Bronco Models 1/35 Sd.Kfz.221 Leichte Panzerspähwagen Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2009||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.221 Leichte Panzerspähwagen||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35022||Primary Media||Styrene/PE|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.98|
The Sd.Kfz.221 was a light armored reconnaissance vehicle developed in the mid-1930s for the newly reformed German Army. Designed as a two-man vehicle (driver and observer/gunner), it was powered by a 3.5 liter 90 horsepower engine that could propel the four-wheel-drive system up to 85 kph.
As the Germans continued to evolve its combat vehicles, many of its early vehicles were exported to raise additional funds. Interestingly enough, one of the German's early trade partners was China, with a number of these Sd.Kfz.221 armored cars sent over to arm the 3rd Tank Batallion. Many of these vehicles were destroyed in a Japanese attack on Nanking in 1937 and surviving vehicles were reassigned to other units. Supply lines for these and other German-acquired systems dried up in 1940 after Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Axis Powers alliance.
Bronco Models has released a new-tool Sd.Kfz.221 armored car. This kit, like previous Bronco kits, is nicely detailed and yet a straightforward build. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts and a single fret of photo-etched details.
This release is configured as a Chinese Army example with its main weapon provided as a WW1 era MG13 machine gun. This release doesn't include the standard MG34 used in the German vehicles, though I'm certain we'll see this kit again with the German parts in it later. In the meantime, you can still convert this kit to a German example by robbing an MG34 out of a Tamiya kit.
The hatches and side access doors are all separately molded and positionable to reveal a nice interior complete with all of the interior stowage of personal gear, pioneering tools and ammunition. There is a rear bulkhead inside to partition off the engine compartment, though no engine in provided in this release.
Two sets of wheels are provided in this kit though the second set has the a different set of details and tread pattern on the tires which is probably unique to the Chinese Army's vehicles.
The kit provides a nice set of photo-etched details for the grilles and turret covers, as well as mud flaps and other details.
Markings are provided for one Chinese Army example.
Bronco Models continues to turn out some impressive models and this one is no exception. These kits are definitely an AMS modeler's delight.
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!