In-Box Review
Sd.Kfz 222
Sd.Kfz 222 Leichter Panzerspahwagen (1st Series)
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by: Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]


During World War 2 the German Army was seen as one of the most mechanised forces, despite having a large number of horse drawn units. The Germans however did utilise mechanised units for reconnaissance and they developed a large number of four and eight wheel wheeled AFVs. This review centres on the Hobby Boss Sd.Kfz 222. The Sd.Kfz 222 was based upon the Horch 801 chassis with a rear mounted engine enclosed in an armoured body, despite the four wheel drive it suffered with poor off road capability.


The kit arrives in a sturdy box with the typical Hobby Boss artist’s illustration of the vehicle. This release from Hobby Boss is released as a 1st Series. The box contains the following:
  • 12 Dark Yellow Sprues
  • 1 Upper Body Shell
  • 1 Lower Body Shell
  • 1 Clear Sprue
  • 4 Vinyl Tyres
  • 3 Etched Frets
  • 1 Decal Sheet
The large number of sprues contribute to the detail seen in this kit. There is a fully detailed engine that appears only to be missing electrical leads. There is a well detailed chassis complete with the complex suspension seen on these vehicles. The instructions indicate that the lower suspension arms are moveable which is curious as the springs are then glued to them. The modeller in theory could actually replace the springs with copper wire and display the kit in a dynamic fashion. Curiously the wheels can only be assembled straight ahead, it may be possible to depict the wheels turned but as the vehicle had four wheel steering this will be a complex conversion. The tyres are vinyl and have a well moulded tread pattern.

After assembling the chassis the construction turns to the interior which is packed with detail. There is stowed MP38/40 and empty hand grenade racks although it would be have been nice to see a non-etched option. The interior details include the vision ports which are curiously not moulded on the clear sprue but do feature the operating handles. The interior does match the photographs that had previously appeared on the old AFV Interiors website. The prominent side doors are separate and if posed open will enable the modeller to display the fine details.

The armament consists of optional Flak 38, Kwk-30 or Kwk-38 and a Mg-34 the turret is complete with the traverse mechanism, commanders and gunners seat. The turret also features the very prominent grenade screens which are etched brass and these must be bent to shape and feature a styrene frame surround.

The front mudguards feature the large headlights but not the usually seen Notek night driving lamp, not supplied, which was stowed inside the vehicle when not in use. The external stowage includes the vehicle tools and a mudguard mounted jerry can.

Painting and finishing

There is a single panzer grey paint scheme offered in the instructions. The instructions indicate various colours throughout the assembly, there is an error that has the interior painted in white, it should be ivory. The decals include the interior stencilling a complete set of number plates. There is a set of ‘blank’ number plates with a good set of numbers enabling the modeller to depict Wehrmacht and SS vehicles.


This is a fine kit of an iconic vehicle Hobby Boss are to be congratulated with this release. This will build into a very detailed model, the full interior is a welcome addition and there is very little to add. I would highly recommend this release to any modeller and not just those who build Axis vehicles.
Highs: A highly detailed and complete model. Full interior, full chassis and engine
Lows: Etched interior brackets, single paint scheme a few minor errors with interior colour
Verdict: A detailed and complete model enough detail for all
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 83815
  PUBLISHED: Nov 02, 2014

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About Brian O'Donoghue (brian638)

I began modelling way back when Matchbox appeared on the scene with their new range. It began an interest in a hobby that has spanned 40 years.... and has seen the greatest resurgence in recent years. The only breaks in the hobby have been for the usual reasons that most modellers experience; caree...

Copyright ©2021 text by Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]. All rights reserved.


Nice review! It's a kit I am thinking of adding to my collection... for those interested in building a 222 in Chinese service, this would be the kit, I think, as it is the earlier version with the older-style vision covers in front, etc. And of course, while the offered paint-scheme is GRAY, one can build and paint this one legit for Poland, 1939 or the Blitz 1940 - in the reg Brown over Gray scheme. IF you go for building it as one of the first series group as built and accepted for trials in 1935 - 36, you could really consider painting it in the "Reichswehr Buntfarben-Feuersicherlich-anstricht scheme used up through 1937! IF one has the MG 13 available, this could be built as a very early version... probably any car built between 1935 and 1938 would have had the MG-13, as the -34 did not go into these until 1938+. (Of course, the -13 used ammo boxes... so you would probably need to make some racks or scrounge them from a Pz IA kit with interior...) And I HOPE that the kit provides the shorter KwK 30 and KwK 38 L/50 barrels, as the longer L/65 FlaK 30 and FlaK 38 barrels, while interchangeable with those shorter KwK barrels, were very seldom ever used on these things. And it's actually pretty easy to covert these to "steered" wheel placement... as the steering was switchable by the driver from "all 4" to "front 2 only", you have your choice! In either case, simply cut horizontally through each of the little knuckles or joints in the affected front (and back?) steering racks and rearrange the pieces - and remember to also cut the ball joint at the wheel end of each stub-axel to reposition the wheel around the suspension arms. Of course you'll also cut lose and reposition the operating rod along the chassis IF you are having the rear wheels turned! And remember that the rears would be turned reciprocal and opposite to the fronts. Seems like a lot of work - there are several little cuts to make and joints to re-cement - but it's really pretty easy and comes out looking GREAT! I know this because I did this to that Hobby Boss SdKfz 223 radio-car a while back. Bob
NOV 02, 2014 - 10:00 AM
Hi Bob, Thank you it's a nice kit, in fact it's a very welcome release, I don't have a set of measurements for the KwKs but the supplied barrels do look short, see Image 5, for the sprue. It will be dream build for those who want to go the extra mile on detailing. Brian
NOV 02, 2014 - 10:44 AM
i love hobby boss kits..nice & easy.
NOV 02, 2014 - 11:57 AM
Hi Brian, very nice kit. I like HB, normally they have good precision and lot of details. Good to remark that the interior should not be painted in white. Regards
NOV 04, 2014 - 07:21 PM
I must say in Hobby Boss's defence that they have followed the example from the old AFV Interiors website. The museum vehicle was finished in white so you can see why Hobby Boss made this error. In fact the museum vehicle also has the mess kit in the same position there is a suspicion that it should be a binocular case. Cheers Brian
NOV 05, 2014 - 08:21 AM
Hi Brian, 100% agree Moreover, quite often the museum vehicles have been repaired and painted not according the original specifications, therefore they are not 100%-safe source of information.
NOV 06, 2014 - 12:27 AM
It would seem that Hobby Boss have fallen into the trap of the unwary. To be fair it is a great kit, especially as it has so much detail. So I can easily forgive the minor errors.
NOV 09, 2014 - 03:19 AM

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