Tristar 1/35 scale SdKfz 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen
The primary German light armored car in World War II, the SdKfz 222 participated in all major actions with the German army.
Detailed suspension; good fits all around
Injection-molded, 234 parts (14 photoetched, 4 vinyl), decals
Tristar’s kit is one of two new kits of the SdKfz 222 slated for this year. The kit is cleanly molded in dark yellow plastic. Details include vinyl tires, interior detailing, and photoetched-metal parts.
I started assembly with construction of the frame. There are a fair number of parts within this assembly and the subsequent suspension, drivetrain, steering linkage, and transmission. All these take time but are problem-free. The suspension is posable, but not workable as it comes from the box.
The armored hull is divided into top and bottom halves. The lower half has interior detailing from the driver station to the engine fire wall. The access hatches are separate, allowing all the detail to be seen. Surprisingly, fire-wall screening is not provided in photoetched metal but merely molded in.
All of the engine access hatches are separate parts. The vision ports have clear lenses and details that represent mounts and hinges, although the instructions do not detail how to display them open.
The vehicle’s main armament of one 20mm cannon and 7.92 machine are captured in a neatly detailed subassembly. Take care in lining up all the parts, as the gun mount does not directly attach to the turret and there could be a problem with the guns not aligning with the opening for it in the turret.
The turret’s anti-grenade covers are constructed from photoetched metal. The two frames need to be carefully bent to shape in order to properly attach to the turret.
Bringing the gun mount and turret together results in a tight fit with all that detail crammed into such a small space. I needed to “uninstall” the turret radio and fish it back into place after the gun mount and turret were in place.
I painted my 222 with a combination of Tamiya spray and acrylic paints. Decals are provided for three vehicles, including an interesting Hungarian scheme. The decals performed very well with a bit of decal solution.
My primary reference was a Web site dedicated to the SdKfz 222, appropriately named sdkfz222.org.uk. I also drew upon the old standby – The Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two (Doyle, Chamberlain, and Jentz; Sterling Publishing). The completed model looks good when compared to the references I consulted.
I completed my SdKfz 222 in a relatively short 15 hours and found that it was a truly fun build. While not a kit for novices, most modelers should be able to handle the intricate detail and enjoy Tristar's new kit.