Dragon 1/72 SdKfz. 222 Leichte Panzerspahwagen
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Sd.kfz 222 is part of a family of light armored cars thatstarted with the 221. Prototypes of this series were initially developed around1937 and were produced until 1942. However these useful vehicles were used untilthe end of the war. The main difference between the 221 and the 222 was in theweapon carried. The 221 had a a seven sided open topped turret with a single7.92mm machine gun. Later in the war, a 2.3 cm anti-tank rifle replaced themachine gun. The 222 (and subject of this kit) had a ten sided open toppedturret with a 20mm anti-tank gun in addition to the machine gun.
All of these vehicles were based on a Horch/Auto Union chassiswhich had either a 3.5 liter, 75 hp engine (Ausf A) or later production had a3.8 liter 81 hp engine (Ausf B). Both had the engine in the rear. The chassishad a four wheel drive, fully independent suspension. Initially, they also hadfour wheel steering, but this was removed later as it proved to be unnecessary.The differentials were full locking ensuring that all four wheels were able toprovide traction.
The hull was welded steel plate with a door on either side. Theopen top was covered by a framework with steel mesh (obviously to prevent theodd hand grenade from being dropped inside). Elevation and azimuth of the turretwere manually controlled via small hand wheels.
Apparently this kit is the first of several that we will see in twin packs. Yes, you do get two of these kits in each box, making it a pretty good deal for those who like to build 1/72 military subjects. I found it particularly nice in that there isn't a ton of parts for each kit and that it comes with a nice photo-etch screen for the top of the turret. The thing that is good about armored cars is that one doesn't have to deal with road wheels or track segments. The modeler can generally just paint the entire vehicle minus the wheels and do detail painting when the parts are already cemented on the model.
Here is a full listing of all the features.
There are 100 parts in this set which means 50 bits per vehicle. Now that isn't all that many when you think about it and you do get markings for two panzer grey vehicles; one each from an unidentified unit is Poland during 1939 and France in 1940. Instructions are very well done on glossy paper with full color painting and markings guide. Since the French one has no really unique markings, you can do a variety of license plates, assuming you have a good photo.
I have to say that I really like this idea of two smaller vehicles in a box and do hope it is a trend. Though there are some small and finely molded parts, those with a modicum of experience should have zero trouble with the kit. Thanks to Dragon's usual high standards of molding and detail, it will be a real beauty when done.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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