Tag Archive: Smart Kit

Upper body and bed and lower wheels,track,and suspension ready for paint. I used several photo etched sets including the one from Dragon. Note: when assembling rear end make sure you fit the drive train and wheels before completing  the multi- piece differential. Obviously you have to paint the engine before installing the front driver section on.


In 1944, the Germans mounted the widely used 7.5cm Pak 40 on the chassis of the RSO in an attempt to make up for a shortage of tank destroyers. The RSO which stood for Raupenschlepper Ost,
was developed as an affordable tractor well suited for hauling supplies and light artillery in the snow and mud often found on the Eastern Front.

There were two principal types manufactured by four different manufacturers, although Steyr remained the principal. In 1944 87 RS/01 and RSO/02 were adapted to mount the 7.5cm PaK 40 to fulfil the role of unarmoured tank destroyer.The suspension was a very basic design with all steel wheels and just four small leaf springs but the all tracked design and high ground clearance gave it excellent performance in the worst of conditions. Of the approximately 23,000 RSO’s of all versions produced, 60 were built to mount the PaK 40/4 anti-tank on the rear flat bed and a lightly armoured front driver’s compartment.

They were deployed in combat by Army Group South on the Eastern Front. These field trials indicated that, like with the early Marders, the gun-crew were unacceptably exposed to enemy small arms fire.The RSO or ‘Raupenschlepper Ost’ was designed and built as a result of German experiences during the winter of 1941/42 demonstrating the need for a fully tracked prime mover.
Steyr came up with the RSO, deliberately designing the high ground clearance to counter deep snow. There were two principal types manufactured by four different manufacturers, although Steyr remained the principal. In 1944 87 RS/01 and RSO/02 were adapted to mount the 7.5cm PaK 40 to fufill the role of unarmoured tank destroyer.

The Kit

This new release from Dragon is the first modern tooling of this easily recognized AFV. The kit combines Dragon’s existing Pak 40 with new Smart Kit tooling for the RSO chassis, the gun platform, driver’s compartment, engine, transmission and the gun mounting. The majority of this kit is new tooling to Dragon’s latest standards.

Other features include Magic Tracks and a sprue of shells and other munitions. A small PE fret includes the movable centre plate for the gun shield, vision flaps on the gun shield, hinged plates above the driver’s compartment, centre detail on the road wheels and the ends of the suspension struts. The gatefold instructions have 21 steps of line drawings.

AfterMarket Parts
Voyager PE35367 WWII German RSO chassis set PAK40: 4 self-propelled artillery pieces of the basic update: with rivets

Brand: Voyager Number: PE35367
Size: 1 / 35 WWII German Steyr RSO chassis set 75mm PAK40 / 4 self-propelled artillery pieces of basic update / with rivets
Attachment of the Dragon 6640
Package content: photo etch: 2 pieces, metal pieces, glue sticks, and wire. 

Here are several shots of the construction process of Dragon’s Panzer II Ausf.F. This kit is very precise with it’s beautiful details such as it’s clean weld beads. The links are “Magic Track”,which to me was a snap to assemble, but just remember to handle them carefully because of their size.
The leaf springs in this kit are the same as that included in the Marder II kit. As most will know the suspension springs on the Marder II were wider to take the additional weight while those on the Panzer II were the original narrower leaf springs which is noticable in 1:35 scale for those concerned with accuracy.The major issue with the drive sprockets supplied in that they only have 25 drive teeth when the actual sprocket has 26 drive teeth but there is little you can do about this other to live with the incorrect sprockets unless someone want’s to make resin replacements with the 26 drive teeth. Added to the fenders are the various storage boxes and pioneer tools which have separate etched brackets and clips for good detail definition with the four part jack having a choice of plastic or etched mounting brackets depending if you want a quick build or more finer detail.The interior of the gun tank is not as visible as with the Marder II but Dragon still gives you a fairly comprehensive interior with some parts such as the forward vision ports and rear bulkheads added to the underside of the upper hull.
The transmission assembly is in ten parts that go together without any problems with the brake drums in multiple parts with good details added into the lower tub as are with additional gear levers and the driver’s seat, foot pedals added to the separate floor panel with fine tread plate pattern for a very busy interior.
The side engine bulkhead is in five main wall parts with additional smaller items and the main parts fit together without any problems as do most of the smaller details but watch the parts J37, J38 as there are no locating pins for these and you have to cut off a couple of small bolt heads for part J38 to sit flush.
The two part air cleaner has additional etched mounting brackets added but watch the lower bracket (part MA30) as this has to be bent “away” from the engraved bend lines and not “into” them as is the normal procedure for etched parts. If you bend these the “wrong” way they will break off when bending back the other way due to the thin metal so ensure you bend them the correct way first time, which is with the triangular indent for part MA25 facing outwards.
All the sub-assemblies go together without any real problems and also fit neatly into the lower tub and of course there is scope for adding finer details for those wanting the detail up the kit further.
The small equipment boxes and radio located on the tub side walls have straightforward assembly but need care when fitting as its location is not clearly marked as mentioned and fitting after the floor has been fitted should make it easier to line up. The turret is packed with parts, which is surprising when one considers how small it really is. The 2 cm is complete and the model uses a complete MG-34 from the generic German weapons sets. This comes with the ground mount for the bipod and ground sights, which appear to be removed prior to installation and that makes sense. Alas, the directions do not indicate making that adjustment, so anyone who fails to do so will have a major problem in assembly. There are 72 parts in this assembly alone. For the cable I used twine,and cable ends that I had laying around. I went ahead and improvised my own “jerry can”rack,with photo etched parts. The front glacis plate track rack,was cut from a photo etched fret. At this point I am very satisfied with the progress. One more note when installing the transmission,make sure it fits all the way in place or everything at that point will not fall into place.  

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