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AB 41 Kit

Italeri 1/35 Autoblinda AB 41 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Autoblinda AB 41 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6442 Primary Media Styrene
Pros First time this subject available in 1/35 scale styrene Cons No interior
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $45.00

First Look

AB 41 Kit
AB 41 Kit
AB 41 Kit
AB 41 Kit

The AB 40 was an advanced armored car in its day. First revealed at a Fiat plant in 1939, this vehicle featured four-wheel drive and two spare wheels mounted in such a way that it was nearly impossible to high-center the AB 40 on an obstacle.

The AB 41 was introduced in 1941 which incorporated a number of engineering improvements. It still retained the 20mm main gun and turret of the AB 40. The AB 41 could reach 70 kph on roadways and p to 40 kph off-road.

The problem with the AB 41 was inadequate armor and an overly complex four-wheel steering system. After approximately 450 AB 41s were produced, the type was replaced by the improved AB 43.

In addition to service within the Italian Army, the AB 41 also served in the Wehrmacht as the Pz.Sp.Wg. AB 41 201 (i), primarily within Italy in 1944.

This is the first time the Autoblinda AB 41 has been rendered in 1/35 as a styrene kit. Italeri has done a magnificent job with the kit design. Molded in Desert Yellow, the kit is presented on four trees, plus six rubber tires. The exterior detailing is nicely done while remaining a simple build.

Construction starts with the chassis, and this goes together highlighting the details for the four steerable wheels and the four drive shafts that independently power each wheel.

Next comes the car body, and this goes together in a rather unique way. The left and right sides of the car body are held together by four spacer rods that attach the two sides at the front and rear wheel wells. The kit doesn't have an interior, but the crew doors in the car body are positionable, as are the armored engine access doors. If you do open the engine access doors, you'll be looking at two of those spacers inside.

The turret comes next and here is where more interior detail is provided. The main gun is complete inside and out of the turret so you'll have something to see from the positionable top and rear turret hatches. In addition, a gunner's seat and turret traverse crank and gear are also provided to be seen from outside.

The kit is completed with the standard array of Jerry cans, pioneering tools, light fixtures, mufflers and radio antenna mast.

Markings are included for five examples:

  • Aufkl.Abt.236, 162nd (Turkish) Infantry Division, German Army, Italy, 1944
  • 1./Elite-Polizei Rgt, German Army, Bolzano, Italy, 1944
  • Unknown Unit, Regio Esercito, Sicily,1943
  • Lancieri di Motebello Rgt, Regio Esercito, Rome, 1943
  • Gruppo corazzato Leonessa, Republica Sociale, Torino, Italy, 1945

Let me compliment Italeri at this point. The profiles for painting and marking the five vehicles above are profiled in full-color. This is the first time I've seen full-color painting profiles in an Italeri kit and I hope it won't be the last!

This is a nicely designed kit that will give World War II armor builders a refreshing change from the regular diet of Tigers, Shermans, and the recent flood of six-wheeled armored cars. I wouldn't doubt that an aftermarket company will develop an interior for the car body, but the details included in the stock kit should please most builders and provide a starting point for AMS-inflicted scratchbuilders. This kit is highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!