The Sd.Kfz.7 was THE Prime Mover for Germany during WW II. It not only carried Panzergrenadiers into battle, but also towed the Wehrmacht’s most-important guns: the 88mm and the sFH 18 150mm howitzer. It served in every theater of war, and a combination of arms supply contractors built over 12,000 vehicles by 1945. While it was also adapted for a variety of other tasks (a platform for three different AA guns, a tank recovery vehicle, as well as a mobile control bunker for the V-2 rocket), the Sd.Kfz.7's primary role was hauling heavy things to and around the battlefield. With 12 new Sd.Kfz.7 kits from Dragon and Trumpeter either out or announced (suplementing or replacing the inferior Tamiya relics), modelers now have a new CD-ROM from Chris “ToadMan” Hughes that examines a Prime Mover in close detail to help them with their builds.
Chris had access to a fully-restored Hansa-Lloyd-Goliath variant housed at the late Jacques Littlefield’s Military Vehicle Technology Foundation
in Menlo Park, CA (for more information, click here
). Like Chris's other ToadMan’s Tank Pictures CDs
, this one is thorough and exhaustive: four folders containing 309 high-quality 300 dpi color photographs of the vehicle cover the exterior, the chassis, the engine and the crew area, including the storage bins.
Each section has enough detail to please even the most rabid rivet counter like myself, such as storage compartments hidden in the seat backs that I had not known about previously despite much reading on the Sd.Kfz.7. Even casual modelers will appreciate knowing where the small parts belong in those cases when kit instructions leave us scratching our heads. I have consulted Chris's on-line sampling of images at his website when I was constructing two Sd.Kfz.7 kits previously, so I can only rejoice at this CD with its far richer selection of images. The only “knock” on the vehicle’s restoration is its post-war tires, which at least one manufacturer has replicated, but that's hardly worth mentioning.
I often wish more modelers would allocate some of their resources to acquiring reference works about the kits they build, but the specialized nature of militaria
often means books are priced out-of-reach for many in the hobby. These inexpensive CD-ROMs mean no one has any excuse any longer when it comes to the Sd.Kfz.7!