by: Jan Etal [ ]
There are many pieces of military equipment that are often overlooked by most modelers. One of those is the lowly ammunition trailer. These were, and are, used by all armies as the best way to transport additional ammunition without overloading men or vehicles. Smaller versions were light enough to be able to be towed by light utility vehicles such as a Jeep or Kubelwagen.
The German army in World War II made extensive use of these trailers. They were often designed to carry a specific type of ammunition. The design of these trailers was simple for the most part yet numerous variations existed. Depending on the ammunition they carried the trailers could have a single axle with two wheels or multi axles and wheels for heavier loads.
The subject of this review is the Sd. Anh. 58. The base trailer frame and suspension was not only used for ammunition carriages but also other uses, including transporting the 3.7 cm Flak 43. Guns with high cyclic firing rates could never have too much ammunition at hand. These trailers were often towed behind various mobile antiaircraft vehicles to supplement their own on vehicle storage.
The review subject is for the MACO 1/72nd scale Munitions-Anh. für 3,7 cm FLAK, kit #7203.
The kit comes in the standard MACO cardboard box, with a photo of a finished and painted kit on the box top. The box contains a plastic bag whose contents are a single sprue with 23 parts moulded in a light grey plastic. The bag also contains a single two sided sheet with building instructions. The instructions are in the form of grey scale exploded view drawings and a single unit painting guide appears on the back of the box. There are no decals provided with this kit.
The parts on the kit sprue were flash free and showed minimal and light mould seams. Parts 42 and 43, I believe they are some form of winching mechanism, had what appeared to be sink marks on both sides. This shouldn’t be a major problem as it appears that the back of these parts will not be visible and the front won’t be very visible after the handle (part 44) is installed on them. Part 46, the main trailer body, had a rather large elongated depression on its right upper surface. This last flaw was either a form of sink mark or a flaw caused by the moulding process. I originally thought that a bit of putty and sanding would be required to correct this flaw. After closer inspection and dry fitting the ammunition box on the base there is enough overlap on the box sides to cover most of this mark. I am fairly certain this was an isolated occurrence particular to my kit.
Ejector pin marks are present but for the most part will not be visible after construction. Unfortunately, the ammunition compartment lid has two visible pin marks on its inner surface. This should only create an issue if one wishes to build the kit with the compartment lid in the optional open orientation. The sprue attachment points (gates) are generally amongst the smallest and thinnest that I have seen and this appears to be consistent with other MAKO kits that I have examined. The parts, in general, have decent detail even down to some of the smallest pieces.
This kit's sprue shares 14 parts with the MACO 3.7 cm Flak 43, kit #7202, these parts are for the Sd. Anh. 58 trailer. The first two steps of construction images are the building of the trailer frame and suspension. When removing the main frame (part 39) from the sprue, care will have to be taken when cutting the two sprue gates at the back of the trailer. The desire to cut as close as possible to the frame would be a mistake. If one looks at these attachment points from the top of the sprue they just look like a gate. From the bottom you will see that there is a necessary positioning lug that needs to remain. As with all kits it is best to study parts and instructions before putting blade to plastic. An option for the trailer allows for a support leg (part 45) to be positioned in the folded or deployed position.
With the basic trailer built, the last two instruction illustrations are for the building of the trailer body. This involves the construction of the main ammunition box with its lid in either the open or closed position, attachment of a smaller storage box and two shovels. It should be noted that the smaller storage box also has a separate lid so it is up to the builder whether they wish to display it open or closed. If the model is to be displayed with the main ammo box open the final illustrations note that the trailer’s forward support leg (part 45) should be glued in the down position and that part 51 (what appears to be a jack) be glued in the down position. Depending how the modeler wishes to use this vehicle there can be several combinations of the various options.
The only painting reference appears on the back of the box and is a coloured four angle painting guide for one trailer painted in a three colour striped and mottled camouflage pattern. Colour references are given for Revell Acryl, ModelMaster Acryl and ModelMaster Enamel paints.
While it wasn’t my intention to do a full build article I felt that for what looked like such a simple kit I’d try at least a partial build to get a feel for this kit. For the most part I followed the exploded view diagrams for assembling the trailer frame and suspension. Removal of parts from the sprue proved to be as I anticipated. The small part attachment points leave very little to be sanded. The light mould seams on some parts were extremely easy and fast to remove.
After gluing the two halves of the wheels together I next turned to the winching mechanisms (parts 42 and 43). Clean up of these parts proved simple and fast. The fit of the parts onto the lugs at the back of the frame required the use of a gel like glue with a slower drying time as the parts are small and I needed some working time to get their orientation correct. The tiny parts that attach to each (part 44) proved to be a test in patience and dexterity with a pair of fine pointed tweezers. The springs for the suspension were next removed, cleaned and attached to their locating holes in the frame. As these parts are quite small the gel glue was again used to allow for proper orientation.
The trailer floor, ammo box and other pieces of the body all cleaned up easily and the fit was exact. Throughout the construction process the wait for the glue to dry consumed the most amount of time. To my great surprise the ejector pin marks on the underside of the ammo compartment lid cleaned up extremely easily with just a fine emery board. While I had no mishaps with the build I must again warn that care should be taken when handling this build. The delicate nature of some of the parts and even the trailer frame could easily lead to damaging your work. The plastic itself seems to be somewhat softer than other manufacturers and possessed no noticeable negative properties.
It isn't often that subjects like this are considered by model manufacturers and this kit will be most welcome by armor fans or those looking for diorama accessories. Despite the minor moulding flaws mentioned above, this kit has not only decent details but a number of potential options for even the moderate skilled individual. This kit should prove an interesting addition when combined with other subjects. It should be a quick and easy build and I cannot help but recommend it.