Roden 1/72 SdKfz 231 (8-rad)




$8.98  ($7.96 at Squadron)


three vehicles


Scott Van Aken




Allow me to quote from the Roden website for this one.

"The development of armored cars in Germany began in the late 1920s. In the mid-1930s, when Adolf Hitler brought the Nazis to power, the German army was quickly reorganized, and the terms of the Versailles Treaty were progressively broken. The Blitzkrieg concept demanded close co-operation between infantry and armored units and the role of the armored car was very important.

Initially only light armored cars were intended for mass production, but the army's requirements were soon greatly extended, and as a result, new types of armored car were produced. The Bussing NAG factory developed its own design, which received the name ARW (Achtradwagen = eight-wheeled car). The new car had some interesting features, like eight independently sprung wheels with both steering systems affecting all eight wheels. It could be driven in both directions because it had two driver positions, in the front and in the back. The armored superstructure was attached to the frame of the chassis. The armored body was 14.5mm thick in front and 8mm elsewhere.

The first mass-produced machines of this type received the official designation Sd.Kfz.231 and reached units of the Panzer reconnaissance troops in late 1937, and one year later they took part in the annexation of Czechoslovakia. During the Blitzkrieg in 1940 these machines proved their importance in battles in Poland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Shortcomings such as a lack of driver protection were improved after combat experience. All in all the Sd.Kfz.231 was a very trustworthy vehicle.

At the time of its introduction in 1937 the Sd.Kfz.231 was the most modern armored car of its time. It was difficult to maintain and repair and the Germans on all battlefields extensively used an easy target for an enemy due to its height, but these armored cars until the last days of World War Two, with considerable success."



This is only the second military vehicle done by Roden. This kit is molded in two different colors. The usual light grey for the body of the vehicle and black for the wheels and suspension parts. You can tell that this is a new mold as there is almost no flash at all on the parts. Ejector pin marks and sink areas were also nearly absent. I know that I'm pleased about this.

Another thing I'm happy about is that there is no modification required to build the kit just as it is from the box. No cutting, no sprue stretching or any other extra work is needed. Though the kit looks complicated, it appears to be a very straight-forward build. There are no options in terms of construction. The turret is designed to turn and it appears that the gun can be elevated. Though it seems from the construction as if the wheels can be made to roll, I'd probably glue them in place. This is a four (eight) wheel steering vehicle so it will be interesting to see if anyone tries to get it to do so!

The instructions are superb and show all the parts placement in a very clear manner. Paints are given as Humbrol numbers as well as generic terms. The small decal sheet offers options for three vehicles. One is in an arid scheme of ochre, light olive and red brown in a disruptive pattern as used in Italy in July 1943. The other two are in Panzer Grey. One from  the Eastern Front in 1941 and the other in Norway in 1940. The decals are well printed for their small size and it will be seen how well they work. The sheet is shown at much larger than full size.


It is good to see more and more small scale military vehicles. I overheard one fellow at a show the other day saying that he has run out of room to display 1/35 stuff and so is switching to 1/72 to allow for more to be built. This one is really neat and should make into a fine model. Stay tuned.

Thanks to the fine folks at  for the review kit. Visit them by clicking on the logo.

You can find this kit and many others at

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 200,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page