Ace 1/72 Kfz. 15 Horsch medium personnel vehicle
|PRICE:||$11.45 from www.scale-model-kits.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
When the German army was expanded under Adolf Hitler, it was planned for there to be three different classifications of military personnel vehicle, light, medium and heavy, each developed by a different manufacturer. The medium class contract was won by the Horch company in 1934 and designated the Kfz.15.
The Horch was a four-wheel drive vehicle powered by a 80 horsepower V8 engine. It featured a pair of spare wheels mounted on free-wheeling axles that helped to keep the Horch from getting hung up on obstacles. This feature was found on some other vehicles of the type. The vehicle could also tow light artillery or a trailer if the need arose.
Approximately 12,000 of these vehicles were produced between 1937 and 1940 by Horch, Wanderer and Open.. While these vehicles carried communications gear and served as a high-speed shuttle between forward and rear units, commanders also kept one for their own mobility around the battlefield. The Horch was used on all fronts from Russia to North Africa and required little or no adaptation to operate in those significantly different environments.
Ace has been producing a considerable number of kits over the last decade and it is to our good fortune that they have been getting better as time goes on. Not to say that they are easy builds as the modeler should treat these as short run cars. They have very thick sprues with attachment points that often flow onto the part itself, requiring careful removal. In fact, careful easily describes how these kits should be built, with test fitting a necessary operation needed at each step.
This kit has a full chassis with the front fenders molded in place. The suspension is nicely detailed, though like all low pressure molded kits, the detailing is a tad 'soft' when compared to Tamiya or Dragon. It has a full interior and provides the option of a raised or lowered top. I would highly recommend temporarily attaching the wheels during suspension construction to ensure that all four will hit the ground at the same time. It has been my experience that not doing may well cause some grief.
The body builds up of several flat panels, which is fine as this car was probably built like that. If using the top in the up position, one will find it made up of four discrete parts. There are no clear bits, but one is provided with a template for making the windscreen and rear window using clear acetate sheet that one can get from all manner of packaged items.
Instructions are on a folded sheet of paper with eight construction drawings on one side. There is no painting information provided on the colors of various components, one of Ace's major drawbacks. I imagine one has to guess from what one can see on the box art. As these are all early war vehicles, they are mostly overall Panzer Grey. Markings are provided for vehicles of various units including 12 Pz Div in 1941, 10th Pz Div in 1941, Afrika Korps (this one is in sand) during 1942 and Luftwaffe Panzer Corps 'Herman Goering' during 1942. The small decal sheet is nicely printed, though I'm not sure how well it will work with setting solutions as I've not built an Ace kit that had decals.
If you are like me, this Ace kit will be a nice addition to the 1/72 military vehicle collection. These take up very little room on the shelf and with careful construction, will make into quite nice models.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. Get yours from the link and at a discount.
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