Saturday, August 5, 2017

15mm Sdkfz 231 series heavy armored cars

At the start of the year I was lured into building a German late war armored recon force using the new Battlefront 234's and PSC 250's. You can read more about that here. 

To compound the evilness, PSC released a box set of five Sdkfz 231 series armored cars. This really tugged at my sense of nostalgia. One of the first model kits that I really did well was a Tamiya kit of the Sdkfz 232 8-rad with the box antenna and spaced armor shield. I've always liked the look of the 6-rad and 8-rad armored cars - the functional, angular armor and fenders are the stereotype of German automotive engineering.  So how could I not pick up a box?

The Sdkfz 231 series had a long history in WWII serving from the Poland campaign, through the end of the war. There's a good overview here on Wikipedia.

This weekend was the assembly phase. Opening up the box, we find five (5) identical sprues with the parts to build a one (1) model of a Sdkfz 231 series 8-rad heavy armored car.

The basic sprue with all the parts to build a 231 series car

This is a really well thought out kit. Yes, there are a number of parts, but there's a lot going on here. Unlike a Zvezda kit, it doesn't feel like there are detailed parts just for the sake of having detailed parts. The parts build up into functional assemblies which all fit together into a function model designed to be used as a gaming piece.

There are two wheel assemblies. Each consists of the axle assembly and four (4) wheels. The transmission details are modeled on the frame and fit into the transmission details on the lower hull. Wheels snap onto the posts. A little ABS cement and we're on our way. 

The lower hull part with the wheel assemblies attached. 

The 231 series upper body attached to the lower hull. The front and rear hull parts each mate with a headlamp assembly before being attached. Once that is done, the side fenders are attached. 

The 231 with the retrofit armored shield. These were refit onto the first generation of the 231 to improve protection. The later generation of 231 had additional armor as part of the hull from and rear.  The shield was easy to attach, though it is a four part assembly. 

Side view of the 233 version of the model. This model uses a different upper hull and requires the gun and gun pedestal to be installed before attaching the upper hull to the chassis. 

I'm starting to realize just how ubiquitous the 75L24 gun was in the Wehrmacht. These guys mounted it on almost everything. 

Last up - a group shot featuring some members of my armored car force. From left - Sdkfz 222 (Zvezda), Sdkfz 233 (PSC), Sdkfz 231 (PSC) and Sdkfz 234/2 (Battlefront).