Historic Plastic Models (HiPM) 1/35th scale Sd.Kfz. 231(6rad) German 6-wheeled armored car
Kit no. 35004
In the late 1920s, the German Army felt a need to replace obsolete armored cars with more modern types. The first test vehicles, based on custom chassis, were too demanding and expensive. Thus, the project Sd.Kfz. 231 was originated in 1929. Three-axle chassis, based on production commercial trucks, were the basis on which a welded hull with a rotating turret was installed. This turret incorporated a 7.92mm MG 13 machine-gun. In 1929 a prototype was originated, based on a Daimler Benz G-3 chassis, and at the same time serial production was started.
A modernized version, based on the G-3A chassis, originated in 1930, and the Bussing NAG G-31 and Magirus M-206 chassises were also used later on. The armament, installed at this time, was already one 20mm cannon and one MG 13 machine-gun.
Armored cars of other individual manufacturers differed in several details – such as the installation of different armament in the turret, the shape of the mudguards, and other details. An interesting feature of all these cars was that they could be driven from the front as well as the rear of the car. A further development was the design of a radio version, differing only with the installation of a large banister type aerial over the hull. This modification was designated as the Sd.Kfz. 232.
In 1936, when production was terminated altogether, 123 pieces of the Sd.Kfz. 231 and 232 had been built. The vehicles became the pride of the Germans at frequent military parades before the war. These vehicles were first combat tested during the attack against Poland, and later during the campaign in France and the Low Countries.
Shortly after this, they were replaced in combat units by the more advanced eight-wheeled machines. The six-wheeled Sd.Kfz. 231 ended its career in training units and being used in a police capacity, behind the lines.
The type had a great role in re-forming German armored power. The vehicles became obsolete at the beginning of WWII due to their inability to cross heavy terrain and move cross-country.
This new model kit is based on the Bussing NAG G-31 variant. Rumor has it that HiPM plans the radio equipped version later on as another kit.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?:
The kit contains five trees, of medium gray plastic parts, a decal sheet, and a small instruction 'book'.
Tree, letter 'A', contains the turret parts, oil pan (there is no complete engine), fenders, wheel hubs, etc. (30 parts here)
Tree, letter 'B', holds the leaf springs, tools, machine-gun, dashboard, storage boxes and their lids, a pair of jackboots (to mount on the fenders) etc. There are, however, no figures in the kit. (67 parts on this tree)
Small, letter 'C' tree, contains the vision flaps, tow hooks, hinges, and other small fittings. (37 parts here)
Tree, letter 'D' holds the main body parts, frame, and exhaust pipe (just five parts here)
Finally, letter 'E' tree holds the vehicle's wheels (11 in all)
I found these parts to be cleanly molded, with little or no flash and virtually no push out pin marks. What ones I did find will be hidden after assembly. Although a little 'soft' on some detail – it is really quite nice.
The instructions are a regular 'book'!! This book is 8" x 5"î format. It contains no less than 24 pages.
The first page gives the history of the vehicle in English. The second page gives it again in Czech. The bottom of page 2 gives explanations of the international assembly symbols used throughout the instructions and a drawing of the decal sheet.
Page 3 shows the parts tree drawings. Pages 4 through 16 give the assembly steps. Each page is dedicated to one more step each.
Pages 17 through 22 give painting and decaling drawings for three different paint schemes. These are:
A vehicle of the 'Salzburg', 2nd Panzer Division, France, June 1941.
A vehicle of the 10th Panzer Division, Eastern Front, 1941
A pre-war (pretty generic) scheme.