by: Darren Baker [ ]
Hobby Boss have released a number of Panzerspahwagen’s from the 221 through to the 223 series of vehicles in their time and so a lot of what is contained in this review will likely not be new to you. The number of vehicles that Hobby Boss has released in this series means that the model is now well refined both inside and out. So lets take you for a stroll through this model.
The model is packaged in a cardboard tray and separate cardboard lid, this does a very good job of protecting the model and should see it survive reasonable handling by the postal services very well. I also like that Hobby Boss has added partitions inside the box to help prevent parts moving around to much. Lastly here all of the parts are packed inside their own plastic bag except where a sprue or part is duplicated. The contents of the model breakdown as follows;
13 Tan Sprues
2 Photo Etched Frets
1 Clear Sprue
4 Vinyl Rubber Tyres
A Decal Sheet
An Instruction Booklet
A Painting Guide
An Advertising Flyer
I am impressed with the packaging of this model which has insured that it has reached me in good order. The contents are all cleanly moulded and are free from any obvious issues except for a few ejector pin marks. Due to this my initial impressions are very good about this offering from Hobby Boss.
The chassis of the model has been supplied as separate parts, this has allowed a good rendering of all of the details in this area, but it does mean care will need to be taken to make sure everything is assembled squarely. I have found a few shallow ejector pin marks on the inner face of both side rails that could do with being filled. The suspension units are not workable as has been common these days, but they are very well detailed and will I believe really look the part. The one thing I do not like about this area is that the wheels cannot be shown turned and I would have preferred this as I think it adds interest in the finished model.
The engine of the model has been tackled very well with a good level of detail on the engine itself; the only thing a modeller may consider adding here is some wiring to lift the area to a very high degree. The gearbox has been well tackled as have the drive shafts. There is very nice detail in the radiator and water pipes. One thing I really like to see in regards to this is details such as the vehicle battery, something that is often overlooked. The level of detail provided by Hobby Boss will be a great asset to modellers who like to model damaged or destroyed vehicles or even a vehicle being worked on or broken down at the side of the road. I am very impressed with this detail.
The vinyl rubber tyres I know will be an area that causes issues for some modellers due to a love hate relationship. All I can say is that they have a reasonable tread pattern present and the moulding seam should be fairly easy to remove or hide. The wheels themselves are well done and have a good level of detail.
The interior of this model looks to be complete to me, but again the addition of some wiring will lift the model even further. Details such as the personal weapons storage and grenades are a nice touch and as the side doors are supplied separately the interior detail can be seen to a good degree. The hull interior area again has a few ejector pin marks that will need attention, but they are again reasonably shallow. The driver’s position is a particularly well done area and if a suitable figure is used will look very good.
The exterior of the model is also very well done with all hatches being supplied separately and so can be displayed open if wished, this also provides the chance to make the most of the interior detail and what can be seen. I particularly like that the armoured driving slits can be open or closed, this is something that is again often not supplied. The tread plate for the hull roof is an interesting approach to this detail as I expected it to be an integrated moulded detail rather than being photo etched parts. The tools that are mounted on the exterior have the clamps moulded as a part of the tool, but of late separate tools and clamps has returned to the aftermarket manufacturers. The covered spare wheel looks to have been tackled well, with a nice crumpled look to the cover. The only concerns I have is that the pins and receivers that secure the upper and lower hull may be seen if the model is fully opened up. One aspect that has me scratching my head is a jerry can stood upright on its side on the rear right fender, I cannot see how it would be made to stay there.
The armoured ring of the turret has been provided with the option of one with two or with four viewing slots and both are of a good thickness considering scale. The internal parts of the turret look good and perhaps most importantly should be easy to build. The only weakness that I can see is that the barrel of the MG34 and for that matter all of the weapons provided have solid barrels and so will need the muzzle to be drilled. If I am honest I would most likely replace the barrel of the MG with a brass offering from a company such as ABER (I feel ABER provide the best MG barrels for mounting on vehicles).
I have to say I am a little upset at the finishing options provided by Hobby Boss as there is just one option listed as ‘German Army’, this is not a lot of help and so it looks like time to hit the reference books. The decals themselves are alright as they are thin and do not have a lot of excess carrier film.
I feel this is a very complete model on the whole with it being well detailed both inside and out. The finishing details provided are on the other hand very poor and so let down what is an otherwise excellent model for the money. There are a few details that I would have liked to see included such as slide moulding used for the barrels of the supplied weapons.