Feature Article with Bill Curtis
This was a prototype vehicle manufactured by Ardelt and Rheinmetall for a light weapons carrier (Waffentrager) to carry the Pak 43 and other artillery weapons. This combination was to provide a self-propelled mount for the powerful but heavy 8.8cm antitank gun, which in its towed version was too heavy for crews to easily manhandle into position and that the gun could be dismounted if need be.
Under the control of Krupp, Ardelt and Rheinmetall built the first prototype the former the chassis and the latter the Pak43. It utilized a 38(t) or a Hetzer chassis with an engine front mounted to enable the gun mounting to show a lower profile. In this later war period several designs were put forward and at least three different types were built at prototype stage.
This model is the Dragon kit No 6728 in the 39-45 series smart kit in 1:35 scale. The kit looks well moulded and on looking at the instruction sheet one realises that you will end up with a good number of parts for the spares box.
So onto the build with the running gear as first priority, four sub-assemblies consisting of the axel and leaf springs were joined together and then fixed to the hull. While the adhesive was still not hardened the chassis was placed on a flat surface to ensure the wheels would all sit on the ground.