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Bronco 1/35 scale SdKfz 221 Leichte Panzerspähwagen

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Kit: No. CB-35013
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Bronco, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Price: $59.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 266 parts (12 cast-metal, 38 photoetched), decals
Pros: First time the SdKfz has been kitted
Cons: Kit is a little over-engineered, complicating assembly
Issue Published: May 2009
Bronco's kit is the first SdKfz 221 in 1/35 scale, and it reflects modern quality standards with clean, flash-free moldings.

The kit is rich in intricate features. The crew compartment is fully detailed, including full driver and commander stations. Detailing is enhanced by clear and photo-etched-metal parts, along with metal springs, jerry cans, and brass fender indicators. No crew figures are included.

According to the instructions, I started construction with the chassis and drive train. These assemblies installed neatly on the lower hull with very nice detail.

Next came the suspension units. Real springs are used in creating the four units. While the parts give the impression of movement, they are essentially static. Take care when mounting the wheels; their attachment points are a bit weak. Make sure the glue has set before putting any weight on them.

Inside the hull, a fair amount of time is required to install more than 70 parts. The driver's station is surrounded by a control panel, pedals, and levers. Also included are crew details - helmets, water bottles, mess kit, machine pistol, grenades, and three mounting panels. The commander/gunner station is neatly detailed, including a nice MG34 machine gun. The seat even has real metal springs!

To show off this great stuff, all the hull hatches and ports are given as separate parts and can be displayed open. The vision ports even work with internal hinges. Bringing the hull top and bottom together, I found the fit was adequate but required careful attention to ensure there were no gaps at the joints. Photo-etched-metal screens are provided for the turret grenade screen and hull top.

I painted my 221 with Hobby Color and Tamiya acrylic paints.

Four different vehicles are featured on the decal sheet. The decals are neatly printed and went down well on the gloss paint finish with just a little decal-setting solution.

My primary reference was Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, by Peter Chamberlain and Hilary L. Doyle (Arco).

I finished my SdKfz 221 in a quick 12 hours, and the completed model captures the look of this diminutive armored car. The complicated assemblies and variety of materials make Bronco's kit best suited to modelers of intermediate skills or better, but German armor fans will definitely be pleased with this kit.

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