for any level of modeller. Hopefully Zouki-Mura have more plans to release subjects like the Kettenkerd.

I would like to thank
HobbyLink Japan for this review sample.

Dave Johnson

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Photos and text © by Dave Johnson

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