The Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf.B was a small armoured car produced by Daimler Benz early in World War 2. The cars were initially issued and used by headquarters as an observation vehicle and so loaded with radio equipment. The production run was very small with the maximum number being 100; despite the small number produced as the war progressed the vehicles went into more general usage and the radio equipment removed opening the vehicle up for having weapons installed. This offering has been equipped with an MG 34 and so useful against infantry.
This offering from ICM is packed in the usual manner of a flip top cardboard tray with an additional card lid; this method offering a good level of protection for the product. Inside is a re-sealable plastic bag containing the model parts with a loose instruction booklet that also contains the decals. An examination of the moulded parts does not cause me any concerns as moulding is good and access is good. The number of gates is low and the size small so all pluses in my book.
In typical ICM style they have gone to town in providing the modeller with all of the oily parts that many companies don’t so much overlook as provide in a simplified style. ICM has gone down the multipart chassis route and so something to help you keep the model square will be a plus. The suspension has been designed in such a way that the modeller can if desired improve the look of the springs by scratching some of their own. An engine has been provided even if it will not be seen. A downside here for many modellers is that the tyres are vinyl rubber and so resin alternates may be needed.
The interior of the model has been well catered too offering a good drivers’ position. The dashboard has the instruments replicated with decals and all of the needed elements present. The drew seat is the side mounted affair as in many of the half tracked vehicles in German service. A very nicely done radio set up is included in this release and I expect to see the model re-released with the Boris Johnson radio operator we have seen in the past. The MG 34 is ok but I would have liked to see an ammunition belt and box or drum magazine and storage provided.
Moving to the exterior and the shape and form looks to be right despite limited reference in my case. The armoured viewing hatches look good having good detail on both faces, but I would have liked to have the option of showing one/some open if desired. The drivers’ armoured viewing ports could be shown open if required but the support arms are not included. The hatch for accessing the engine could also be left open should you have a specific finish in mind. The mudguards have very good locations provided with the needed details provided for addition such as lights and mirrors. Crew access hatches are separate and so could be shown open if needed. Front and rear aerials are included for the model.
Two finishing options have been provided with the model, but it is stated that the registration plates and presumptive. The options are:
Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. B, 9th Panzer Aufkl.Abt (MOT), Russia 1942
Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. B, 7th Panzer Division, 1941
Finding reference on this release from ICM that answers questions is harder than I expected, but I am happy with what is provided in the model. I have a few weaknesses and omissions that I became aware of:
Wheels cannot be shown turned
Radio set for the crew is absent
Tyres are vinyl which is frowned upon by many
Cabling to aerials will need to be added by the modeller
Not having the option to show viewing vents open
No ammunition for the MG 34
That may seem a long list but it must be taken into consideration that many of these issues are modeller expectations rather than model issues.