Thursday, March 23

Build Review Pt.I: Paul get's to making Bronco's 35th scale German Sd.Kfz 247

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 and Paul building it for our review. Let's see how it is getting along so far in his build guide.

Construction Guide: 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

Pt.II: Construction Guide.
Construction starts with the engine which goes together easily without any major issues and features some nice detail which will come up nicely with some paint and washes. Unfortunately, most of this will be very hard to see once the upper hull is fitted.
Steps 2 to 9 involve the chassis and various suspension units, which once again is a very well detailed affair, however, the instructions are vague and the lack of positive location points particularly for the rear drive units make dry fitting a must. The illustrations make it look like the first drive unit sits on top of part C7 however, this is not the case and sits above it, and likewise for the second drive unit, but both sit snugly between the chassis frames, and the drive shafts between them hold them in place quite well. Parts A5 and A6 also suffer from vague instructions, and my interpretation of them led to a slight cant outwards although it will not be visible when the hull goes on.
The suspension framework for each axle is very nicely detailed with some PE discs for the ends of the axles but they are pretty much invisible inside the suspension framework. The instructions don’t mention the suspension being workable but the suspension frames click into place although it is quite a fiddly affair.

Moving along to step 8, I chose not to work on the wheels yet but put together the front steering arms. Strangely, while the rear suspension is workable, the front steering arms aren’t, and are glued in place. The front wheels can be posed at an angle, although it requires removal of the mounting pins, and then the wheels glued at the desired angle which is a bit of lazy engineering for mine. I chose to leave mine straight but would come to regret this later. The steering wheel arm goes onto the steering unit but will need to be threaded through a hole in the firewall and dash so will need to be at a very precise angle.
This rounds at the construction of the lower chassis, and while it was a bit of a struggle in places due to vague instructions, it most certainly looks the part, but as mentioned earlier, most of this will not be visible once you put on the upper hull.
I decided to start painting now to make my life a bit easier later on and started by spraying the whole thing in black and highlighted some areas in grey and also a bit of dry brushing to bring out some of the detail.
I had originally planned to have the vehicle with all hatches closed and maybe with a figure or two in the vehicle, hence my decision to glue the wheels in the straight position, but changed my mind as I began painting the engine which is why I regretted the straight wheels. With the engine partially exposed, I gave it some of AK’s Engine Grime, and a light dust wash with Abteilung’s Basic Earth.
The interior of the SdKfz 247 is the most contentious aspect of the whole kit, with only ten vehicles being produced, good pictures, particularly of the interior are hard to come by. I did find some line drawings which showed the interior to be empty behind the driver’s positions with two seats towards the rear of the vehicle.
However, I did find one photo on which I found to be a very useful site with some great pictures of the SdKfz 247, including these gems.
As you can see, these pictures belong to one Holger Erdmann, who is the author of the two volumes in the Nuts & Bolts series on the SdKfz 231, and coincidentally, that I happened to review for TMN, so I’m confident that Holger knows what he is talking about when he identified this picture. This picture is what Bronco appear to have used as the basis for their kit.
The floor plate features some nice tread patterns and I started with Vallejo’s 71052 German Grey and then misted over a light coat of 71050 Light Grey since the floor is fairly well exposed to light. I did a bit of light chipping with a sponge on the tread pattern, then I gave it a dusty wash with Abteilung’s Basic Earth again.
The hull plates were started with the forward and lower sections sprayed with Tamiya XF9 Hull Red, and then German Grey as a base for the interior. I used Vallejo’s 71054 Dark Grey Blue to simulate the darker areas on the overhanging section of the upper hull, then I misted Light Grey again on the lower areas.
The forward section of the upper hull was treated similarly with Hull Red for the engine bay, and German, and Light Grey for the interior sections. Unfortunately, Bronco has neglected to provide decals or moulded details for the instrument dials so you are left with a blank circle. I’ve made several attempts at the dials but haven’t been happy with the results so far, so I’m still considering options as I continue building.
This is the majority of the interior done. It hasn’t been the easiest of builds so far, with some vague instructions and a multitude of parts, but this is what I consider to be standard Bronco fare. However, put in a bit of effort and you get a detailed model. Stay tuned to see how the rest goes together.
Paul Lee

Thanks to Bronco for ending this to Paul to build and review – check out the Bronco Models website for more on this and all of their other kits.