The Sd.Kfz 232 6 rad (wheel) was an early war scout car developed in the 1930s. Armed with a 20mm cannon and 7.92mm machine gun, the vehicle was used for reconnaissance and featured a prominent antenna rack carried on the roof of the vehicle. The vehicle was used right up until the start of WW2.
Italeri presents the Sd.Kfz. 232 6 rad as the latest addition to their line of 1/72 scale models. Like their DUKW and M8 armored car, this is an all new kit and not a reissue of an old Esci kit like most of their other 1/72 scale models. Unlike the DUKW and M8 though, the Sd.Kfz. 232 does not come with a simplified war gamers assembly option. Both of those kits include one piece wheel/suspension systems to make assembly easier for the war gamer and a sturdier kit for handling.
One problem with the earlier Allied wheeled vehicles was that they came with hollow back wheels. The Sd.Kfz. 232 has full wheels, much to the delight of modelers. The entire kit is contained on one dark gray sprue with 59 pieces. My kit had sink marks in the center of the four rear wheel hub covers. Not a difficult fix, but in an awkward place to putty over. There is another sink hole in the bottom of one transfer case, but it will be hidden after assembly.
Assembly begins by inserting the underside oil pan and transmission piece into the lower hull and then attaching the one piece upper hull. The main body is then finished by attaching the front grill and rear hull plate. There are no options for open hatches, doors or access panels. The underside engine detail is rudimentary, but acceptable for the scale.
The rear and front wheels, axles and suspension are added to the underside and the fenders are then attached. A careful modeler may be able to cut and reposition the front wheels. Hull detail pieces are added after the fenders have dried. One fender has a shovel and ax molded onto the surface, but the pick ax is molded separately.
The small turret goes together in just six pieces, the guns are not moveable and the hatches are molded shut. Final assembly is the antenna rack. The rack itself is nicely done but has knock out marks on the underside. Fortunately, these will not be seen. It would be possible to fill the marks with small pieces of styrene rod and sand them flush.
There is only one paint scheme, overall German gray. The RAL paint number and Model Master enamel and acrylic numbers are given as well. There are simple markings for four vehicles: German Army 1937; Germany Army in Poland 1939; and two Germany Army units in France 1940. Markings consist of crosses, license plates and some simple unit markings.
The Sd.Kfz. 232 6 rad has always been a favorite armored car of mine. I think it is the long front hood area that gives the vehicle a hotrod look to it. I picked the kit up as soon as I saw one. I have an old Matchbox kit and was eager to see how this kit compared to the thirty year old one. The Matchbox kit is a classic, but the new Italeri one is the right scale for me.
In conclusion, this is a very nice kit of an early war subject. The price seems a little high for what you get compared to a Dragon kit that is chocked full of parts and photo etched pieces. Braille scale modelers will be happy to have new kits issued instead of only old kits reboxed.