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ITALERI 1/35 SWS HALF-TRACK WITH 37mm FLAK 43 KIT NO. 370

PRICE: around $30.00

 

by Ray Mehlberger

 

History

The SWS heavy German 1/2 track was equipped with a modern, rapid-fire 37mm anti-aircraft gun 43 and built in small quantities for the German army late in the war. The vehicle was an offspring of the artillery tractor SWS (which is offered as a kit by Italeri as kit no. 360), but with heavy armor plate protection for the cab and engine. The chassis was beefed up to carry the ack-ack gun and its ammo.

The Kit

This is the 3rd issue of SWS variants by Italeri in 1/35th scale. They earlier did the SWS as a vehicle with the panzerwerfer (rocket-launcher) 42 that fired 5cm rockets as kit no. 356. The SWS was issued as a second kit as just a cargo carrying version, Italeri kit no. 360. Also, the Flak 43 was previously issued by itself as kit no. 363.

The kit is molded in light earth yellow colored plastic...which seems to be a trade mark for Italeri in recent kits. There are six trees of parts in the kit, three of which make up the SWS and two for the flak 43. None of these parts are in cello bags and this (as I have said in other reviews of Italeri kits) is my pet peeve with this company...I found two parts broke off the trees and floating around in the box. There are no figures included in the kit. A gun crew would have been very welcome here. The kit includes a small section of nylon screen to do the centers of the side fold-downs. A small decal sheet has the skinny type national black crosses, outlined in white, some white tactical markings for a 1/2 tracked anti-aircraft vehicle...and what I would call 'do it yourself' license plates. You get the white backplates, the letters "WH" (for a wehrmacht vehicle), "WL" (for luftwaffe) and black numbers 0 thru 9 to make up your own 7 digit vehicle license number. I wish that this had not been done this way as putting that many decals on top of each other is just that many accidents or failures waiting to happen. No division marks are given.

Tree letter A for the flak 43 contains 86 parts...and a LOT of ammo for it too.

Tree letter B is also for the flak 43 and carries the balance of 22 more parts for it.

A very large letter B tree is for the SWS 1/2 track and has such parts as: the floor boards, the armored cab and hood, the dash board, some body panels etc. 60 parts here.

Another slightly smaller letter A tree holds the frame, gas tank, axle arms, tools etc. for the SWS. Parts count on this tree is 96.

Two identical letter C trees complete the parts for the SWS. They hold the link and length type tracks, the drive sprockets, rims, tires etc. There are 65 parts on each tree for a total of 130.

The instructions are a large gatefold affair with 10 pages that fold out. The first page has a short history of the vehicle in multiple languages...including English. Page 2 and the top of page 3 have parts tree drawings for the SWS assembly. From the bottom of page 3 thru page 6 is 10 assembly steps for building the SWS. Page 7 begins with parts tree drawings at the top for the flak 43 then continues thru to the top of page top of page 10 with with 9 more assembly steps to complete the flak 43 weapon. The bottom of page 10 is devoted to the decal and painting drawing.

Conclusion

This is a very well molded kit. I could find no flash on any parts and detail abounds. I just wish that Italeri would cello bag things. My second wish would have been for some figures. Although a redo of the SWS for Italeri, I am sure that this kit will find its way into many armor collections and I recommend it highly with only the few reservations mentioned.

 




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