Monday, February 20

In-Boxed: Paul looks at Bronco's new 35th scale Sd.Kfz 247 Ausf.A 6 Wheeled Armoured Car

The early war WWII-vintage German Sd.Kfz 247 was not made in great numbers - but that did not stop Bronco Models taking it on as an injection moulded kit. Paul already has one of these new models he is already building it, but before he shows us just how it goes together he paused to show you just what comes inside the box. Let's see what lies inside the box.

In-Boxed: Sd.Kfz.247 Ausf.A German Armored Command Car
From Bronco Models
1/35th scale
Product No: CB35095
two sheets of photo etch detail included
Decals also provided
With all the most well known AFV’s released in kit form by one manufacturer or another, model kit makers are now venturing into more obscure and esoteric vehicles which have been great for modellers. In this case, Bronco has chosen the SdKfz 247 Ausf A as their latest release. I have the kit and I have started to build it, but first I thought I would show you the bits that come in the box and a little about the real thing, the Sd.Kfz.247 Ausf.A German Armored Command Car.
Sd.Kfz.247 Ausf.A German Armored Command Car
In 1936 the German army issued a requirement for a command and personnel car. As a result, Krupp manufactured the Sd.Kfz 247 Ausf.A using their 6x4 Protze truck chassis in 1937.
This 6-wheeled (6×4) version was designed and produced in 1937 by Daimler-Benz, but it is often cited as being built by Krupp. This was because the largely available Krupp L2H 143 Prötze was used as a basis. The Ausf.A reused its chassis, engine and suspension, with few modifications except for the sloped armoured hull that was entirely welded. There were three axles with six single wheels, standard tires, and only the front axle was used for steering. The wheels were all suspended by leaf springs, common for the rear axles. 
The air-cooled four-cylinder gasoline Krupp M304 engine, 3308 cubic cm, gave a maximum output of 60 hp at 2500 rpm. The transmission was a Zahnfabrik Gb35bL with four forward and one reverse gears. The 110-litre fuel tank allowed a maximum range of 350 km (220 mi) on the road and 220 km (140 mi) off-road. Since it weighed 5.2 tons, the top speed was around 70 km/h (43 mph) on flat ground.
It was unarmed, open-top, although a tarpaulin could be deployed to cover the rear compartment. The only weapons onboard were the personal weapons of the crew. They were often equipped with telescopic sights, but no radio. The hull counted six vision slits and two lateral access doors, just behind the driver’s compartment. Armour thickness ranged from 6 to 8 mm (0.24-0.31 in).

The Sd.Kfz 247 Ausf.A was designed as a command car for use by the Commanders of motorcycle reconnaissance battalions. It was not issued with a radio as standard equipment and carried no fixed armament. Only 10 of the six-wheeled Ausf.A model was built, and these served in the early years of WWII, a few surviving until 1945. A smaller Sd.Kfz 247 Ausf.B was built by Daimler-Benz using a 4x4 heavy car chassis, 58 were built 1941-42.

The Kit:
The kit comes in Bronco’s standard top opening box and not jam packed but fills the box well. While it has no effect on the kit whatsoever, in this case, the box top art is an area that Bronco could definitely improve upon with some very dubious perspective points in the artwork. Each sprue is individually bagged except for the duplicated sprues and comes in Bronco’s grey styrene. Mouldings are what I come to expect from Bronco being crisp and flash free, but still not quite as crisp as top tier manufacturers.
The instruction booklet comes in Bronco’s usual semi-gloss A4 booklet with clearly laid out line drawings.
There are three marking options shown in colour although all three vehicles are grey overall with the variations being the number plates and type of crosses and their placement. No unit information is provided, so the overall grey is questionable, particularly for the vehicle with the solid white cross which was used during the Polish campaign. 
Research shows that early and pre-war German vehicles often sported a grey and brown scheme like this one below
You get two copies of the A sprue which consists of the suspension and wheel hubs. The suspension spring is nicely moulded, and the detail on the leaf spring is very subtle, if not too subtle but will be hard to spot under the chassis of the completed vehicle.
Sprue B is a mixture of details including the steering wheel, the headlights, and other various details, although this type of sprue is one of my pet hates when different components are put onto particular sprues with no logic to it resulting in continual digging around the box searching for a different sprue during construction.
Sprue C consists of the engine and exhausts and the break-up of parts suggests a fairly complex build with a lot of small parts. While it does seem to be a bit over-engineered, my previous experiences with Bronco kits has shown the fit to be good, but the real question is how much of this will be visible under the hull.
Sprue D are the main parts for the chassis and body of the vehicle. The main side plate has an angled top plate moulded on which will help with alignment for the rest of the body. The floor plate also features some very nicely done tread patterns.
Sprue E is an assortment of details once again including the covered spare wheel, and body panels. The covered spare wheel looks a bit bare to my eye. The dash features some moulded detail but only basic circles for the dials and no decals are provided either so you’ll need to make your own.
The tyres are listed as H, and appear to be rubber. The tread patterns are very nicely done as is the relief on the sidewalls, but the key will be how well they take paint.
The F sprue is broken up into three sub sprues and comes in the same bag. The Fa sprue includes a nicely hollowed out horn, while you get two Fb sprues which feature the rear seats with some nice subtle textures which should come up nicely with some dry brushing.
The Fc sprue is the clear parts for the windscreen, headlights and vision ports and the parts are thin and distortion free.
The small PE fret listed as P includes the number plate and a pendant which will be a nice touch on the finished model.
The small decal sheet rounds out the contents of the box and has the different number plates and types of crosses.
This looks like an interesting release by Bronco and should go together nicely if my experience is anything to go by. However, the small parts in the kit would only make it more suitable to more experienced modellers.

Paul Lee

 This kit is now available – check out the Bronco Models website for more on this and all of their other kits.