In-Box Review
SD.KFZ 221
Leichte Panzerspahwagen (MG) Sd.Kfz 221
  • 000155

by: Charles Reading [ CREADING ]

The review kit arrived in a rather damaged mailing box (thanks USPS) and I was concerned about damage to the kit and kitbox inside the mailing box. Once opened, my fears were alleviated as the 9.5"X15" (24.1X38.1cm) kit box is extremely strong made of corrugated cardboard.
I notice that most of the model companies based in China ship product in these sturdy boxes which not only withstand abuse during shipping but don't deform as readily when stacking and storing.
the kit
The box contains five main sprues, one small sprue of clear parts, one PE fret,one decal sheet, ten metal springs (suspension) and two brass width indicator poles and an very nicely laid out instruction booklet 8"X11.5" (21.6X29.2cm) 14 pages in length.
As you can see in the photos, the parts are molded crisply and have great detail with little on no flash.

Sprue #1 has the body and chassis components
Sprue#2 has wheels, fenders suspension parts
Sprue#3 has turret, bumpers, hatches and interior parts
Sprue#4 has further interior parts and the MG mount
Sprue#5 has weapons, pioneer tools, fuel/water cans headlight assemblies
The clear sprue has headlight lenses and various window blocks
Small bag with eight suspension springs(Lg) and two suspension springs (Sm) Photoetch Fret with grenade screens, vent screens, mud guards, license plates and brackets
The two brass width indicators are in the bag with the PE/Decals

The decals and paint guide offer four options:
15 SS-Autklarung- Abteilung, LSSAH Spring, 1939
3rd SS-PanzerDivision 'Totenkopf', Arras, France, 1940
6th Panzer Division, France, 1940
Unknown Unit, Poland, 1939

Because this is an early armored vehicle the only paint choices in the instruction booklet are for Panzer Grey vehicles, although if you were to choose to model a pre-war Sd.Kfz 221 you could work up a pre-war (1934-1939) camouflage scheme as there are ample photo references
available. The Sd.Kfz 221 was also seen in the early Afrika campaign.
If you are really into researching/building obscure subjects, Germany sold several Sd.Kfz 221's to China in the mid-1930's.

The Chassis and Suspension

Two nicely molded frame rails attach to either side of the bottom of the body. The drivetrain is molded as one piece with the axles. There are separate steel springs that are supplied as the coil springs on the independent suspension. (this makes me want to build a scene in which one or more tires are off the vehicle to show off this very realistic detail)
The tires are molded as one piece with the inside sidewall/wheel section being separate. This is nice as the tread doesn't have a glueline or seam down the middle.
There is a hint of the engine oil pan molded in the bottom section. Although the interior of the fighting compartment is well represented, Bronco is leaving the engine and it's compartment to the aftermarket folks.


The kit includes a nicely molded MG 34 ( however this is a perfect chance to use Aber 35L-70* ) and a Panzerbuchse 39.
The Sd.Kfz 221 originally was designed as a pure machine-gun vehicle initially armed with the MG34 and later with the MG42 - some vehicles were armed with the 2.8cm Panzerbuchse 39.
The kit box art shows the Panzerbuchse 39 attached (somehow?) to the MG34 barrel. There is no reference in the directions or the vehicle color guide to the Panzerbuchse being attached to the vehicle (the directions actually show it as a free standing weapon with a tripod)
I could find no photo reference to a vehicle with the Panzerbuchse and/or it's mounting other than the following sentence "There were a few individual vehicles armed with the Panzerbuchse 39, later 41 behind a flat shield and mounted on a somewhat modified turret."
Referenced from 'German Light Reconnaissance Vehicles' by Horst Scheibert

Aber 35L-70 Review

Highs: Stunning detail, complete interior, uncluttered and easily understood detailed instruction booklet, nice three view color renderings for paint and decal reference
Lows: Would have been nice to included reference for pre-war and DAK color schemes.
Verdict: This is one of the nicest plastic models I have seen. The detail is crisp and the molding is flawless, nice selection of photo-etch and brass/metal parts included. If you have any interest in German Armored Recon vehicles this kit is a 'must have'
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35013
  Suggested Retail: MSRP-$59.95
  PUBLISHED: Jan 14, 2009

Our Thanks to Bronco Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Charles Reading (CReading)

I live in the mountains north of Santa Cruz California. I have been building now since the early 1990's when I rediscovered modeling. Most of my kits are built with dioramas in mind. I took a "creative block" hiatis for a couple years - 2011 to 2013. I wasn't active in the modeling world. During tha...

Copyright 2021 text by Charles Reading [ CREADING ]. All rights reserved.


aargh! mine will be sand yellow! Thanks for the pic Regards Javier
JAN 15, 2009 - 07:47 AM
If you really want to be accurate for a DAK vehicle, I would suggest going with the March '41 ordered "Tropen" scheme of RAL 8000/RAL 7008.
JAN 15, 2009 - 07:52 AM
Schwarzgrau also is accurate for the initial vehicles. Also, with this tropenscheme, it is accurate to put the vehicle in Russia as well...
JAN 15, 2009 - 09:52 AM
Bill, I presume you mean 7008 and not 7007? Or do you mean 7027? My source says it's either 8000 overpainted 2/3-1/3 with 7008 (Heeresmitteilung 1941 Nr. 281) or 8020 overpainted 2/3-1/3 with 7027 (Heeresmitteilung 1942, Nr. 315 dated 25th March 1942). There were, I understand, variants because of using supplies on-hand.
JAN 15, 2009 - 10:15 AM
Bill, Yep, typed too fast...I meant RAL 7008...not 7007. Herbert, the panzer gray or panzer gray with mud is also an many choices except the kit doesn't include the markings so you'd have to source or create your own, but othewise many avenues to pursue!
JAN 15, 2009 - 10:36 AM
But that's why we are modellers... or get some Archer or other decals.
JAN 15, 2009 - 11:00 AM
Couldn't agree more. I'm very happy to see this subject in styrene myself...and I'm sure it won't be long before Archer, Bison, or Echelon come out with something to add a little variety to this one.
JAN 15, 2009 - 02:55 PM
I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. The hard part will be waiting for the decal and etch companies to catch up. I notice that Bronco included the armor plate added under the chin, but not the struts that support it. I still cannot confirm if this vehicle should have the beefy supports behind the bumper as found on a 223. Regardless, a great addition to the stable. I think a Spanish Civil War example will look very spiffy. -Doug
JAN 15, 2009 - 04:45 PM
I have a question about the 2nd Decal Option of this kit for anybody who knows about division markings: The instructions say it's the "3rd SS-Panzer Division 'Totenkopf', Arras, France, 1940", and this makes sense because the Totenkopf (though not yet a Panzer division) did fight alongside Rommel's 7. Panzer Division at Arras. However the symbol on the decal is a yellow wolfsengel, not a skull and cross-bones or death's head. I wonder why this is, because my copy of Panzer Colours Vol 3 says that the wolfsengel was the symbol of the 2nd SS unit, the SS-VT Division which later became Das Reich, which I think did not fight at Arras. Have Bronco made an error then, or have I not understood properly the organisation of the Waffen-SS? I ask this because I have the kit, I haven't started it yet, and I'm wondering what figures or other vehicles to match it with in a diorama.
MAR 18, 2010 - 06:37 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • 001323
  • 001283
  • 0011109
  • 001028
  • 000921
  • 000820
  • 000723
  • 000627
  • 000528
  • 000431
  • 000337
  • 000235