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AB 43

Italeri 1/35 Autoblinda AB 43 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2006 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Autoblinda AB 43 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6451 Primary Media Styrene, Rubber Tires
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons No interior
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $44.95

First Look

AB 43
AB 43
AB 43
AB 43
AB 43

The Italian Autoblinda AB 43 was an incremental improvement of the AB 41 based upon combat experience with the type. Essentially identical to the AB 41, the AB 43 did have a more powerful engine and its turret profile was reduced with a shorter and wider replacement. The AB 43 retained the same 20mm main gun and machine guns from the AB 41.

The most visible improvement was the addition of seven jerry can racks to the exterior of of the vehicle. This allowed the crew to carry their supplemental fuel supply outside of the crew compartment, or to carry additional cans of fuel and water for extended operations.

Ironically, the AB 43 was ready too late to enter Italian Army service as a good portion of Italy had surrendered into Allied control. Instead, the German Army drafted these vehicles into service as the PanzerSpahWagen AB 43 203(i).

As with the AB 41 kit released previously by Italeri, the kit is molded in desert yellow styrene and presented on four parts trees (duplicate trees not shown). Six rubber tires are provided to round out the kit.

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 four examples:

  • Begleitszug Stab PanzerJager Abt. 1057, 8 GebirgsJager Division, Italy, late Mach 1945
  • Stab, PanzerJager Abt. 165, 65 Infanterie Division, Italy, late March 1945
  • 4 Fallschirmjager Division, Florence Italy, August 1944
  • Polizia di Stato, Nucleo Celere di Pubblica Sicurezza, Rome, Italy, 1950s

Let me compliment Italeri at this point. The profiles for painting and marking the four vehicles above are profiled in full-color.

This is a nicely designed kit that will give World War II armor builders amother 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 MRC for this review sample!