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ICM SdKfz 247 Ausf B with crew

If you’ve been waiting to build a 1/35 scale World War II German armored car, try this one
The SdKfz 247 was an unarmed lightly armored car used as a command vehicle for Wermacht motorcycle and motorized reconnaissance units. The four-wheeled Ausf B vehicle was produced by Daimler-Benz to replace Krupp’s severely underpowered six-wheeled Ausf A. Only 58 of these cars were produced between 1941 and 1942, and ICM’s kit is the first injection-molded model of this rare vehicle. 

Molded mostly in light gray plastic, the headlights come in clear plastic, and four black vinyl tires are also included. You’ll need to fill numerous ejector-pin marks and remove a small amount of flash. Still, the fit was good and didn’t need much filler. Markings include three panzer gray vehicles in Russia from 1941 to 1942 and a fourth dunkelgelb vehicle in France 1942. The instructions are easy to read with only a few parts being shown in each step and detail colors called out along the way. Three view color profiles are included for the four versions with Revell and Tamiya paints listed. A color sheet also illustrates how the four figures should be painted. 

Construction starts with assembly of the multipart frame. Right away, I deviated from the directions by assembling the side rails and all of the crossmembers first. The fit was not great, and I ended up getting a little bit of frame twist. If I did it again, I would temporarily attach the still wet frame to the lower hull floor until the frame was fully dry. This would solve the twisting. 

Once the frame was assembled all of the detail parts went on. The directions show a bolt on Part E49 in Step 5. It is not molded on the part, so I added a resin one from Verlinden. The suspension springs are molded in two halves. Beware, there are two different types that are easy to get mixed up. If they are not seated properly then Part E30 will not sit properly on the frame. A full engine is included, but placement is a little vague in the instructions. I left it out to paint and make sure it was placed correctly once construction was complete. 

I found an error in the directions: In Step 30, Part E20 should be Part E19 and the opposite for Step 33. The inner and outer rims are keyed so the valve stem that is molded on the inner rim protrudes through a hole on the outer rim when the two parts are joined. The vinyl tires have a lot of flash that damages the detail when it is removed. I’d replace them with resin tires. I left the frame separate from the hull to help painting. 

Multiple panels make up the lower hull, which I assembled all at once (including the firewall). There is a nasty mold line around the driver and passenger doors that needs to be removed before you add the doors. The doors and engine access hatch on the hood fit poorly, leaving irregular gaps at the edges. The upper hull comes as a single part. In Step 88, the vision port is labeled Part E58, but there is no E58 to be found. The two vision ports without rivets are for the driver and co-driver position; the four vision ports with rivets are for the passenger compartment. 

Inside, decals are included for the gauges. The directions show placement for the smaller gauges, but do not indicate which of the large gauges on the decal sheets to use. After the interior was painted, I glued the upper hull in place, then proceeded with the rest of the exterior. I thinned the mud flaps (Part E13) to give them a more scale thickness. The head lights are shown glued to fender brackets, but there are no brackets molded on the fenders. Without much surface area to glue the headlights, I drilled a small hole in the fender to make a secure bond. When trying to attach the antennas to the hull you will find a nub on the antenna base and a pin on the end of the antennae. I ended up removing the nub on the base and drilling a hole to accept the antennae. I also drilled the end of the exhaust pipe, because why not?

I modeled the vehicle from the Grossdeutschland Division in the Ukraine in 1942, and used a combination of AK Interactive, Humbrol, Acrylicos Vallejo, and Ammo of Mig Jimenez products. The kit’s decals are thin with little excess carrier film that disappears under clear coat. There was no silvering or bleed through that I noticed. To add a little interest to the interior, I painted the radios panzer gray and field gray (as per references).  

The figures fit together well, although you’ll need to do some minor filling. The uniform detail is crisp, but you’ll need to remove some mold imperfections. Once painted, I found the features on the heads and faces really popped. The driver figure does not fit into its seat without some major surgery, so I left him out of the vehicle. The officer figure is shown with one foot stepping on something. If you have him stepping on a seat, then his other foot will not touch the floor. The directions do not show were to place the figures, so you’ll have to figure out positions that make sense to you.

If you hate working with photo-etched metal (PE), ICM’s kits are for you. Plenty of detail without the headaches PE can bring. Overall, the SdKfz went together well and logically, which makes it a good kit for modelers with a little experience. It took 33 hours to complete with most of the time spent painting the figures and filling in the ejector-pin marks. A word of warning: Be wary of photos of these vehicles on the internet. Many of the photos you’ll see are reproductions that vary in appearance based on the frame used. Be sure you’re looking for period photos. And if you want to dress it up, this SdKfz is just asking for stowage, radio wires, and maps.  

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