During the initial stages of WWII (1939 - 1941) heavy eight-wheeled armored cars of the Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz. 232 (8-Rad) and Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) types were widely used in all the major theaters of war with considerable success. Reconnaissance and support of the front line were still their primary missions, however quite often when fulfilling these missions (especially on the Eastern Front), reconnaissance units met with strong opposition from the enemy, often including artillery. This problem could be resolved only by the introduction of a special support vehicle with a higher caliber armament, teamed up with the reconnaissance units, already equipped with standard Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.232 (8-Rad), and Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) cars.
As part of the experimentation, in 1942 at the Bussing-NAG plant, the 75mm KwK L/24 gun was mounted on one of the regular Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad). Due to the short length of the barrel, this gun was nicknamed 'Stumpy'. Though the dimensions of this gun were insignificant, it was still too big for the armored body of the Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), therefore its design had to be modified. The turret was completely demounted, and most of the equipment unrelated to artillery support was removed. In spite of all these measures, the crew decreased from four to three persons due to the lack of free space inside the armored body.
The vehicle turned out to be very successful, but it was never put into serial production. Relatively small numbers of these vehicles were needed for artillery support; also after continuous military action more and more Sd.Kfz.231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.232 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) were being returned to plants in Germany. As a result, the heavy armored artillery support vehicle Sd.Kfz.233 (the name of the new development) was built at the Bussing-NAG plant. Construction was undertaken using parts from its predecessors. However, unlike them, the Sd.Kfz. 233 did not have '8-Rad' in its type name, since the analogous six-wheeled vehicle did not exist.
The Sd.Kfz. 233 proved to be a serious weapon. The major threat for these vehicles came from ground attack aircraft - the big opening on the top of their armored bodies was very vulnerable to bombs or strafing. Despite the small quantity of Sd.Kfz.233 built, they were actively used in every theater of conflict, from 1942 until the final days of the war.
Thanks to Roden for the background history.
This is simply another variant of the basic SdKfz 231 version previewed earlier. The only real difference is the area of the 'turret'. In this case there are the parts for the short barreled 75mm cannon and its various armor plating and mount. There are also parts for the additional 7.62mm machine gun and its mount. As you can see from the image, one needs to be careful when removing some of the smaller parts from the sprue to prevent breaking them. There is also a new upper body section with the properly enlarged opening for the cannon.
Instructions are excellent and typical of Roden's current standards. Color information is provided for Humbrol paints as well as generic names. There are markings for five vehicles included in the decal sheet. Typical of German military vehicles, your choices of color are Desert Tan or Panzer Grey. The winter one can also be done in dirty white. These are:
- Sd.Kfz.233 "STUMMEL", from 5th SS Panzer Division "Viking", Poland, August 1944.
- Sd.Kfz.233 "STUMMEL" from unknown unit, Eastern Front, Russia, winter 1943.
- Sd.Kfz.233 "STUMMEL" from unknown German unit captured by US troops, Tunisia, winter 1943.
- Sd.Kfz.233 "STUMMEL", one of the personal armored cars of Erwin Rommel, commander of the Deutsche Africa Corps, had a nickname "Adler", late 1942.
- Sd.Kfz.233 "STUMMEL" from 10 Panzer Division, Tunisia, December 1942.
I have to be quite honest in telling you that I've had mixed feelings about Roden decals. Sometimes they work fine, sometimes they don't. My best results have been using hot water and lots of strong setting solution. Others have reported success by using Future or some other clear acrylic to place a decal. Fortunately, most of the surfaces are flat so that does take care of some of the concerns about stick.
This is by far the coolest of the four 8-rads that have been done by Roden. That big cannon adds quite a bit to it and best of all, the model builds well with few problems. I can recommend reading mybuild article on the 231 to get an idea of what to expect from this one.
Thanks to the fine folks at . Visit them by clicking on the logo.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by asite that has over 250,000 visitors a month, please contactme or see other details in the Note toContributors.